The Justice Department said a limited set of records seized at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate on Friday ‘potentially contained attorney-client privileged information’
The US Justice Department says a “limited set” of documents seized from former President Donald Trump’s home by FBI agents looking for classified material could be protected by attorney-client privilege. .
The government revealed in a lawsuit Monday in which Trump is seeking to appoint a so-called special master to review documents seized from Mar-a-Lago on Aug. when federal agents shipped out 20 boxes of files containing 11 classified documents.
The DOJ’s privilege review team “identified a limited number of documents that potentially contain attorney-client privilege information” and “has completed its review of such documents.” The government is currently following the privileged document handling procedures outlined in the FBI affidavit used to obtain the search warrant.
That The affidavit was released Friday in heavily redacted form. It said a privileged group had been assigned to search Trump’s office. Under the procedures set out in the affidavit, the government can seek a court order determining privilege, keep privilege documents away from criminal investigators, or ask Trump to confirm privilege in detail. .
On Saturday, US District Judge Aileen Cannon ordered an explanation of her “preliminary intentions” to approve Trump’s offer. The Trump-appointed judge has scheduled a September 1 hearing on the matter in West Palm Beach, Florida. Cannon said the preliminary order is warranted by “exceptions being made.”
The DOJ will file a more detailed public response to Trump’s lawsuit Tuesday as part of Cannon’s order over the weekend. Trump will then respond by August 31.
Trump’s attorney in the case, James Trusty, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
The former president’s lawsuit, filed on August 22, also argues that some documents seized from his home may be protected by executive privilege. The DOJ’s filing on Monday did not include a reference to any such document, and many legal experts doubt that a former president could claim that privilege.
In Saturday’s order, Cannon also directed the DOJ to file a more detailed list of properties seized from the Trump home and explain the status of the government’s document review. The sealed document must describe “any filter review conducted by the privileged review team and any dissemination of the material outside of the privileged review team,” she said.
The DOJ in the filing on Monday said it is currently conducting a review of the document with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which is also conducting a separate review into whether the documents infringed on national security or not.
Trump has denied wrongdoing and offered multiple explanations for the presence of classified documents at his home, including that he had a “permanent order” to declassify files he had obtained. and FBI agents may have provided evidence during the search.
The lawsuit is Trump v. United States of America, 9:22-cv-81294, US District Court for the Southern District of Florida (West Palm Beach).
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