The special master in the Mar-a-Lago investigation has asked former President Donald Trump’s lawyers to assert in a court filing whether they believe FBI agents lied about the materials seized from Trump’s Florida mansion in August.
On Thursday, special master U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie said Trump’s legal team must confirm by Sept. 30 whether they think “any of the seized items were incorrectly described in the Justice Department’s 11-page inventory list, which said some of the documents were highly classified,” The Washington Post writes. Trump’s attorneys must also make clear whether they are claiming certain items on the list weren’t actually taken.
Trump has repeatedly alleged that the FBI planted items during its search of his residence, and “Dearie’s order, in essence, demands that Trump’s lawyers back up their client’s claims,” the Post continues.
Meanwhile, the government has until Monday to comment on the merits of its own inventory list. It must also later respond to “any factual disputes that Trump’s team raises in its filings,” the Post summarizes, per the order.
Dearie said Trump’s lawyers and the government should review the non-classified documents on a rolling basis. The former president’s team should first review and mark any materials it believes are privileged before the Justice Department then agrees or disagrees with that assertion. Dearie would settle any disputes between the two parties.
All documents must be submitted to the special master by Oct. 21. Former U.S. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein will help Dearie with his review, Dearie said.
The Thursday order arrives after an appellate court on Wednesday sided with the DOJ in its request to access approximately 100 classified documents while the special master review continues.