Trump Files Motion Asking For Appointment Of ‘Special Master’ In Wake Of FBI Raid

Former President Donald Trump filed a motion on Monday asking for a “special master” to be appointed to independently oversee the review of various materials taken from his Mar-a-Lago home.

Trump’s team asked the federal judge to suspend the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) search of “seized materials” until the “special master” is appointed in the filing. A “special master” is described by Cornell Law as an individual “appointed by a court to carry out some sort of action on its behalf.” The court filing is the first issued by the former president since the FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 8.

Trump’s lawsuit accuses the U.S. government of failing to provide him “with any reason for the unprecedented, general search of his home,” according to the documents filed. Trump also accuses the FBI of taking “privileged and/or potentially privileged materials” along with other articles “that were outside the lawful reach of an already overbroad warrant.”

The lawsuit notes that Trump’s team hasn’t been made aware of the “nature” of the “privileged and/or potentially privileged documents” taken from Mar-a-Lago. The former president’s lawsuit implies that that the raid was politically motivated, an accusation that Trump and his team have suggested numerous times.

“President Trump, like all citizens, is protected by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Property seized in violation of his constitutional rights must be returned forthwith,” the filing reads. “Law enforcement is a shield that protects Americans. It cannot be used as a weapon for political purposes. Therefore, we seek judicial assistance in the aftermath of an unprecedented and unnecessary raid on President Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Florida.”

FILE PHOTO: Former U.S. President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort is seen in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., February 8, 2021. REUTERS/Marco Bello/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: Former U.S. President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort is seen in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., February 8, 2021. REUTERS/Marco Bello/File Photo

“Short of returning the seized items to Movant, only a neutral review by a Special Master can protect the ‘great public interest’ in preserving ‘the confidentiality of conversations that take place in the President’s performance of his official duties’ because such confidentiality is necessary to protect ‘the effectiveness of the executive decision-making process,’” the filing continues.

Monday’s lawsuit comes as Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart is considering allowing a redacted version of the affidavit relating to the FBI’s raid to be unsealed. Reinhart, who previously signed off on the search warrant used in the FBI’s raid, told the DOJ on Aug. 18 to propose redactions to the affidavit and be prepared to explain each specific redaction by next Thursday, CNN reported.

Earlier Monday, Reinhart pushed back on the DOJ’s reluctance to release the affidavit, writing that it can only remain sealed if “there is a compelling governmental interest and the denial of access is ‘narrowly tailored to serve that interest.’” (RELATED: REPORT: FBI Was After Documents Trump Believed Would ‘Exonerate’ Him From Russia Conspiracy)

Trump issued a statement about the motion soon after it was filed, writing that the search was “illegal and unconstitutional” and describing it as a “Break-In, Search, and Seizure,” according to Fox News. “They took documents covered by attorney-client and executive privilege, which is not allowed. They took my passports. They even brought a ‘safe cracker’ and successfully broke into my personal safe, which revealed…nothing!”

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