The special master assigned to review documents federal agents seized on Donald Trump’s Florida property gave the former president until next Friday to back up his claim that the FBI planted evidence in the Aug. 8 search.
After the FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Trump and his lawyers publicly insinuated on several occasions without providing evidence that agents planted evidence during the search. “Planting information anyone?” Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform on August 12.
In a filing on Thursday, Senior U.S. District Judge Raymond J. Dearie of New York, the court-appointed special master, ordered the administration to deliver copies of all non-confidential items seized in the case to Trump’s attorneys until Monday.
He then ordered Trump’s team to file a “statement or affidavit” of any items in the inventory that were removed from Mar-a-Lago that “Plaintiff asserts were not seized from the Facility”, i.e. items that were placed there for someone else.
Dearie also asked Trump’s lawyers to identify any items seized by agents but not listed in the inventory. “This submission will be the Plaintiff’s last opportunity to raise any factual dispute as to the completeness and accuracy of the Detailed Property Inventory,” the judge wrote.
Both sides were required to attend a status conference in the case on October 6.
The decision was not the first time Dearie – whom Trump’s team had proposed for the role of special master – has pressed the former president’s lawyers for details about his allegations in the case.
Dearie previously asked Trump’s lawyers for more information about which of the more than 100 confidential documents federal agents found at his country club may have been declassified.
While Trump has stated in public statements that he could declassify materials just thinking about it, his lawyers’ arguments in court were narrower. In the files, they suggested that at least some of the White House documents he took to Mar-a-Lago were declassified, but never claimed that was the case.
Trump’s lawyers told the judge in a letter on Monday that they did not want to release that information just yet because it could force them to “prematurely reveal a defense of the merits of any subsequent charges.”
That issue became irrelevant on Wednesday when a federal appeals court ordered classified documents not to be included in the special master’s review.
Source : www.nbcnews.com