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Trump files motion challenging FBI search warrant, demands 'special master' review documents

Trump has previously asserted that all of the documents were declassified by a standing order he imposed

Published: August 22, 2022 4:57pm

Updated: August 22, 2022 6:21pm

Former President Donald Trump filed a motion on Monday to have a third party review the documents the FBI took when it raided his home.

Trump sought the appointment of a "special master" to review the documents taken from his home, multiple news reports have stated. He also seeks a detailed inventory of what law enforcement took, the return of items taken that were outside the scope of the search, and to bar the government from reviewing the material pending the special master's appointment.

Trump, in the filing, asked the government three questions:

  • "Why raid my home with a platoon of federal agents when I have voluntarily cooperated with your every request?"
  • "What are you trying to hide from the public given that you requested I turn off all home security cameras, and even refused to allow my attorneys to observe what your agents were doing?"
  • "Why have you refused to tell me what you took from my home?"

The FBI in early August raided Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate seeking classified documents he may have removed from the White House. Trump was previously served with a subpoena by a grand jury and cooperated extensively with the probe.

Trump has previously asserted that all of the documents were declassified and has highlighted a standing order he had to that effect.

A special master is a court appointed agent tasked with a specific action related to a case, according to Cornell Law School.

"A 'special master' is appointed by a court to carry out some sort of action on its behalf," per the school. "Theoretically, a 'special master' is distinguished from a 'master.' A master's function is essentially investigative, compiling evidence or documents to inform some future action by the court, whereas a special master carries out some direct action on the part of the court."

Trump's legal basis rests heavily on the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unlawful searches and seizures. In his filing, Trump argues that the warrant is "facially overbroad" and alleges "the government has long treated President Donald J. Trump unfairly."

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