Litigation /

Trump Files Lawsuit to Block FBI From Reviewing Seized Materials, Seeks Special Master Appointment

Court Filing Alleges FBI Raid on Mar-A-Lago was 'Politics'

Former President Donald Trump filed a new lawsuit asking a federal judge to appoint an independent counsel to oversee and review the documents federal agents seized from his home in Palm Beach, Florida.

The suit also asks the court to halt review of material taken until a Special Master is appointed, require the government to provide a more detailed listing of the documents FBI agents took, and require the government to return any item seized that was not within the scope of the search warrant.

According to the legal filing, Trump is “the clear frontrunner in the 2024 Republican Presidential primary and in the 2021 General Election, should he decide to run” and the FBI raid carried out on Aug. 8 was done for “political purposes.”

Special masters are appointed in cases where concern exists that material seized by authorities should not be viewed by investigators because it is protected by attorney-client privilege or other factors make it unable to be used in a prosecution, according to CNBC.

Special masters were appointed by judges in cases involving Trump associates Michael Cohan, Rudy Giuliani, and after the FBI raided Project Veritas.

Disputes over records taken from the White House during the final days of the Trump presidency began in late 2021, when officials with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) pressed members of the Trump team about missing documents that may have contained potentially classified information.

In January 2022, representatives of the former president transferred 15 boxes of materials to NARA. As the legal filing notes, Trump’s team was cooperative with all efforts to identify and return documents, noting that there was no “‘exigency’ for a forceful raid and there is no basis for keeping information about the raid from the public.”

The lawsuit comes just days after Trump aide Kash Patel said that among the material seized by federal agents were documents related to the spying campaign by the FBI and CIA that resulted in now-debunked allegations of “Russian collusion,” records pertaining to the Hillary Clinton email scandal, and other material.

Trump’s latest lawsuit also comes on the same day U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart rejected the Justice Department’s bid to have the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant remain sealed, writing that the government had not provided a strong enough argument for keeping the entire affidavit sealed.

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