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Mar-a-Lago: Court “hereby provides notice of its preliminary intent to appoint a special master in this case”

Mar-a-Lago: Court “hereby provides notice of its preliminary intent to appoint a special master in this case”

Feds must respond by August 30, including under seal “[a] particularized notice indicating the status of Defendant’s review of the seized property, including any filter review conducted by the privilege review team and any dissemination of materials beyond the privilege review team.”

The Redacted Affidavit supporting the search warrant of Mar-a-Lago was released yesterday. It was so heavily redacted that it provided little information not already leaked by the feds to the press.

Separately and previously, Trump in a separate lawsuit filed on August 23, 2022, a Motion for Appointment of a Special Master to oversee the feds review of the dozens of boxes of documents seized in the raid. Yesterday, Trump made a Supplemental Filing in support of the motion, providing support for the court getting involved and mentioning the Redacted Affidavit as supporting the need:

Today, a heavily redacted version of the affidavit in support of the Search Warrant was released (“Redacted Affidavit”). Id., Dkt. 102-1. The Redacted Affidavit underscores why this Motion should be granted, as it provides almost no information that would allow Movant to understand why the raid took place, or what was taken from his home. The few lines that are unredacted raise more questions than answers. For instance, Paragraph 3 states, in pertinent part, as one of the bases for probable cause, that there “are Presidential records subject to record retention requirements currently remain[ing] at the PREMISES.” Id., Dkt. 102-1 at § 3. This provides the deeply troubling prospect that President Trump’s home was raided under a pretense of a suspicion that Presidential records were on his property – even though the Presidential Records Act is not a criminally-enforceable statute. See Armstrong v. Bush, 924 F.2d 282, 290 (D.C. Cir. 1991); 44 U.S.C.A. §§ 2201 – 2209….

Notably, Magistrate Judge Reinhart is not authorized to grant the injunctive relief that Movant now seeks, such that he could not have heard or decided the present Motion in the case currently before him, which is limited to approval of the Search Warrant, release of the Search Warrant and related receipt for property, and release of the related affidavit….

The present Motion seeks injunctive relief in the form of an order barring the Government from engaging in any further review of materials seized on August 8, 2022. The docket on which the Search Warrant was entered is overseen exclusively by Magistrate Judge Reinhart, who lacks the authority to grant the relief sought in the Motion under the Federal Magistrates Act. Accordingly, Movant has sought an order of a district judge granting the requested injunctive relief.

Today District Court Judge Aileen M. Cannon issued a Preliminary Order stating her preliminary intent to appoint a Special Master but giving the government a chance to file opposition to the motion (emphasis in original):

THIS CAUSE comes before the Court upon Plaintiff’s Motion for Judicial Oversight and Additional Relief [ECF No. 1] and Supplemental Filing [ECF No. 28]. Upon review of Plaintiff’s submissions and the exceptional circumstances presented, and subject to an opportunity to be heard as indicated below, it is ORDERED AND ADJUDGED as follows:

1. Pursuant to Rule 53(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Court’s inherent authority, and without prejudice to the parties’ objections, the Court hereby provides notice of its preliminary intent to appoint a special master in this case.

2. A hearing on the Motion is scheduled for September 1, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. The hearing shall be conducted at the Paul G. Rogers U.S. Courthouse, 701 Clematis Street, Courtroom 1, West Palm Beach Florida, Florida 33401.

3. The parties shall adhere to the following instructions:

a. On or before August 30, 2022, Defendant shall publicly file a Response to the Motion and Supplement, including Plaintiff’s request for the appointment of a special master.

b. In addition to the Response, on or before August 30, 2022, Defendant shall file under seal the following materials:

i. A more detailed Receipt for Property specifying all property seized pursuant to the search warrant executed on August 8, 2022.
ii. A particularized notice indicating the status of Defendant’s review of the seized property, including any filter review conducted by the privilege review team and any dissemination of materials beyond the privilege review team.

c. Plaintiff shall file a Reply to Defendant’s Response on or before August 31, 2022, at 8:00 p.m.

d. In accordance with Rule 53, the parties are advised to include in their filings their respective and particularized positions on the duties and responsibilities of a prospective special master, along with any other considerations pertinent to the appointment of a special master in this case.

