Donald Trump urged a federal judge on Monday to prevent the Justice Department from reviewing records seized during the search of Mar-a-Lago, arguing in a new lawsuit that the court should appoint a so-called special master to "protect the integrity of privileged documents" found at the former president's South Florida home.
In a court filing, Trump's lawyers also demanded that the Justice Department provide a more detailed inventory of items the FBI removed from Mar-a-Lago during an August 8 search that immediately ratcheted up the former president's legal jeopardy.
Trump's lawsuit opened a new front in his attack on the Justice Department in the aftermath of the FBI's extraordinary search of Mar-a-Lago, a raid the former president's lawyers described in their lawsuit Monday as "unprecedented and unnecessary." The lawsuit opened with claims that the search was politically-motivated and identified Trump as "the clear frontrunner in the 2024 Republican Presidential Prim ary and in the 2024 G eneral Election, should he decide to run."
"Politics cannnot be allowed to impact the administration of justice," Trump's lawyers wrote.
In the 27-page lawsuit, Trump's lawyers said the Justice Department had informed them that privileged or potentially privileged materials were among the records FBI agents removed from the former president's Palm Beach estate. Trump's legal team asked Judge Aileen Cannon to forbid the Justice Department from continuing its review of records until she selects a court-appointed outsider — known as a special master — to sift out privileged materials.
"This step- which the Government itself has requested in cases involving the seizure of privileged and/or potentially privileged materials- is needed to preserve the sanctity of executive communications and other privileged materials," Trump's lawyers argued, adding that FBI agents seized privileged materials "suggests the need for a careful review process."
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.