A Trump-appointed judge ruled Thursday that the former president is not required to file an affidavit identifying any evidence the FBI may have planted when federal agents executed a search warrant on his Florida estate last month.
U.S. District Court Aileen Cannon’s decision effectively overturns a directive from the special master she cited to review evidence seized by the FBI during the Aug. 8 search. The special master, senior U.S. District Judge Raymond J. Dearie of New York, last week ordered Trump’s team to file a “statement or affidavit” about whether anything on the FBI’s list of items recovered from Mar. -a-Lago have been removed “not confiscated the Premises”, meaning items were posted by someone else.
Trump has publicly insinuated multiple times without providing any evidence that federal agents planted evidence during their search, which the Justice Department has said turned up 100 classified, classified, and top-secret documents, as well as thousands of other documents the Department says they have. belong to the government.
Dearie, a Reagan appointee, initially gave Trump’s team a deadline this Friday to file a statement on honors, but pushed the deadline back to next week after there was a delay in finding a supplier who would share documents with both parties. the case. He was expected to push the deadline again for Thursday.
In her statement, Cannon suggested that she believed Dearie had exceeded his guideline. Trump’s lawyers had objected to the master’s special order.
“There shall be no separate requirement at this stage from Plaintiff, prior to the assessment of any of the seized materials, to make ex ante definitive objections to the accuracy of Defendant’s inventory, its descriptions, or its contents. … consider that commitment,” Cannon wrote Thursday.
She added that if issues arise during the review process “which require reconsideration of the inventory or the need to object to its contents, the parties will disclose these matters to the special master for appropriate resolution and recommendation to this court.”
Cannon also pushed back the deadline for the special captain to complete the review to Dec. 16, citing both the delay in getting the documents to Trump’s team and his attorneys’ claim that the 11,000 documents released from Mar. -a-Lago have taken about 200,000 pages. Dearie was previously expected to complete his assessment on November 30.
The dual components of Thursday’s ruling by Cannon are seen as temporary victories for Trump, and they come on the heels of previous court orders benefiting the former president. Cannon has previously granted Trump’s request for a special master, even saying that the special master should review the documents for possible claims of executive privilege, rather than limiting the investigation to traditional attorney-client issues.
Cannon had also ordered that the classified documents seized at Mar-a-Lago be included in the special master review and shared with Trump’s attorneys, and that the Justice Department’s criminal investigation into the way dealing with the documents had to be postponed until the review was completed . A federal appeals court later overturned those statements, finding that Trump “hadn’t even tried to show that he needed the information in the classified documents.”