Former US President Donald Trump has sought to block the FBI from reviewing the documents it seized from his Mar-a-Lago mansion two weeks ago until a neutral third-party attorney, or special master, can be appointed to oversee the process.
Lawyers for Trump filed the motion on Monday, arguing the documents were "presumptively" covered by executive privilege — a principle that permits presidents to withhold certain communications from public disclosure.
"This matter has captured the attention of the American public," Trump's attorneys wrote.
"Merely 'adequate' safeguards are not acceptable when the matter at hand involves not only the constitutional rights of [former] President Trump, but also the presumption of executive privilege."
Calls for a list of seized items
In the same court filing, Trump's lawyers also demanded a receipt of all the items the FBI seized at Mar-a-Lago on August 8.
They asked for all seized items, outside the stated scope of the investigation, to be returned.
Trump 'clear front-runner' in 2024 Republican presidential primary
"Politics cannot be allowed to impact the administration of justice," the filing says. "[Former] President Donald J. Trump is the clear front-runner in the 2024 Republican presidential primary and in the 2024 general election, should he decide to run."
The FBI's search warrant listed 11 sets of classified documents that were allegedly on Trump's property, among numerous other items. It did not specify what the documents contained, however one anonymous source previously claimed some of the documents were related to nuclear weapons.
Separately on Monday, a federal magistrate acknowledged that the necessary redactions required to unseal the affidavit that prompted the raid of Trump's mansion could be so extensive that they would render the document "meaningless."
zc/jsi (AP, Reuters)