On Thursday, former President Donald Trump filed a motion requesting the DOJ be denied access to the Mar-a-Lago records until the court can appoint a third-party watchdog.
The court motion sought the appointment of a ‘special master,’ a more detailed list of the inventory removed from the residence, and the return of anything not within the scope of the search warrant.
According to the Epoch Times, ‘special masters’ are usually retired judges or lawyers appointed when there is concern that items authorities seized include information protected by the attorney-client privilege or other types of privilege.
The filing alleged that FBI agents took “privileged and/or potentially privileged materials” such as photos, handwritten notes, and multiple passports belonging to Trump, which were “outside the lawful reach of an already overboard warrant.”
“Law enforcement is a shield that protects Americans. It cannot be used as a weapon for political purposes,” Trump’s lawyers wrote.
Trump attorneys argued the documents were “‘presumptively privileged’” until proven otherwise.” They contended that it was unreasonable to allow review without “meaningful safeguards” in place.
“Short of returning the seized items to Movant, only a neutral review by a Special Master can protect the ‘great public interest’ in preserving ‘the confidentiality of conversations that take place in the President’s performance of his official duties,’” the filing stated.
Trump’s lawyers indicated the property receipt FBI agents presented after the Aug. 8 raid provided little information about what was taken. However, the inventory list released to the public on Aug. 12 gave an itemized list, but with primarily general descriptions such as “Box labeled A-1” and “Miscellaneous Secret Document,” according to the Epoch Times.
The filing argued the “fundamental fairness” of agents identifying the locations of the seized boxes and how they assessed the confidential labels so the former president could “avail the protective rights entitled to him.”
In the wake of the Mar-a-Lago raid, Trump’s social network, Truth Social, saw a download spike, increasing by 550%.
According to Data AI, Truth Social has now been downloaded approximately 3 million times, up from about 2 million downloads just two weeks after the app launched. Also, Similarweb, a digital intelligence provider, reported a comparable increase with Truth Social after the raid, according to Sky News. The app downloads increased from 1,386 to 6,545 the day after the raid.