WASHINGTON (AP) — A Florida federal judge on Saturday asked the Justice Department to provide him with more specific information about classified records removed from former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate. and said it was his “preliminary intention” to appoint a special master in the case.
U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon’s two-page order signals she is inclined to accede to a request from Trump’s lawyers, who this week requested the appointment of an independent special master to oversee the review of the records excerpts from Mar-a-Lago and identify anything that may be protected by executive privilege, and ensure the return of any documents beyond the scope of the search warrant.
The judge has scheduled a hearing for Thursday to discuss the matter further, suggesting the Justice Department will have the opportunity to raise objections to the judge’s intentions. In other recent high-profile cases in which a special prothonotary was appointed, the person was a former judge.
Cannon also ordered the Justice Department to file under seal with his more detailed descriptions of documents taken from Trump’s estate “specifying all seized assets.” Lawyers for the former president have complained that investigators did not release enough information to them about the specific documents that were removed when officers executed a search warrant on August 8 to search for classified documents.
The Special Principal Appointment, if it occurs, is unlikely to significantly affect the direction of the Justice Department’s investigation, although an outside review of the documents may slow the investigation.
Follow Eric Tucker on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP