In the days following the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump and his legal team deployed a number of disparate tactics, one of which now appears to be futile.
Trump was hoping to have a “special master” appointed to review the documents seized from his home, and force the return of any documents that did not meet the rather specific verbiage of the search warrant used to facilitate the raid.
However, in the weeks since the raid occurred, the FBI’s “filter team” appears to have already completed that task, albeit without the third-party oversight that a “special master” would provide.
FBI agents have already finished their examination of possibly privileged documents seized in an Aug. 8 search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, according to a Justice Department court filing Monday that could undercut the former president’s efforts to have a special master appointed to review the files.
The “filter team” used by the Justice Department to sort through the documents and weed out any material that should not be reviewed by criminal investigators has completed its review, the brief filed by Justice Department prosecutors says. The filing came in response to a ruling Saturday by U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon to hold a hearing this week on Trump’s motion seeking the appointment of a special master.
The new government filing says prosecutors will provide more information later this week. But in the meantime, it notes that even before the judge’s weekend ruling, the filter team “identified a limited set of materials that potentially contain attorney-client privileged information, completed its review of those materials, and is in the process of following the procedures” of the search warrant to handle any privilege disputes.
Trump’s team had waited two weeks to push for the appointment of a “special master”, with the delay likely complicating the possibility of honoring the request.