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Florida Judge Responds to Trump Team Request

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Gavel via Wikimedia Commons Image

Florida Judge Aileen Cannon declined to issue a ruling after hearing arguments from Donald Trump and the Department of Justice regarding whether a special master should be appointed to independently review the documents recovered in the FBI’s August 8 raid of Mar-a-Lago.

The Hill reported that Judge Cannon said a written ruling will come “in due course.”

On Sunday, Judge Cannon said she was inclined to grant Trump’s request for a special master to independently review the seized materials due to the “exceptional circumstances presented” by the events at Mar-a-Lago.

Cannon’s remarks triggered a harsh response from the Department of Justice in a Wednesday filing. In the filing, the DOJ picked apart Trump’s request a special master be appointed, calling the move “unnecessary” and even released photos of the recovered documents. (RELATED: Justice Department Responds to Trump’s Special Master Request)

“Furthermore, appointment of a special master would impede the government’s ongoing criminal investigation and—if the special master were tasked with reviewing classified documents—would impede the Intelligence Community from conducting its ongoing review of the national security risk that improper storage of these highly sensitive materials may have caused and from identifying measures to rectify or mitigate any damage that improper storage caused,” the filing said. “Lastly, this case does not involve any of the types of circumstances that have warranted appointment of a special master to review materials potentially subject to attorney-client privilege.” 

The DOJ also criticized Trump’s claim that the seized materials were protected by executive privilege.

“The former President cites no case—and the government is aware of none—in which executive privilege has been successfully invoked to prohibit the sharing of documents within the Executive Branch,” it said. 

Wednesday night, Trump’s legal team filed a last-minute response to the DOJ. Throughout the filing, Trump’s team argues the National Archives should have expected to find classified material among the documents Trump delivered in January from Mar-a-Lago because they were presidential records. This serves as a definite acknowledgment from Trump that he was in possession of classified material and also torpedoed his previous argument he “declassified everything.”

Read the late-night filing from Trump below.

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