4. This Order should not be construed as a final determination on Plaintiff’s Motion.

The problem, as I’ve pointed out before, is that Trump delayed filing the motion, and now we’re three weeks out and the feds probably have gone through everything already, or will spend the next two days doing so since there’s no injunction in place. Nonetheless, the court inserting itself into the process is significant.

Remember what I told you. Ignore #TheResistance Twitter Lawyers. And anyone who is a CNN or MSBNC analyst.

In the competition for Clown Car Lawyer:


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I’ll have to sleep on this. It’s not clear to me what this means other than the appointment of a special master (assumed independent) to oversee the proceedings. Does it mean that the DOJ/FBI definitely needs to be more specific about the details and time line? It seems that the underlying question being asked by the judge is “How is the defendant’ being informed properly?”

The Redacted Affidavit underscores why this Motion should be granted, as it provides almost no information that would allow Movant to understand why the raid took place,

By enthusiastically redacting the affidavit,,, I hope they pissed off the Judge Cannon.

The judge should also require the FBI to file a list of all persons who have had access to the seized documents or the information derived from them.

Colonel Travis | August 27, 2022 at 9:00 pm

Why did Trump wait so long to do this?

    taurus the judge in reply to Colonel Travis. | August 28, 2022 at 5:36 am

    I brought this up on the first original thread and referenced a few times on this subject that he needed to do this immediately or he could lose his right to assert

    This is nothing more than an observer’s opinion based on media information but it fits the “facts” in the media and a probable strategy. Trumps obvious grandstanding combined with the DOJ waffling leads me to believe that the DOJ not only screwed up but was caught and they act like they know it. We all know that if they had anything of any legal legit substance, we would know it and they would be using it.

    Operating from the premise that Trump was forewarned of this raid (as indicated in his lawyer being right there and watching it on CCTV and certainly supported by his “fearless” conduct since the raid), one must also accept he was fully prepared and knew exactly what was available to be taken. (Bait for the trap)

    If correct then the “logic” behind waiting is 3 fold (possibly more but without all the information Trump has at his disposal we can only speculate on what’s in the media and not on what we don’t know exists)

    Trump has to “play dumb” (weak) as to not tip off the DOJ and let then dig deeper. (Never interrupt your enemy when he is screwing up)

    Trump scores a big PR victory at low risk because he already knows they have “nothing” (Plus he can reasonably believe they probably studied everything within 24 hours from the raid so it would be a moot request anyway.

    With Trump knowing he is innocent of any LEGITIMATE crime, he has to know they are FABRICATING something. This creates an impossible task of “anticipating”. Trump may have had to wait to gather more intel from his sources to try and see what they are really up to. This could also be to “stimulate” the DOJ to do something “off their game” now they know Trump set a trap of their own.

      That’s the way I see it too. Had Trump filed this earlier, he would be the one attacked for over-reacting or “having something to hide”. It was more effective to wait until the desperate DOJ/FBI added another misstep in their desperation to undo the first big blunder.

      The question now is what will they do next. They are not going to give up. In their desperation, will soon they escalate this to violence even without provocation? They’ve been gaslighting everyone about that for a long time already. There are already signs that they are beginning to arrest and disappear people. Gavin McInnes (Proud Boys co-founder) mysterious disappearance while live on his podcast last night e.g. No explanation as to why the feds raided him nor where they took him.

      Are we nearing the point when we have to start worrying about assassinations? Does William Barr’s comments last week make anyone feel safer? The FBI only needs a little tweaking somewhere in middle management and deal with a few rogue agents? Really? If their replacements are doing such a good job, why do these old crooks never retire and go away?

      Things are getting very dangerous. I hope Trump and DeSantis are ready.

        ConradCA in reply to Pasadena Phil. | August 28, 2022 at 11:52 am

        What I don’t understand is that former presidents aren’t subject to the laws r that Hillary violated when she put classified info on the internet. The presidential record act gives them nearly unfettered access to classified info which means that there was no justification for the search warrant, raid and lies about Trump breaking the law.

        Are Garland, the judge really that ignorant about the law? Or are they desperate to seize records that incriminate their Dear Leaders in crimes?

