Judge orders Trump to give details of lawsuit against Mar-a-Lago

An aerial view of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home after Trump said FBI agents raided it, in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S. August 15, 2022.

Mark Bello | Reuters

A federal judge appointed by the former president donald trump ordered him on Tuesday to answer several key questions about his new lawsuit related to the FBI raid about his Florida home, including why his court should be the one to hear the case and to explain more specifically what he wants her to do.

Judge Aileen Cannon also ordered Trump to tell her how his lawsuit affects another pending case involving the same search warrant before a federal magistrate in the same court, and whether the Justice Department has ever been notified of his lawsuit.

Cannon also wants to know if Trump is seeking injunctions related to the material seized in the raid until the lawsuit is resolved.

Cannon’s order came a day after Trump filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, asking him to appoint a so-called special master to review documents seized Aug. 8 in the raid. from the FBI on his Mar-a-Lago vacation home. in Palm Beach.

The judge, whom Trump appointed to that court in 2020, gave him and his lawyers until Friday to answer his questions.

Trump wants to block the DOJ from reviewing seized documents until a special master reviews them. The action is usually taken when there is a chance that some evidence is hidden from prosecutors due to various legal privileges.

The DOJ is conducting a criminal investigation into documents removed from the White House when Trump left office in January 2021. By law, presidential records must be turned over to the National Archives.

A warrant authorizing the FBI’s search and seizure operation at Mar-a-Lago shows that the DOJ is investigating potential violations of laws related to espionage and obstruction of justice. Several sets of documents marked top secret were seized during the raid.

Trump says the raid was illegal and motivated by a desire to hurt his chances of winning back the White House if he decides to run again.

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Cannon in his order Tuesday wrote, “The Court has granted Plaintiff’s motion for judicial review and additional relief.”

“To facilitate a proper resolution, on or before August 26, 2022, the plaintiff will file a supplement to the motion setting out the following: (1) the asserted basis for the exercise of jurisdiction by the Court, whether statutory , fair/abnormal, or (2) the scope applicable to the exercise of that jurisdiction;” Canon wrote.

The judge also asked Trump’s team to detail “the precise relief sought, including any request for injunctive relief pending resolution of the motion; (4) the effect, if any, of the proceedings before the Magistrate Judge Bruce E. Reinhart; and (5) the status of the plaintiff’s efforts to perfect service on the defendant.”

Reinhart signed the warrant authorizing the raid. He is reviewing media requests to unseal an affidavit filed by the DOJ, which sets out the need for the search and the events leading up to it.

Earlier Tuesday, the National Archives posted a letter online saying classified documents were found in boxes Trump gave to the agency in January.

The material, which spans 700 pages, includes information related to top secret and sensitive information and special access programs, the National Archives letter said.

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