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Special Master Gives Trump a Minor Victory in Documents Case

Former President Donald Trump needs to disclose to a special master the names of lawyers and employees who will get access to documents and materials seized during last month’s raid on Mar-a-Lago, and he does not have to divulge that information to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie, in a protective order (pdf) issued late last week, sided with Trump’s lawyers after DOJ lawyers asked the court that Trump’s legal team provide “the names and job titles” of any lawyers or other staff who would review the seized materials.

“The Seized Materials produced by the government are confidential and shall be disclosed to no one other than the Special Master, his staff, admitted [Trump’s] counsel of record in this case, staff supporting Plaintiff’s Counsel (such as paralegal assistants, secretarial, stenographic, and clerical employees) who are working on this case,” the order said.

Trump’s lawyers must give Dearie the “names and job titles of any staff who Plaintiff’s Counsel propose to review Seized Materials,” according to the judge’s order. The judge also authorized that vendors who are “approved by the Special Master or this Court” are able to carry out “scanning, hosting, reviewing, or otherwise processing electronic copies of Seized Materials.”

All the individuals, including vendors, have to sign an acknowledgment of the rules and limitations laid out in his protective order before they can proceed.

“Violations of this Judicial Protective Order shall be punishable by contempt of court or any other legally available sanction that the Court deems appropriate,” Dearie wrote. “All parties to whom Seized Materials are disclosed in accordance with this Judicial Protective Order consent and submit to this Court’s jurisdiction for purposes of enforcing this order.”

More Details

Last week, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered that the DOJ can resume reviewing allegedly classified material for investigative purposes. The appeals order said that the department doesn’t have to hand over the material to Dearie or to Trump’s lawyers until the appeals court issues its full ruling.

Meanwhile, Dearie gave both Trump’s team and the DOJ until Sept. 27 to enter a contract with a vendor who can store documents and process those documents from paper to an electronic format.

On social media, Trump has maintained that the FBI targeted his Mar-a-Lago estate in a politically motivated attack to harm his future political chances. What’s more, the former president said that he had declassified the documents that were seized by the bureau.

During an interview last week, Trump told Fox News’s Sean Hannity that as president, he had broad declassification powers.

“Different people say different things but as I understand it, if you’re the president of the United States, you can declassify just by saying it’s declassified, even by thinking about it,” he remarked.

“Because you’re sending it to Mar-a-Lago or wherever you’re sending it. There doesn’t have to be a process. There can be a process, but there doesn’t have to be,” Trump continued. “You’re the president … you make that decision.”

READ 24 COMMENTS
  • Patty Verstat says:

    Get over it! President Trump has the right to declassify the documents he took with him from the White House , just like every other President! STOP THE WITCH HUNT! Donald Trump is the only msn with the strength and ability to get our country great again!

  • mogul264 says:

    It’s disgusting that the Democrats would use a Federal Government component, in this case the FBI, as a weapon on a political opponent! Sadly, the Democrats feel ‘government’ is THEIRS, they adore it, revel in it, and seek to use it in all aspects to control the ‘uneducated populace’ who don’t feel that way! Any problem they find MUST be able to be ‘fixed’ by ‘government’! This ‘government’ has unbridled access to money, all they need do is PRINT it! Doesn’t matter there’s no real value to this cash, they use it to ‘smooth’ ways to accomplish their needs.

    These ‘needs’ are all the things they feel ‘wrong’ with things: discrimination (which they stoke continually by keeping minorities dependent on government cash), and of course, the ‘climate’, of which they are ‘experts’ (just ask them!) The enviroment is being polluted, and they (and ONLY they) know how to ‘fix’ it! For them, this means all the US must give up their fossil-fueled vehicles (smog producers, you know!) in favor of battery-powered ones!

    They also wish to eliminate all fossil-fueled generating plants for ‘renewable energy’ ones. To them this means solar and wind, mainly. There ARE a few nuclear plants but the Democrats have ALREADY decided these are too ‘dangerous’, and have scratched any new ones. Of course there ARE a few hydro units, but many of the lakes driving them are shrinking rapidly!

    The REAL ‘rub’ is those solar/wind generators. Much of the parts come from China. Now China is the world’s WORST polluter! True, the US IS seconc, however realize that adding the ENTIRE rest of the world pollution to the US’, it STILL doesn’t equal China’s! So, all the parts we would (have to) buy from China have ALREADY polluted the Earth! How in HELL does this help?

    Our pollution output has decreased markedly, and continues going DOWN! Our current fuel is natural gas for the most part, and is non-polluting! Coal plants are using scrubbers and other devices, but Democrat insistence on ELIMINATING them means we won’t be further developing the technology to further decrease pollution. Which will bite us in the ass when the solar/wind deviced DON’T produce enough.

    Currently, solar/wind produces about 10% of our power needs. This isn’t enough to power all those e-vehicles the Dems are pushing, should we replace all the fossil-fuel vehicles. In fact not even enough to build MORE of the solar/wind devices needed! Presently, some 70% of our electricity output is from FOSSIL-FUELS! And our present TOTAL output is nearly 100%! And think of this: solar works ONLY when the sun shines, barring clouds, and wind only when blowing. NEITHER works 100%,

    Batteries are heavy, costly, and e-vehicles and mre efficient ones need materials that come from……. you guessed it, CHINA! MORE POLLUTION! Less and less of this ‘pollution-reduction solution’ seems to work! Apparently, the greenies have NOT thought this through!

    Pardon my digressing!

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