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Freak accidental court posting offers further details about Mar-a-Lago documents

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 10/6/2022 Ryan King

Nestled in the trove of documents snatched from Mar-a-Lago in August was a slew of personal materials, such as healthcare documents, tax forms, retainer agreements for lawyers, and more, according to a report.

The revelation comes from logs drafted by the Justice Department that were ordered sealed by a judge but inadvertently posted on the public court docket, shedding light on what was confiscated from the Palm Beach resort. The logs are no longer visible to the public but were caught by Bloomberg News.


The logs were created by the Justice Department's in-house "Privilege Review Team" and include two sections. The first mostly lists Mar-a-Lago documents pertaining to government matters, and the second outlines documents that the filter team believes might need to be returned to former President Donald Trump.

Among the material listed to return to Trump was a "medical letter" and documents relating to Trump's legal squabbles over the years, such as a settlement with the PGA Tour, according to the report.

In its list of government documents, the team identified a list of documents named “The President’s Calls,” which included handwritten notes accompanied by the presidential seal.

Justice Department court filings © Provided by Washington Examiner Justice Department court filings

In total, the filter team flagged 64 sets of material — 520 pages — to review and possibly return to Trump. A prior court filing by Trump's legal team revealed that about 200,000 pages worth of documents had been seized during the Aug. 8 raid.

The logs were accidentally included in a recently unsealed Aug. 30 report in which the DOJ explained to the court how its filter team combed through the Mar-a-Lago stash, per the report. The filter team identified and separated the potentially privileged documents from the government and classified material sought by the DOJ in the raid.

However, a judge was seemingly unconvinced by the DOJ's insistence that its "Privilege Review Team" was sufficient to siphon out privileged material and heeded requests from Trump's legal team to appoint a special master — a third party to examine the documents.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, who oversaw the legal proceedings, appointed U.S. District Senior Judge Raymond Dearie as special master. Dearie was one of the names put forward by Trump's team, but he has ironically butted heads with the Trump team in the time since his appointment.

About 100 documents snatched from Mar-a-Lago bore classified markings, according to court documents. The markings ranged from "CONFIDENTIAL to TOP SECRET information," according to an affidavit for the raid.

Federal authorities are investigating possible violations of the Espionage Act and obstruction of justice. Trump has vehemently denied wrongdoing, insisting that he declassified the documents holed up in Mar-a-Lago and theorizing that a president can declassify material "even by thinking about it." Notably, his legal team previously conceded in court that "it would be appropriate for a special master to possess a Top Secret/SCI security clearance" to examine the documents.


The DOJ is challenging the appointment of a special master, but Dearie's work has continued as litigation pends. An appeals court recently granted the DOJ a win, greenlighting its request to speed up its challenge against the special master appointment.

Meanwhile, Trump has asked the Supreme Court to declare that the roughly 100 documents with classified markings remain in the special master’s purview.


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Tags: Mar-a-Lago, News, Donald Trump, FBI, Classified, Justice Department

Original Author: Ryan King

Original Location: Freak accidental court posting offers further details about Mar-a-Lago documents


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