Former President Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit that asks a federal judge to prohibit the FBI from reviewing documents recovered from his Florida estate until a neutral special master can be appointed.
Trump’s legal team stated in a court filing—which happens to be their first since the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago two weeks ago—that the sets of documents taken from the residence were “presumptively” covered by executive privilege.
The lawsuit, which implies the Aug. 8 FBI raid was politically motivated, also implores the Department of Justice be forbidden from “further review of seized materials” from his Mar-a-Lago home until the special master is appointed to review the documents.
Oftentimes, special masters are used in criminal cases when there is a concern that material seized by authorities should not be viewed by investigators because it is protected by attorney-client privilege or other factors that weigh against it being used in a prosecution.
For example, special masters were appointed to review materials seized in federal criminal probes of two of Trump’s former personal attorneys: Michael Cohen and Rudy Giuliani.
Trump’s lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida also accuses the federal government of violating his Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures with the raid.
This is apparently the first time the home of a former president was searched in connection with a criminal case. “This Mar-a-Lago Break-In, Search, and Seizure was illegal and unconstitutional,” Trump said in a statement after the complaint was filed.
The Department of Justice will file suggestions for redacting portions of the warrant by Thursday.