Judge grants request for special master to review seized Trump documents

WASHINGTON — A federal judge in Florida granted a request from former President Donald Trump’s lawyers to appoint an independent special master to oversee the review of the records taken from Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 8.

The request, granted by U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon on Monday, will allow an independent special master to oversee the review of over 13,000 documents and identify any that may be protected by executive privilege or attorney-client privilege, according to The Washington Post.

“The Court hereby authorizes the appointment of a special master to review the seized property for personal items and documents and potentially privileged material subject to claims of attorney-client and/or executive privilege,” Cannon said in her ruling obtained by the Post.

The Justice Department said the appointment of a special master was not needed because officials had already completed their review of potentially privileged documents.

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The request also halted the Justice Department’s use of the records for investigative purposes.

Following the ruling, Justice Department spokesperson Anthony Coley said, “The United States is examining the opinion and will consider appropriate next steps in the ongoing litigation,” according to the New York Times.

A special master appointment is unlikely to affect the Justice Department investigation significantly. However, it is possible an external review of the documents could slow the probe down, according to The Associated Press.

Trump’s lawyers and the Justice Department are to submit a list of proposed special master candidates by Friday.