Judge rejects special master's request on seized documents, handing win to Trump

The dispute is over how to process documents the FBI seized at Mar-a-Lago.

September 29, 2022, 5:35 PM

Florida federal judge Aileen Cannon on Thursday rejected a request from the special master she appointed to review documents seized from former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate to have Trump's legal team verify that the government's inventory log of seized items is accurate.

Judge Cannon's ruling again hands yet another process win to Trump's legal team, which will now no longer face the same deadline to state on the record whether they would dispute any of the items listed on the government's detailed inventory.

Trump's legal team earlier this week filed a letter under seal raising their objection to the request from special master Raymond Dearie -- even as Trump repeatedly in public statements and interviews has made baseless suggestions the FBI "planted" documents in order to incriminate him.

PHOTO: An aerial view of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Fla., on Aug. 31, 2022.
An aerial view of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Fla., on Aug. 31, 2022.
Steve Helber/AP, FILE

Additionally, Judge Cannon has extended the deadline for special master Dearie to complete his review to Dec. 16, beyond its prior end date of Nov. 30.

PHOTO: Justice Raymond J. Dearie presides at Brooklyn Federal Court, Eastern District, May 15, 2008, in New York.
Justice Raymond J. Dearie presides at Brooklyn Federal Court, Eastern District, May 15, 2008, in New York.
Gregory Mango, FILE

And rather than complying with the previous plan to have Trump provide a rolling production of the documents he's seeking to assert privilege over throughout their review, Cannon is now requiring Trump only submit a "comprehensive log" at the end of their review -- which she claims is "to avoid confusion and enhance organization and clear deadlines."

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