West Palm Beach, Florida — A federal judge Thursday ordered the release of a detailed list of the properties seized last month during the FBI’s search of former President Donald Trump’s South Florida residence while he reserved himself to decide whether an outside party had to be appointed to review the documents.
Federal prosecutors initially filed a title deed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on Tuesday, though it was filed under seal. The Justice Department told the court in a separate filing that it was willing to disclose the receipt given the “extraordinary circumstances” of the case and provide it “immediately” to Trump.
Trump’s legal team said they are not opposed to disclosing the detailed inventory. It remained sealed as of Thursday afternoon.
Last month, the Department of Justice agreed to…off the list, along with the warrant used to justify the search. That inventory revealed that during the Aug. 8 search of Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s estate, the FBI seized 11 sets of documents containing material marked classified, including four sets of documents marked ” top secret”.
U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, who oversees Trump’s lawsuit arising from the August 8 search, ordered the release of the detailed inventory during a hearing on Thursday. Justice Department attorneys and members of Trump’s legal team appeared before arguments over whether the judge should appoint a “special master” to review the documents seized by federal agents.
Cannon has not made a decision on the bank’s special captain, but said she will issue a written order “in due course.” She may have seemed inclined to block the Department of Justice from accessing the seized materials if she appointed a special master, but seemed open to allowing the office of the Director of National Intelligence to continue its assessment of the documents for potential national security risks.
During the hearing, federal prosecutors said an FBI filtering team, a group of agents responsible for searching and disposing of documents that may be privileged, reviewed 520 pages from 64 sets of documents. The data comes from a storage facility in Mar-a-Lago and Trump’s office, known by the Justice Department as the “45 Office,” they said.
Jay Bratt, the top counterintelligence officer at the Department of Justice, and Juan Antonio Gonzalez, the U.S. Attorney in Miami, told Cannon that the “vast majority” of data taken during the search is likely unprivileged, but investigators acted out a “abundance of caution” in separating from those that may be.
Bratt also revealed that the morning after the search, Trump’s team asked the Justice Department to appoint a special master, which prosecutors declined. Trump’s team made “no further request” for a special master to file their lawsuit, Bratt said, and was told the filtering team was in attendance.
Jim Trusty, one of Trump’s attorneys, argued that the former president is claiming not only attorney and client privilege over some records, but executive privilege over others.
However, the Justice Department pushed back Trump’s claims that the seized documents may be subject to administrative law, arguing in legal files and in court that the former president never exercised administrative law on documents retrieved halfway through the administration. National Archives and Records Administration. -January, nor when it handed sensitive documents to federal investigators in response to a June grand jury subpoena.
Federal prosecutors have also argued that a claim of executive privilege by a former president against a sitting president who renounces the privilege is untenable since the data belongs to the government, not the individual.
With regard to the special master, Trusty called the government’s concerns a “fake bogeyman,” saying the review process “shouldn’t take weeks or months.”
‘What’s the damage they’re concerned about? What could justify this objection?’ asked Trusty. “They don’t want a mutually respected third party to make sure they got it right.”
Trump’s new attorney, former Florida Attorney General Christopher Kise, appealed to the judge, saying she was “in a unique position to restore order and confidence.”
“We have to lower the temperature on both sides with respect,” Kise said. “We need to take a deep breath.”
The former president has publicly claimed that he released many of the seized materials, but Bratt said it had nothing to do with the violations the Justice Department is investigating.
“Classification is different from national defense information,” Bratt said, referring to the data researchers collected. “We’re dealing with over 300 records here.”
“This was a valid warrant. This was a lawful search,” he added.