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Judge sides with Trump’s lawyers and rejects some of the special master’s requirements in the document case

Federal Judge Aileen Cannon disagreed with the special master she appointed, ruling that former President Donald Trump’s legal team does not have to comply with some of the demands it has made of Trump in establishing its review of documents seized by Trump. Former President’s FBI. Florida residence in August.

The special master, or independent arbitrator, Judge Raymond Dearie, laid out a plan earlier this month that would have required Trump’s lawyers to disclose any objections they had to the Justice Department’s inventory of items seized from Mar-a-Lago in the search conducted by the FBI in August.

His order would have required Trump’s attorneys to be specific about the allegations they have directed at the FBI, requiring them to produce a list of items that “[Trump] states they were not seized from the facility on August 8, 2022,” a possible reference to Trump’s repeated claims that the FBI had planted evidence at his Florida residence when it was searched on August 8.

Four days after the search, Trump complained on Truth Social that investigators prevented his attorneys from monitoring the search, “made them wait outside in the heat, didn’t let them even get close,” adding, “Did anyone raise information? ?”.

Dearie had also asked for a list of inventory items that Trump said had been seized, but the description of the contents or where they were found “is incorrect.” And she wanted a list of documents that the Trump team said the FBI had seized but were not listed in the detailed property inventory.

Trump’s lawyers opposed these demands, arguing that they went beyond the scope of Cannon’s special master appointment, citing his own inability to access the documents as they are now in the government’s possession.

Cannon, who appointed Dearie as a special teacher on the recommendation of Trump himself, ultimately sided with the former president’s legal team over Dearie, partially sidestepping the independent arbitrator’s ruling. “There will be no separate requirement for Plaintiff at this stage, prior to review of any of the Seized Materials, to raise final ex ante objections to the accuracy of Defendant’s Inventory, its descriptions, or its contents,” he wrote in his ruling. . Thursday. “The Appointment Order of the Court did not contemplate that obligation.”

It also ordered that the special master review process be extended from November 30 to December 16, in response to recent delays in the proceedings.

The Justice Department has not yet responded to Cannon’s order. He scored a victory last week when a federal appeals court granted his request to allow government investigators to regain access to the roughly 100 classification-marked documents that were seized by the FBI during its search at Mar-a-Lago. .

A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit agreed to stay a lower court’s order, a decision issued by Cannon, which kept the subset of confidential records off limits for the Department of Justice uses them for investigative purposes. , pending the review of the materials by the special teacher.

The panel said it agreed with the Justice Department that the Cannon court had erred in blocking investigators’ use of the classified records and then requiring them to submit the confidential documents to the outside arbitrator for review.

“For our part, we cannot discern why [Trump] would have an individual interest or need any of the hundred documents with classification marks,” said Judges Robin Rosenbaum, Britt Grant and Andrew Brasher. “Classified documents are marked to show that they are classified, for example, with their classification level. “

So far, Trump has not indicated that he intends to appeal that ruling.

Robert Legare, Melissa Quinn and Associated Press contributed to this report.

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