Judge extends special master review of Mar-a-Lago documents


A page from the order by U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon naming Raymond Dearie as special master to serve as an independent arbiter and to review records seized during the FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, is photographed Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

(NewsNation) —  Judge Aileen Cannon has extended the deadline for the special master to review documents seized from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property.

Appointed special master Raymond Dearie will now have until Dec. 16 to examine the documents. The deadline was previously set for Nov. 30.

According to court documents, the special master must sift through 11,000 documents that approximate 200,000 pages of materials.

“This modest enlargement is necessary to permit adequate time for the Special Master’s review and recommendations given the circumstances as they have evolved since entry of the Appointment Order,” the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida said in its filing.

The filing also stated the government must attest to the accuracy of the inventory of items taken during the FBI’s Aug. 8 search of Mar-a-Lago by Sept. 30. It states Trump must provide a detailed list and description of any item he claims were taken from his property but are not listed on the detailed property inventory, calling this Trump’s “final opportunity to raise any factual dispute as to the completeness and accuracy” of the inventory.

Judge Cannon’s filing also sets a number of other deadlines. By Oct. 5, Trump and the DOJ must finalize a contract with a document review vendor to host the documents in an electronic form. On no later than Oct. 13, the DOJ must make copies of all seized materials, other than materials already identified as potentially privileged attorney-client materials, to the special master and Trump’s legal team in electronic format.

Around 20 days later, Trump must provide the special master and the DOJ with a document that specifies for each document if he claims there is any attorney-client communication privilege, attorney work product privilege, executive privilege, presidential record within the meaning of the Presidential Records Act or any personal record within the definition of the Presidential Records Act.

The deadline extension for Judge Dearie is the latest in back and forth filings between the DOJ and Trump’s legal team since the search of Mar-a-Lago.

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