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.
Finally, a real judge. Notice all the legal analysts who said this was unlikely.https://t.co/8UQ19YH71a
— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) August 27, 2022
The crux of this motion—a request for a special master to keep materials subject to executive privilege away from the Executive Branch—remains nonsensical. And even if this motion is granted, it doesn’t move the ball forward for Trump. https://t.co/pEFsdbBOG2
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) August 27, 2022
Once DOJ responds to Judge Cannon, and she hopefully understands there are no documents subject to executive privilege and at most a handful subject to atty-client, she should reverse ground on her initial indication of appointing a special master. Already a fine process in place
— Harry Litman (@harrylitman) August 27, 2022
In the competition for Clown Car Lawyer:
Not really, though? Trump is basing his request for a Special Master on claims of executive privilege. And docs which would implicate EP are -by definition- official documents, ergo covered by the search because they belong to NARA, not him. The filing is basically a confession https://t.co/cyUAKW7uJ7
— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) August 23, 2022
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