Sunday, October 2, 2022
Home POLITICS Justice Department Admits Seized Trump Materials May Be Protected By Attorney-Client Privilege

Justice Department Admits Seized Trump Materials May Be Protected By Attorney-Client Privilege

The Justice Department said Monday that some of the materials seized in the FBI raid of former President Donald Trump’s residence may be protected under attorney-client privilege.

In the three-page court filing, Justice Department attorneys said an FBI review of seized documents and other materials found a “limited set” that may be beyond the reach of investigators.

The discovery was made by an FBI “filter team” that reviews seized materials for insider or classified information. The team recently completed its review of documents he seized from Trump’s residence and office at his private Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida.

β€œThe privilege review team identified a limited set of materials that potentially contain attorney-client privilege,” the DOJ attorneys wrote in the filing.

Federal prosecutors also wrote that they will provide more information this week about what the FBI filter team concluded. They said agents are “in the process of following the procedures” of the search warrant to handle any privilege disputes.

The filing added that FBI agents are still reviewing the material for potentially classified information.

Monday’s revelation was a boost to Trump’s lawsuit against the Justice Department. His attorneys have asked a federal judge in South Florida to appoint a special master to decide whether any of the materials taken from Trump’s residence are protected by attorney-client privilege and should be returned to him.

U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon ordered the Justice Department on Saturday to seal a more detailed list of what the FBI took from Trump during the Aug. 8 manhunt. She also requested an update on the Justice Department’s review process.

A heavily redacted affidavit used by the FBI to obtain a search warrant for Mar-a-Lago said agents were seeking evidence of federal crimes related to violation of the Espionage Act, which prohibits the destruction or mishandling of classified government documents.

The roughly nine-hour search was carried out as part of the FBI’s criminal investigation into whether Trump improperly sent documents to his residence instead of the National Archives and Records Administration. Under federal law, presidents must transfer classified and other classified materials to the National Archives at the end of their administration.


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