U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon ruled a significant win for former President Trump on Monday, and ordered a special master to review the evidence seized by the FBI during the early August raid at Mar-A-Lago.
Judge Cannon said the independent master can “review the seized property, manage assertions of privilege and make recommendations thereon, and evaluate claims for return of property.”
She also ordered the Justice Department to halt its review of the seized material “pending” completion of the special master’s review or further Court order.”
“The Government may continue to review and use the materials seized for purposes of intelligence classification and national security assessments,” added Judge Cannon.
A special master is usually appointed from the legal profession and outside of government who has a reputation of making independent judgments on whether property seized during a government raid was proper.
Trump’s lawyers requested a special master based upon the argument that the material seized by FBI included attorney client privilege documents and other material covered by executive privilege
The FBI has already acknowledged their agents collected evidence beyond the legal parameters in the search warrant, including passports and attorney-client privilege records.
The parties have until on or before September 9, 2022 to submit a joint filing that includes a list of proposed special master candidate list.