The special captain appointed to review documents federal agents seized from Donald Trump’s Florida estate has given the former president until this Friday to substantiate his claim that the FBI planted evidence during the search. on August 8.
Following the FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Trump and his attorneys publicly insinuated on multiple occasions without providing evidence that agents planted evidence during the search. “Someone planting?” Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform on August 12.
In a filing on Thursday, senior U.S. District Judge Raymond J. Dearie of New York, the court-appointed special master, ordered the government to hand over copies of all unclassified items seized in the case by Monday. to Trump’s lawyers.
He then ordered Trump’s team to file a “statement or affidavit” on all inventory items removed from Mar-a-Lago that the “plaintiff alleges were not seized from the property”, meaning items were placed there by someone else. .
Dearie also asked Trump’s attorneys to identify any items seized by agents but not listed in the inventory. “This submission will be the plaintiff’s last chance to address any factual dispute regarding the completeness and accuracy of the detailed property inventory,” the judge wrote.
Both sides were due to appear for a status conference on the case on October 6.
The ruling wasn’t the first time Dearie — who had suggested Trump’s team for the role of special master — pressured the former president’s lawyers for details about their allegations in the case.
Dearie previously asked Trump’s attorneys for more information about which of the more than 100 sensitive documents federal agents found in his country club may have been declassified.
While Trump claimed in statements to the public that he could release materials just by thinking about them, his lawyers’ arguments in court were more limited. In the files, they have suggested that at least some of the White House documents he brought to Mar-a-Lago had been declassified, but never claimed that was the case.
Trump’s attorneys told the judge in a letter Monday that they would not release that information just yet, because it could force them to prematurely “release a defense to the merits of a subsequent charge.”
That matter became irrelevant Wednesday, when a federal appeals court ordered that the classified documents should not be included in the special master’s review.