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DOJ Tells Judge It Already Reviewed Documents That Would Be Subject to Special Master Oversight

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

As Townhall covered previously, President Trump's legal team sought to have a third party — in the form of a Special Master — review the documents seized from his home during the early August raid of Mar-a-Lago before the FBI and Department of Justice started poring over the boxes of documents and other items taken from the the president's residence.


Vespa wrote about the progress being made toward getting the Special Master review, but such oversight might now be too late. That's because the DOJ told the court on Monday that its search teams has already completed a review of what was seized from Mar-a-Lago and found dozens of attorney-client privileged documents that should not be used by the FBI's criminal investigators. Sans a special master, Americans will just have to take the DOJ's word for the fact that only relevant items covered by the warrant will be used in their investigation moving forward.

The Washington Post explained more:

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.


So, too little too late? It seems like the DOJ has already gone through the documents and determined via its own discretion what items can and cannot be used by the government as it builds whatever case it is building against the former president, and did so before the weekend ruling that suggested a special master may be appropriate and set another hearing on the matter for September first. 

As Townhall reported, Trump's attorneys filed a motion requesting the appointment of a special master to review the contents taken from Mar-a-Lago to exclude and return anything that falls under executive or attorney-client privilege, as well as return anything that was taken outside the scope of the warrant granted by Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, and provide a more detailed explanation of what was taken beyond the generic receipt for property that was unsealed previously. 

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