(WASHINGTON) — The Justice Department on Monday said its team tasked with identifying potential attorney-client privileged materials that were seized in the search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate earlier this month has already completed its review and is in the process of addressing possible privilege disputes.
In a filing acknowledging receipt of District Judge Aileen Cannon’s order Saturday, which indicated she was leaning towards granting a request from Trump’s legal team to appoint a special master to intervene in the ongoing review of documents seized from Mar-a-Lago, the department said its filter team already “identified a limited set of materials that potentially contain attorney-client privileged information.”
As the department has acknowledged in previous filings, that filter team is separate from the team involved in the DOJ’s ongoing criminal investigation.
The Trump legal team, however, has asked for the appointment of a special matter to undertake a review of any materials in the search that could be covered by executive privilege, though it’s unclear how such materials would be identified or what basis there would be to exclude them from the DOJ’s ongoing investigation.
The department also notified Judge Cannon that the DOJ and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence are conducting a classification review of materials recovered from Mar-a-Lago as well as a separate intelligence community assessment of any potential risk of national security that would result in disclosure of any of the classified materials.
The DOJ says it expects to file a more detailed response to Trump’s request for a special master by end of day Tuesday, in line with the deadline set Saturday by Judge Cannon. Trump’s attorneys have previously said they were told by the DOJ that they would oppose such an appointment.
A hearing is currently set for Thursday at 1 p.m. in West Palm Beach where Judge Cannon will hear arguments from both sides on the request.
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