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Court accidentally unsealed, then deleted, documents from the Mar-a-Lago case describing information the FBI seized from Trump

Business Insider logo Business Insider 10/6/2022 tporter@businessinsider.com (Tom Porter)
Former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images © Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images Former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images
  • Logs of Mar-a-Lago documents were accidentally posted in court filings Tuesday.
  • They describe documents Trump has claimed are shielded under executive privilege. 
  • Trump is battling the Justice Department over documents seized in the FBI's Mar-a-Lago raid. 

Logs that describe the contents of hundreds of documents seized by the FBI from former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort were posted online via court filings Tuesday in an apparent mistake. 

Bloomberg first reported that the logs appeared Tuesday in a legal docket that was posted as part of the battle over the documents between the former president and the Justice Department.

They were swiftly removed, Bloomberg reported.

The logs, shared by Bloomberg, describe a trove of documents that include government records and communications from outside parties, including handwritten notes by Trump while on phone calls.

Others describe medical records and legal documents Justice Department officials believe should be excluded from the investigation.

The logs detail documents that were seized when the FBI raided the Florida resort in August.

The logs include information on discussions on presidential pardons and records from Trump's various legal entanglements. 

Dated August 30, the logs were written by a team of Justice Department officials — the "privilege-review" team — whose job was to sort through the 200,000 documents retrieved by the FBI to establish whether any were protected under privilege rules or were the former president's private records. 

In the 200,000 documents, it found that 520 merited closer attention but that only a small number of those fell into those categories.

At the time, the department was arguing against Trump's request for a special master, an independent official, to review the documents. It said the privilege team had already weeded out the material that had to be handed back to Trump.

A federal judge, Aileen Cannon, sided with Trump and appointed Judge Raymond Dearie as the special master to review the material.

She also blocked the Justice Department from reviewing highly classified information it retrieved in the raid until Dearie concluded his examination, though that decision was overturned on appeal. 

Trump has offered a shifting array of defenses in response to the department's investigation into his handling of government records after leaving office.

He's claimed that it's part of a political plot against him and that he broadly declassified swaths of top-secret documents before leaving office.

But his lawyers have not repeated those claims in court hearings, focusing on the narrower claim that many of the records are shielded under privilege rules.

That claim appears to have been undermined by the release of the review team's logs Tuesday. 

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