Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers will face off against the Department of Justice on Thursday afternoon as they try to convince a judge to appoint a special master to review the trove of documents seized in the Mar-a-Lago raid last month.

Trump’s legal team has argued a special master — an independent third party — is vital to ensure that any seized materials protected by claims of attorney-client privilege or executive privilege are returned to him.

But federal prosecutors say such an appointment isn’t necessary because investigators have already reviewed the documents and “a limited set of materials” that contain such privileged information.

The hearing in West Palm Beach, which is scheduled for 1 p.m., comes less than two days after the Justice Department laid out fresh details on its ongoing criminal probe into whether Trump illegally kept government records and tried to conceal some of them from the FBI.

Prosecutors argued that Trump’s records custodian had falsely certified in June that a “diligent search” had been conducted and all government records had been returned to the government.

Former President Donald Trump's legal team will be in court to convince a judge to appoint a special master to review the documents seized in the FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago.
Former President Donald Trump’s legal team will be in court to ask a judge to appoint a special master to review the documents seized in the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago.
Robert Miller

The Justice Department included a photo of the seized documents in its latest filing, which showed some materials marked “Top Secret” and “Secret.”

In a filing late Wednesday, Trump’s attorneys downplayed the government’s concerns about classified materials found in his home during the Aug. 8 raid.

His team also accused the DOJ of escalating the situation by executing its search warrant — even after Trump’s side handed over boxes of documents to the National Archives in January and allowed federal agents to “come to his home and provide security advice” in June.

A photo released in a DOJ court filing of classified documents taken in the Mar-a-Lago raid.
A photo released in a DOJ court filing of classified documents taken in the Mar-a-Lago raid.
Department of Justice via AP
Trump's legal team accused the government of escalating the situation by executing the search warrant on Mar-a-Lago.
Trump’s legal team accused the government of escalating the situation by executing the search warrant at Mar-a-Lago.
AP

“Simply put, the notion that Presidential records would contain sensitive information should have never been cause for alarm,” his lawyers wrote in their latest filing.

US District Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee in the Southern District of Florida, will preside over Thursday’s hearing.

Prior to the DOJ laying out its argument in its Tuesday filing, Cannon had indicated she was leaning toward appointing a special master.

It was not clear if Cannon might make a final determination during the hearing.



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