Justice Department Accused of Taking Attorney-Client Material at Mar-a-Lago

Fox News is reporting that the FBI seized boxes containing attorney-client privileged and potentially executive privileged material during its raid Mar-a-Lago. When the raid occurred, I noted that the legal team had likely marked material as privileged at the residence and that the collection could create an immediate conflict over such material. Now, sources are telling Fox that the Justice Department not only took attorney-client material but has refused Trump requests for a special master to review the records.

The request for a special master would seem reasonable, particularly given the sweeping language used in the warrant. It is hard to see what material could not be gathered under this warrant.

Attachment B of the warrant has this provision:

“Any physical documents with classification markings, along with any containers/boxes (including any other contents) in which such documents are located, as well as any other containers/boxes that are collectively stored or found together with the aforementioned documents and containers/boxes; b.. Information, including communications in any form, regarding the retrieval, storage, or transmission of national defense information or classified material”

Thus, the agents could not only take an entire box if it contained a single document with classification markings of any kind but could then take all boxes around that box.

It is not surprising that dozens of boxes were seized.

Given that sweeping language (and the various lawsuits and investigations facing Trump), it would seem reasonable to request a special magistrate. That is why the reported refusal is so concerning. What is the harm from such a review? The material is now under lock and key. There is no approaching deadline in court or referenced grand jury.

Moreover, many have accused the Justice Department of using this search as a pretext. While saying that they were seeking potential national security information, critics have alleged that the real purpose was to gather evidence that could be used against Trump in a prosecution over his role in January 6th riot. I have noted that such a pretext would be deeply disturbing given the documented history of Justice Department officials misleading or lying to courts in prior Trump-related investigations.  The continuation of such subterfuge could be disclosed in a later oversight investigation.

The use of a special master could have helped quell such claims of a pretextual search. Conversely, the denial of such a protective measure would fuel even greater concerns.

The refusal to take this protective measures is almost as troubling as the sweeping language in the search warrant itself. We need to see the affidavit that led to this search warrant. I am not going to assume that the search was unwarranted until I see that evidence. However, in the interim, Attorney General Merrick Garland could have allowed accommodations for this review to assure not just the Trump team but the public that the search was not a pretext for seeking other evidence like January 6th-related material.

306 thoughts on “Justice Department Accused of Taking Attorney-Client Material at Mar-a-Lago”

  1. General warrants are unConstitutional. Issued by King George to subdue the Colonists, they were a primary impetus for the American Revolution.

    “The primary concerns of the generation that ratified the Fourth Amendment were “general warrants” and “writs of assistance.” Famous incidents on both sides of the Atlantic gave rise to placing the Fourth Amendment in the Constitution. In Britain, the Crown employed “general warrants” *to go after political enemies*, leading to the famous decisions in Wilkes v. Wood (1763) and Entick v. Carrington (1765). General warrants allowed the Crown’s messengers to search without any cause to believe someone had committed an offense.” (Emphasis added.)


  2. CORRECTION: The Department of Just-Us and the Federal Bureau of Injustice has “STOLEN” attorney-client information and docs, which makes these fed agencies worthy for raids upon their person, homes, offices, associates, wives, mistresses, and any criminal rings they’re participants of.

  3. I hear by this day 15 Aug 2022 change the name of the FBI Mar-A-Largo raid will now be call “The FBI Offical Panty Raid “

  4. These DOJ/FBI/Demoncrap clowns have just put America back into the wild west, they had better expect recourse for their actions by the American people. DEATH TO TYRANTS!

  5. When I was in Law Enforcement we had to name the items we wanted to search and seize. We had to be specific. No judge I knew would ever sign a warrant application that listed any and all documents. I think from what I am hearing this warrant was overbroad in scope and is not valid. I would like your legal opinion of warrants that exceed scope, or that are so overbroad it grants the government a license to go fishning. As an overbroad example we could not list that we were searching tor a pink elephant and search the underwear drawer of the premies to be searched because obviously pink elephants can not be hidden in dressers.

    1. Chain of custody was broken over and over, this is a fishing expedition, get trump

    2. RE:”When I was in Law Enforcement..”To pick up on one of your observations, Reinhardt is no ordinary judge. Media coverage has been clear as to what he brings to the table vis a vis Trump. The entire affair demands a thorough public airing from whence it came.. All the yada yada in the world, in these pages or elsewhere will be no substitute.

      1. Well, now that the Demons have set a precedent, and if the Republicans ever grow a pair, if the White House changes, they should return the same to Obama, BOTH Clintons and Brandon, Pelosi, Swalwell etc. Only then will it stop.

    3. Any documents involving the corrupt Russian Hoak Intel agency actions should be covered under ” choice of evils ” protection I would think, but that’s just a possible Trump chess move after DOJ/FBI have put every last foot in

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