          And as Sec. of State, Hillary had to authority to classify or declassify documents nor argue using an unsecured home computer to store them. She deliberately evaded security protocols yet was assisted by the FBI who sledgehammered her drives to destroy evidence. There is equating her situation to Trump’s. Everything Trump did was legal and conformed to the security protocols.

          Hillary not only never cooperated, she destroyed evidence. Trump cooperated.

          For some reason, “no” got deleted twice in my comment. I suspect the FBI.

    Maybe Trump went through the records, cataloging them, and removed those that the Dems were seeking. If he had a complete list then when the Dems insert manufactured evidence of a crime he would have proof of their crime. Furthermore, the documents they sought would still remain in his possession.

      randian in reply to ConradCA. | August 29, 2022 at 12:46 am

      If he had a complete list then when the Dems insert manufactured evidence of a crime he would have proof of their crime

      He would have proof, morally speaking. So far as I can tell it’s almost impossible to prove, legally speaking, that manufactured evidence is such. “That wasn’t there before”. Oh yeah, says the FBI? Prove that negative.

      Consider, for example, FBI interviews. They do not allow third-party recording, and deliberately destroy their original recording, only giving a transcript of that recording to the courts. So if the transcript contains fabricated speech by a defendant, how on earth could they possibly prove it? “I didn’t say that” will get you nowhere.

    henrybowman in reply to Colonel Travis. | August 29, 2022 at 2:45 am

    I, too, would like to think there was some 3D-chess reason.
    But so far, nothing that was ever claimed to be Trump 3D chess has turned out to be either devious nor particularly effective.

    BierceAmbrose in reply to Colonel Travis. | August 29, 2022 at 4:05 pm


E Howard Hunt | August 27, 2022 at 9:03 pm

A special master! When will the black man finally be free?

What’s the point of a special master? The FBI and DOJ have already read, classified, and backed up all the data they got from Trump.

What Trump needs to do is get the details on what probable cause was the FBI relied on to get the warrant. The Special Master does nothing to move the ball forward.

Why the bulk of the CNN / MSNBC / WAPO / NY Times and DOJ narrative about the Trump raid is a steaming pile of horse manure:

A 2012 court case denying access to White House audiotapes kept in former President Bill Clinton’s sock drawer after he left office could help the Trump legal team in its battle to retrieve records that the FBI seized from Mar-a-Lago this month.

The 10-year-old court ruling, issued by U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, rejected arguments by a conservative watchdog group that sought access to dozens of tapes recorded by Mr. Clinton and historian Taylor Branch during his administration.

Judge Jackson ruled that the tapes belonged to Mr. Clinton, even though the discussions included a broad range of presidential matters. The court ruled that the National Archives and Records Administration had no power to “seize control of them” because Mr. Clinton had used his authority under the Presidential Records Act to declare the recordings part of his personal records.

    The_Mew_Cat in reply to Juris Doctor. | August 28, 2022 at 8:19 am

    Implicit in the Clinton sock drawer decision is that Judge Jackson took Clinton’s word for it when Clinton said he declassified everything in the drawer. I’m sure even the same judge (she is still on the bench) will not take Trump’s word for it that he declassified the documents while still President, but will want to see documentary proof. If this case goes to trial, that could be one fact decided by the Jury – did Trump actually declassify each and every document found at Mar a Lago?

      CommoChief in reply to The_Mew_Cat. | August 28, 2022 at 9:01 am

      Let’s insert two key facts that keep being overlooked in these discussions.
      1. POTUS is the unity executive. He can change, up or down, any classification. He doesn’t have to follow regulations and SOP re declassification.
      2. The POTUS ultimately decides what constitute his private papers not the Archivist. An outgoing POTUS and the Archivist usually work together, negotiate to arrive at a satisfactory solution, but ultimately the POTUS can tell the Archivist to pound sand.

      In sum then we have a situation here with the Archivist being rebuffed by DJT and the Archivist getting butthurt and calling in DoJ who executed a search warrant based on a very suspect predicate.

