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Trump scores another win in Mar-a-Lago case

Special Master Raymond Dearie had sought to require that Trump substantiate his claims that the FBI planted evidence during the raid.

Published: September 29, 2022 6:03pm

Updated: September 29, 2022 6:30pm

Former President Donald Trump on Thursday scored a major win in the ongoing court battle pertaining to the FBI's seizure of documents from his Mar-a-Lago estate in early August.

"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," wrote U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon in the Thursday ruling.

Special Master Raymond Dearie, whom Cannon appointed to independently review the documents the bureau seized, had sought to require that Trump substantiate his claims that the FBI planted evidence during the raid. Trump repeatedly suggested such on social media posts but his lawyers stopped short of making the claims in formal court filings.

Trump's legal team submitted Dearie as a candidate to fill the role of special master. The DOJ agreed that he was a qualified choice and Judge Cannon appointed him earlier this month.

Moreover, Cannon extended the timeline for the special master review. The Department of Justice has until Oct. 14 to fully make available to Trump all of the relevant documents. Trump then has three weeks to present Dearie and the DOJ with a comprehensive review of those materials and make any claims to attorney-client or executive privilege or to claim them as personal or presidential records under the Presidential Records Act.

Trump must make each claim on a "document by document basis," Cannon ruled. The DOJ will then have ten days to dispute any of Trump's claims. Cannon further delayed the final deadline for the special master to complete his review to Dec. 16, 2022.

"This modest enlargement is necessary to permit adequate time for the Special Master's review and recommendations given the circumstances as they have evolved since entry of the Appointment Order," she wrote.

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