Judge signals she'll likely grant Trump's request for a 'special master' to oversee FBI review

Hearing is set for next Thursday.

Updated: August 27, 2022 - 7:11pm

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A federal judge on Saturday indicated that she will likely grant former President Donald Trump's request for a "special master" to oversee the FBI's review of documents seized at his Mar-a-Lago home earlier this month. 

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon declared in a two-page notice on Saturday her "preliminary intent to appoint a special master in this case." The hearing to finalize the decision is scheduled for Sept. 1, next Thursday. 

Cannon in the notice also demanded that the Department of Justice provide a fuller rundown of what FBI agents seized at Mar-a-Lago when they raided it several weeks ago. 

A "special master" is "appointed by a court to carry out some sort of action on its behalf," often to ensure that legal proceedings are followed properly by plaintiffs and/or defendants. 

Trump's legal team earlier this month had argued in court that it was "unreasonable to allow the prosecutorial team to review [the seized documents] without meaningful safeguards."

"Short of returning the seized items to the movant, only a neutral review by a special master can protect the 'great public interest' in preserving 'the confidentiality of conversations that take place in the president's performance of his official duties,'" the attorneys said in the filing.