WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge in Florida asked the Justice Department on Saturday to provide him with more specific information about classified records removed from former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate. He said his “preliminary intention” is to appoint a special master in the case.
U.S. District Judge Eileen Cannon’s two-page order indicated she was willing to grant a request by Trump’s lawyers, who this week requested the appointment of an independent special master to review and identify records taken from Mar-a-Lago. Ensure the return of any documents that may be protected by administrative privilege, and outside the scope of the search warrant.
The judge scheduled a hearing for Thursday to discuss the matter further, suggesting the judiciary had an opportunity to raise objections to the judge’s motives. In other recent high-profile cases where a special master has been appointed, the person has been a former judge.
Cannon ordered the Justice Department to file the filing under seal with detailed descriptions “identifying all assets” taken from Trump’s estate. The former president’s lawyers have complained that when agents executed a search warrant on August 8 to look for classified documents, investigators did not disclose to them enough information about what specific documents were removed.
The appointment of a special master, if it happens, is unlikely to significantly affect the direction of the judicial inquiry, although an external review of the documents could slow down the inquiry.
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