Special master asks Trump for proof of planted documents at Mar a Lago

A photo of documents seized during the Aug. 8 FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.

This image contained in a court filing by the Department of Justice on Aug. 30, 2022, and partially redacted by the source, shows a photo of documents seized during the Aug. 8 FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.

Department of Justice via Associated Press

Judge Raymond Dearie, the special master appointed in the Mar-a-Lago investigation against former President Donald Trump, has ordered that Trump and his lawyers need to back up their claims that the FBI planted evidence at the search in early August.

The news: In a filing released on Thursday, Dearie stated that Trump’s legal team has until Sept. 30 to release a declaration or affidavit that lists any documents in the FBI’s inventory taken from Mar-a-Lago that Trump claims “were not seized from the premises on August 8, 2022.”

  • He also gave Trump’s legal team until Sept. 26 to decide which documents they consider protected by attorney-client privilege, and until Oct. 14 to submit all of their privilege claims.

Looking back: Days after the August search, Trump began claiming that the FBI could have planted documents that weren’t already in Mar-a-Lago before the search.

  • “Everyone was asked to leave the premises, they wanted to be alone,” Trump posted on Truth Social on Aug. 10, “without any witnesses to see what they were doing, taking or hopefully not, ‘planting.’”

What’s next? The special master also ruled that by Monday, the Justice Department needs to provide Trump’s legal team with “copies of all seized materials,” except ones marked as classified.

  • He also hinted at the possibility of holding a hearing where “witnesses with knowledge of the relevant facts” could testify about the search at Mar-a-Lago and what was taken.
  • Dearie has also appointed retired Judge James Orenstein to assist him in his special case review, according to CNN.

Ashley Nash

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