A federal judge has granted the request from former President Donald Trump to appoint a “special master” to review materials seized by the FBI from his Mar-a-Lago home last month.
The decision, made by Trump-appointed District Judge Aileen Cannon, is a significant victory for the former President, who has been vocal in his criticism of the Biden administration and Justice Department since the search was executed four weeks ago.
“As a function of Plaintiff’s former position as President of the United States, the stigma associated with the subject seizure is in a league of its own,” Cannon wrote. “A future indictment, based to any degree on property that ought to be returned, would result in reputational harm of a decidedly different order of magnitude.”
Cannon ordered that a third-party attorney, from outside of government, must be appointed to review the materials that seized from Trump’s Florida residence. The Justice Department is also forbidden from continuing its review of the seized materials “pending completion of the special master’s review or further Court order.”
The classification review and intelligence assessments being conducted by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence will be allowed to continue however.
Both sides have until Friday to nominate candidates for the “special master” role, and to specify their proposed duties.