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Judge plans to appoint a ‘special master’ to review documents in Trump’s records case

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An aerial view of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home after Trump said that FBI agents raided it, in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S. August 15, 2022.

Marco Bello | Reuters

A federal judge in Florida told the Justice Department on Saturday to supply her with more specific information in regards to the classified records faraway from former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate and said it was her “preliminary intent” to appoint a special master within the case.

The 2-page order from U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon signals that she’s inclined to grant a request from Trump’s lawyers, who this week asked for the appointment of an independent special master to review the records taken from Mar-a-Lago and discover any which may be protected by executive privilege.

The judge scheduled a Thursday hearing to debate the matter further. A special master is usually a former judge.

Cannon also directed the Justice Department to file under seal along with her more detailed descriptions of the fabric taken from Trump’s property. The previous president’s lawyers have complained that investigators didn’t disclose enough information to them about what specific documents were removed when agents executed a search warrant on Aug. 8 to search for classified documents.

The special master appointment, if it happens, is unlikely to significantly affect the direction of the Justice Department investigation, though it’s possible an out of doors review of the documents could slow the probe down.

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