      To secure A conviction the DoJ is going to have to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that these docs:
      A. Retained their Classification
      B. Were not Private Papers

      The DoJ must overcome the fact that POTUS can alter the classification and DJT’s assertion that I did so. Then they must overcome the fact that DJT, as an outgoing POTUS, has the power to decide what docs constitute his private papers.

      These powers are plenary. Their use is similar to the POTUS exercise of the powers of the antiquities act. Ultimately we rely on the judgement of the POTUS to use them in a limited manner, but nothing compels or restrains DJT from acting in a broad manner.

      It isn’t up to DJT to prove his innocence. The DoJ must prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. IMO, the DoJ simply can’t do so; it’s impossible, which begs the question why do this? Because they want to know exactly what papers were there to know what DJT might use to discredit others and to stir the pot of allegations one more time before the midterms.

        I agree but this will end up in court with Trump arguing the Bush precedent whereby a former president cannot be over-ruled by a succeeding president while the DOJ/FBI will argue the Obama precedent whereby the reverse is true. The Obama precedent destroys the very concept of executive privilege. Alan Dershowitz is predicting SCOTUS will stick with the historic Constitutional definition and prevail.

        This is a very important case that should have been argued a long time ago. Thank God for Trump.

Almost 2 weeks after the horses have gone out, court says it intends to close barn door!

The affidavit says there was *supposed* to be a Privilege Review Team in the raid that was supposed to review any possible attorney-client privilege items *AT THE SITE* before removal. (P.31) Anybody want to take bets that the PRT passed everything it was handed right into a box and took it with them?

There are no classified documents seized. None Zero Zip. This simple fact seems to elude people. They were ‘marked’ classified but had been declassified and open source public info. Each and every item seized in the illegal general warrant will have to be returned to President Trump. Illegal Search and Seizure is not allowed nor are General Warrants with no Probable Cause for a crime. Cannon is going to roast the criminals in charge of this raid. She is a district Court Federal Judge and her power level far exceeds the pathetic magistrate that the DOJ delayed filing until he was on duty to rubber stamp this travesty of a warrant desperate deep state criminals filed to try and recover to hide their crimes. The left is going berserk over this. I can’t wait to see who the special master is going to be. This is just my take on what is going on and I am not a lawyer but it sure looks delicious.

Their goal was to get this miscarriage of justice up in to the DC circuit system packed with democrats. This may put the kibosh on their evil corrupt scheme.

I think the pint may be that this was an illegal raid in order to illegally seize declassed documents that prove deep state crimes against the constitution. The president has plenary constitutional power and authority in these matters regardless of rules, regulations, and such. A plenary power is absolute.

Two possible reasons for the raid. Smear Trump before 2024. See what docs he has for his lawsuit on Russiagate. Two for one raid.

    taurus the judge in reply to r2468. | August 28, 2022 at 5:45 am

    you gotta remember this (ask anyone who ever worked with any classified material)

    Trump did not “create’ any of the documents he has and most have a unique document number.

    They KNOW what documents trump requested ( someone had to bring them) and they did an inventory of what was packed ( don’t buy the lie that they are insinuating trump acted like a hooligan and tried to “make off” with stuff at the last minute)

    They know what documents Trump left with and what documents were at MAL ( thats the basis for the security recommendations)

    Thats how we can know the entire pretext for this search was a lie for the sole purposes to placate the masses and sell a false narrative to the public as a precursor to something else.

    This is how and why trump was able to set them up.

      Can they use the investigation of Trump’s classified documents to prevent Trump team from using those docs in civil trial? I doubt the DOJ had any of the documents that Trump claims are Privileged, that info could help the government in the civil case. I read that the government substituted itself in place of some individuals named in the suit.

      That’s a good point about document numbers. Long before the turn of the century, I was a lowly IRS employee involved in processing tax documents. Upon receipt, mail was sorted at “Tinkle tables” and stamped with DLNs (document locator numbers) and forwarded to the next processing departments in batches with transmittals (cover sheets). Those transmittals listed information that created a very good record who handled the batches at each step which created a good chain of custody for keeping everybody honest. If a famous person’s returns suddenly leaked out, it would be simple to narrow the investigation to a handful of people in that chain of custody. I can’t imagine that isn’t true today.

      Everyone in that chain of custody should now be under investigation already. Are they? If not, why not?

