Review by a "Special Master"


On Monday, a US judge agreed to Donald Trump's request to appoint a "special master" to review the evidence that the FBI took from his Florida home during a raid. This was a blow to the prosecutors.

Attorneys for the government opposed Trump's request, saying that appointing a special master to look for privileged information could hurt national security and was unnecessary since a team had already done a screening.

The decision could slow down the investigation into how Trump handled classified information. It also helps the former president, who called the August 8 raid "one of the most egregious attacks on democracy in the history of our country" and denied any wrongdoing.

In her order, Judge Aileen Cannon said, "A special master shall be appointed to review the seized property, handle claims of privilege and make recommendations about them, and look into claims for the return of property."

The ruling says that the government can't look at or use the materials that were found during the raid for the time being. However, there is an exception for "intelligence classification and national security assessments." The judge gave each side until Friday to come up with a list of candidates for the role of special master.

Trump is facing more and more legal trouble. The Department of Justice says that top secret documents were "likely hidden" to stop an FBI investigation into whether Trump mishandled classified information.

When agents searched Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, they found information so sensitive that "even the FBI counterintelligence personnel and DOJ attorneys conducting the review needed additional clearances before they were allowed to review certain documents," a government court filing said.

After months of back and forth with the National Archives and Records Administration, Trump finally gave the FBI access to "highly classified" records in January. This led to the FBI raid.

There were 184 documents marked as confidential, secret, or top secret in the 15 boxes that Trump gave over.

After the FBI asked him to, Trump's lawyer finally handed over 38 more classified documents and a "sworn certification" that they were the last of the information.

But later, the FBI found "multiple sources of evidence" that classified papers were still at Mar-a-Lago.

Trump responded to the judge's decision by posting on his Truth Social platform.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said that he personally gave the go-ahead for the raid on Mar-a-Lago, and it is up to him to decide if Trump should be charged with a crime.

Bill Barr, who was in the same job when Trump was president, said that it seemed right for the government to raid Trump's home and that he thought the government had "good" evidence of obstruction.

Trump is also being investigated in New York for how he runs his business. He is also being looked at by the law for trying to change the results of the 2020 election and for his supporters attacking the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

After the Capitol riot, the House of Representatives impeached Trump for the second time in history. He was charged with starting a riot, but the Senate found him not guilty.

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