Judge Aileen M. Cannon struck down on Thursday a request from special master Raymond J. Dearie that would have had lawyers for former President Donald Trump submit in writing a list of all materials seized during the raid on Mar-a-Lago in an effort to clarify whether or not 45’s legal team wants to pursue claims that the FBI planted evidence.
Dearie’s order, issued late last week, would have compelled Trump’s lawyers to “submit a declaration or affidavit that includes each of the following factual matters: a. A list of any specific items set forth in the Detailed Property Inventory that Plaintiff asserts were not seized from the Premises on Aug. 8, 2022.”
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 23, 2022
As BizPac Review reported, Trump sat down with Fox News’s Sean Hannity and explained his reasons for believing the FBI may have planted evidence against him.
“The problem that you have is they go into rooms – they won’t let anybody near – they [FBI] wouldn’t even let them [Trump’s lawyers] in the same building,” Trump stated. “Did they drop anything on those piles? Or did they do it later? There’s no chain of custody here with them.”
But Judge Cannon ruled that Trump’s team did not need to go the extra mile and provide any additional information.
“Upon review of the matter, the Court determines as follows,” Cannon wrote. “There shall be no separate requirement on Plaintiff at this stage, prior to the review of any of the Seized Materials, to lodge ex ante final objections to the accuracy of Defendant’s Inventory, its descriptions, or its contents.”
“The Court’s Appointment Order did not contemplate that obligation; Defendant since has complied with the requirement to attest to its now-revised inventory; and the parties and the Special Master now are situated to proceed forward with the review process pending exchange of the actual materials,” the ruling continued. “Should any additional matters surface during the Special Master’s review process that require reconsideration of the Inventory or the need to object to its contents, the parties shall make those matters known to the Special Master for appropriate resolution and recommendation to this Court.”
The decision — considered a win for Trump’s team — naturally drew immediate criticism from the left.
Former DOJ prosecutor Andrew Weissmann tweeted, “Oy- Judge Cannon tinkers badly with (and with typos) Judge Dearie’s scheduling order, relieving Trump of obligation to say whether docs were planted, even though she had wanted a clear inventory of what was found.”
“She is such a disgrace,” he added.
Oy- Judge Cannon tinkers badly with (and with typos) Judge Dearie's scheduling order, relieving Trump of obligation to say whether docs were planted, even though she had wanted a clear inventory of what was found. She is such a disgrace. https://t.co/CSxi4C50I3
— Andrew Weissmann 🌻 (@AWeissmann_) September 29, 2022
Meanwhile, Cannon did agree with the Justice Department’s motion “to file under seal one document, the United States’ Affidavit Regarding Detailed Inventory (the ‘Affidavit’), which is made pursuant to the Special Master’s Case Management Plan (DE 112).”
The DOJ argued that the identity of the FBI agent working on the investigation needed to be protected “because a number of the government personnel working on this investigation have, once their identities have been revealed publicly, been subject to threats and harassment.”
Cannon agreed, and on Thursday, granted the request. The seal will remain in place until the court orders otherwise.
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