Contrary to normal procedure, also reportedly is objecting to appointment of a special magistrate to oversee its review.
The FBI in its ongoing war on Trump repeatedly has seized attorney-client protected materials, including from Michael Cohen and Rudy Guiliani. James O’Keefe also was subject to such a seizure over obtaining Joe Biden’s daughter’s diary. The argument is that attorney-client materials use in or to assist a crime are not protected.
In that narrow sense the feds are right, but the issue is that until such a determination is made by a court, the feds have access to materials that they might otherwise not be entitled to see. In such circumstance, the normal procedure should be for the court to appoint a special master to oversee the review of the material before the feds get to see it. Such seizures, regardless of outcome, have a chilling effect on attorneys and clients.
The Mar-a-Lago raid was so broad that it was inevitable that the feds would seize material having nothing to do with any alleged crime or alleged unlawful possession of classified material. As noted, FBI Broadly Rummaged Through Trump’s Files, Supporting Theory This Is Not Just About “Classified” Documents.
Fox News is reporting, presumably from a leak from team Trump, that FBI seizes privileged Trump records during raid; DOJ opposes request for independent review: sources:
The FBI seized boxes containing records covered by attorney-client privilege and potentially executive privilege during its raid of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, sources familiar with the investigation told Fox News, adding that the Justice Department opposed Trump lawyers’ request for the appointment of an independent, special master to review the records.
Sources familiar with the investigation told Fox News Saturday that the former president’s team was informed that boxes labeled A-14, A-26, A-43, A-13, A-33, and a set of documents—all seen on the final page of the FBI’s property receipt —contained information covered by attorney-client privilege.
The FBI seized classified records from Trump’s Palm Beach home during its unprecedented Monday morning raid, including some marked as top secret. But the former president is disputing the classification, saying the records have been declassified….
Sources told Fox News that, due to attorney-client privilege, Trump’s team asked the Justice Department for their position on whether they would support a third party, independent special master to review those records, but sources told Fox News that the DOJ notified Trump’s team that they would oppose that request.
Oh great! It has just been learned that the FBI, in its now famous raid of Mar-a-Lago, took boxes of privileged “attorney-client” material, and also “executive” privileged material, which they knowingly should not have taken. By copy of this TRUTH, I respectfully request that these documents be immediately returned to the location from which they were taken. Thank you!
Jonathan Turley notes:
The request for a special master would seem reasonable, particularly given the sweeping language used in the warrant. It is hard to see what material could not be gathered under this warrant….
Given that sweeping language (and the various lawsuits and investigations facing Trump), it would seem reasonable to request a special magistrate. That is why the reported refusal is so concerning. What is the harm from such a review? The material is now under lock and key. There is no approaching deadline in court or referenced grand jury.
This is a developing story, MORE TO FOLLOW
We're in a classic Trump hair-on-fire frenzy. Nonstop talk about secret evidence, criminal charges, grave damage to national security, wild scenarios. And nobody knows what the evidence is, or is not. Secrecy allows anti-Trump speculation to flourish. Again.
— Byron York (@ByronYork) August 14, 2022
Propaganda mode: “could have included” https://t.co/3yXoC6Nddy
— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) August 14, 2022
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