Capitalist-Dad | August 28, 2022 at 8:59 am

Why should any normal American (those not members or supporters of the Democrat Reich) believe a Special Master is anything except “for show” at this point? The Stasi (fka FBI) and State Prosecutor (fka DOJ) have had plenty of time to rummage through the fruits of their raid (“filter teams” always having been a sham, being composed of proven Party apparatchiks). These people have earned the contempt of normal Americans, and are not to be trusted.

Apart from alarming the public, or convincing a low-level “magistrate” to issue a search warrant, I believe that issues regarding the handling of classified information or violations of the “Presidential Records Act” are just a smokescreen. Everyone, including the DOJ, understands that President Trump essentially has absolute immunity in such matters. Merrick Garland”s task is simple: “Here is the man, now create the crime”. And Merrick Garland is smart enough to know that, short of outright perjury or the fabrication of evidence, the easiest way to frame someone is to create a “process” crime. Can you say “Obstruction”? Peal back all that black ink, and you will see it spells “Obstruction”

    sfharding in reply to sfharding. | August 28, 2022 at 3:45 pm

    Obstruction of what? Glad you asked. “Obstruction” of Justice of course. “Obstruction” being a very malleable and amorphous term that at best makes for sketchy law, and at worst for very bad law. What scares the Dems is that Trump may have documents related to the Russian Hoax affair and other matters that could potentially implicate Hillary Clinton and/or many other Deep State actors. Their first mission was to remove these documents from Trump’s possession. Their next mission is to try to bend his former possession of these documents into an “obstruction” case. Obstruction of an ongoing investigation becomes “Obstruction of Justice”. Put a bow on it.

      randian in reply to sfharding. | August 29, 2022 at 12:53 am

      Not just removing those documents from his possession, but preventing him from leaking any of it (unless Trump was a fool he has a hidden backup) under threat of an obstruction charge. They just have to keep the investigation open until after November 2024, covering both elections.

By midnight of the Panty Rade I suspect it was too late as everything was copied

“The problem, as I’ve pointed out before, is that Trump delayed filing the motion, and now we’re three weeks out and the feds probably have gone through everything already, or will spend the next two days doing so since there’s no injunction in place. Nonetheless, the court inserting itself into the process is significant.”

What if the feds just walked into Trump’s spider web.

If your last name is Clinton or Biden or Nadler you can afford to be stupid. Because some idiot named Comey is going to go on TV and claim not to be able to see a crime.

Yup yup yo! Comey didn’t get promoted from SGT Shultz to FBI director for nothing. It takes a special skill set to go on national TV and declare you can’t find your own ass with both hands.

I’m just attempting to play this out. If I had evidence of FBI/DoJ wrongdoing and I’m a billionaire ex-President with access to the best lawyers in the country how would I play?

You can’t afford to be stupid if your last name is Trump.

    Arminius in reply to Arminius. | August 28, 2022 at 4:44 pm

    Considering how many years I’ve spent in bars I should be better at billiards than I am. But even I can map out two or three shots ahead before I get around to sinking the 8 ball.

      sfharding in reply to Arminius. | August 28, 2022 at 5:21 pm

      Yeah. Republicans are famous for being slow on the uptake. They always underestimate how devious and evil the Dems are. Guarantee you the thinking before the raid was, let them! We have nothing to fear regarding classified information. The DOJ will embarrass themselves. Which is exactly why the DOJ advertised this raid as a security issue. So Trump’s people would let their guard down. This raid had nothing to do with classified information or security. It had everything to do with building an obstruction case. By the time the geniuses in Trump’s legal team figured that out, well, too late. Full panic mode

    gospace in reply to Arminius. | August 28, 2022 at 7:50 pm

    I’m just attempting to play this out. If I had evidence of FBI/DoJ wrongdoing and I’m a billionaire ex-President with access to the best lawyers in the country how would I play?

    Well, actually, he doesn’t. Numerous large law firms with the best lawyers are refusing to let any of their attorneys work with Trump or anyone associated with him.

including any filter review conducted by the privilege review team and any dissemination of materials beyond the privilege review team

Does anybody believe the FBI’s response on this matter will be truthful?