The legal team for former President Donald Trump Monday asked a federal judge to appoint a third-party attorney to oversee the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) review of the documents seized during the search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence two weeks ago and to ensure the return of any private personal documents. The move follows a New York Times report that FBI agents allegedly recovered over 300 documents with classified markings from Trump, including security documents from the CIA, the NSA and the FBI.
Typically, a special master is appointed in a criminal case when there are concerns that evidence may be protected under attorney-client privilege or other similar protections that would make it inadmissible in court. In this case, the Trump team alleges that the documents are protected by both executive privileges and that the search warrant itself violates the Fourth Amendment because it is overly broad.
This legal action is the first from Trump’s attorneys since FBI agents originally executed the search warrant at Mar-a-Lago two weeks ago. They have also asked the judge to pause the federal investigators’ work related to all of the evidence found during the search until the review is done in a series of several sealed court filings.
The DOJ previously objected to the release of the affidavit for the search warrant used during the investigation. However, the judge ruled last Friday to give the DOJ until Thursday to provide a redacted version of the affidavit. In a statement, Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley reiterated that the search warrant at Mar-a-Lago was “authorized by a federal court upon the required finding of probable cause” and will file its response in court.