Mar-a-Lago Raid Judge: Trump Can Review Seized Materials Before Stating Objections To Inventory, As Feds Seek Expedited Appeal
Rejects key part of Special Master Case Management Plan: “There shall be no separate requirement on Plaintiff at this stage, prior to the review of any of the Seized Materials, to lodge ex ante final objections to the accuracy of Defendant’s Inventory, its descriptions, or its contents. The Court’s Appointment Order did not contemplate that obligation…”
Last we checked in on Trump’s lawsuit over the Mar-a-Lago Raid, the feds achieved a victory in the 11th Circuit, which ruled that the feds could continue to use the documents marked classified and that the docs did not have to be reviewed by the Special Master or the District Court, 11th Circuit Grants Partial Stay of District Court Special Master Order As To Documents Marked Classified:
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has granted the feds motion for a partial stay of that portion of the District Court’s Order appointing a Special Master as required the feds to submit approximatly 100 documents with classified markings for review by the Special Master, and prohibited the feds from using those documents as part of a criminal investigation until review by the Special Master.
The appeals court noted the limited scope of its ruling:
We decide only the narrow question presented: whether the United States has established that it is entitled to a stay of the district court’s order, to the extent that it (1) requires the government to submit for the special master’s review the documents with classification markings and (2) enjoins the United States from using that subset of documents in a criminal investigation. We conclude that it has.
We stress the limited nature of our review: this matter comes to us on a motion for a partial stay pending appeal. We cannot (and do not) decide the merits of this case. We decide only the traditional equitable considerations, including whether the United States has shown a substantial likelihood of prevailing on the merits, the harm each party might suffer from a stay, and where the public interest lies.
The remainder of the District Court’s Order appointing a Special Master remained intact. But the feds have now signalled that they are appealing the entire procedure of appointing a Special Master and restricting use of even personal Trump records pending Special Master review. In a Civil Appeal Statement filed on September 27, 2022, the feds stated the issues to be raised on appeal covered the entirely of the Special Master appointment:
(1) Whether the district court erred by exercising jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s motion seeking an injunction and appointment of a special master to review Plaintiff’s potential claims of privilege, including executive privilege, as to records seized under a judicially authorized search warrant?
(2) Whether the district court erred by granting a preliminary injunction and appointing a special master to conduct the requested privilege review?
On September 30, the feds filed a Motion to Expedite the appeal.
Separately, the Judge made the sensible decision to reject a proposed case management plan issued by the Special Master which would have forced Trump to state whether the government’s inventory — supported by a newly filed affidavit — was complete and accurate, and any objections as to documents, before Trump’s team even got a chance to review the documents.
Upon review of the matter, the Court determines as follows. There shall be no separate requirement on Plaintiff at this stage, prior to the review of any of the Seized Materials, to lodge ex ante final objections to the accuracy of Defendant’s Inventory, its descriptions, or its contents. The Court’s Appointment Order did not contemplate that obligation; Defendant since has complied with the requirement to attest to its now-revised inventory [ECF Nos. 91 ¶ 2(a), 116-1]; and the parties and the Special Master now are situated to proceed forward with the review process pending exchange of the actual materials. Should any additional matters surface during the Special Master’s review process that require reconsideration of the Inventory or the need to object to its contents, the parties shall make those matters known to the Special Master for appropriate resolution and recommendation to this Court.
This ruling set of a feeding frenzy of vitriol against the Judge from the usual suspects on Twitter, and also some of the not usual suspects:
So stupid to argue Judge acting in bad faith b/c she is giving a litigant opportunity to review the actual documents before certifying inventory is complete and raising any objections. If it wasn't Trump all #TheResistance law profs and lawyers would say that's reasonable. https://t.co/Fv4Q6MzZn3
— William A. Jacobson (@wajacobson) September 29, 2022
No. She was clear in her initial order. She would have the last word, and he accepted these terms. Did you read those initial orders? It’s her case, not his.
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) September 30, 2022
If you think MAGA hack Judge Aileen Cannon must be impeached after she just sided with Trump AGAIN by slapping down an order from the Mar-a-Lago case Special Master demanding that Trump supply evidence for his false claims that the FBI planted evidence — retweet and follow us!
— Occupy Democrats (@OccupyDemocrats) September 29, 2022
RT IF YOU SUPPORT OUR ACTION!
— BrooklynDad_Defiant!☮️ (@mmpadellan) September 17, 2022
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