Federal judge reveals FBI seized personal materials from Trump like health records and tax documents

Following the unprecedented Aug. 8 FBI raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence, it was alleged that agents seized certain materials in excess of what had been authorized by the scope of the search warrant, which prompted Trump to seek a court appointment of a “special master” to review all that had been seized.

A federal judge on Monday agreed to appoint a special master in the case and revealed that the FBI had, in fact, seized materials that they were not authorized to take and had no apparent relation to its underlying criminal investigation, Fox News reported.

Some of those inappropriately seized materials included Trump’s medical records, his tax returns and accounting information, materials covered by the attorney-client privilege, and clearly personal items like articles of clothing and gifts, among other things.

FBI seized materials they were not authorized to take

In her 24-page ruling on Monday, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon revealed that, according to a report from the FBI’s Investigative Team, it had already completed an initial review of all of the materials seized in the raid of Mar-a-Lago and acknowledged that agents had taken items that they were not authorized to take and that Trump retained an interest in keeping or having returned.

“According to the Privilege Review Team’s Report, the seized materials include medical documents, correspondence related to taxes, and accounting information,” Judge Cannon wrote, followed by a concession from the government that Trump “may have a property interest in his personal effects.”

“The Government also has acknowledged that it seized some ‘[p]ersonal effects without evidentiary value’ and, by its own estimation, upwards of 500 pages of material potentially subject to attorney-client privilege,” she continued, of which the former president had a legitimate interest in seeing protected and returned to him forthwith.

Very real risk of improperly seized material being leaked

Judge Cannon also warned of the possibility of unauthorized leaks of the improperly seized materials, and wrote, “In addition to being deprived of potentially significant personal documents, which alone creates a real harm, Plaintiff faces an unquantifiable potential harm by way of improper disclosure of sensitive information to the public.”

According to Fox News, an unnamed source described as “familiar” with the matter said that the FBI had seized 40 years’ worth of medical records during the raid of former President Trump’s Florida residence.

As for the tax and accounting documents, those have been sought for several years now by House Democrats who were fought every step of the way by Trump’s attorneys, and though a federal appeals court ruled in favor of compelling Trump and his accountants to turn over the subpoenaed documents, that case hasn’t been finalized yet and could be further appealed by the former president.

Any of those materials — Trump’s medical records or financial documents — would seem to be prime candidates for information that Trump’s political opponents, which includes a politicized and weaponized DOJ, would leak to the media in an effort to embarrass or intimidate him.

Special master to be appointed, FBI probe temporarily halted

According to Politico, Judge Cannon, a Trump appointee, set a date of Sept. 9 for Trump’s attorneys and the DOJ to submit a joint filing with a list of proposed candidates to serve as the court-appointed special master to impartially review all of the seized materials.

In the meantime, the judge also issued a temporary injunction that effectively halted the FBI’s ongoing criminal investigation, at least in relation to the seized materials, until the special master review had concluded or a court said otherwise.

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