OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Eric Trump revealed that FBI agents who raided former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida searched into his safe — but it was empty.
The 45th president’s son said that the safe was “empty” and that over two dozen FBI agents were involved in the raid. Eric said the raid was to find documents that should have gone to the National Archives.
“Nothing was in the safe,” Eric said.
Last week, the special master assigned to review more than 11,000 documents seized from Mar-a-Lago made a ridiculous request that the judge in the case quickly dismissed. He wanted the former president’s attorneys to declare whether all of the more than 11,000 documents were accurate and he wanted them to do it in eight days.
Not only would that be a monumental task, but the attorneys have not seen every document as some are marked classified, the Western Journal reported.
It was a request absurd enough that it got struck down by the same federal judge who appointed the special master in the first place. On Thursday, just one day before the deadline, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon ruled that Trump wouldn’t be forced to comply, according to UPI.
“There shall be no separate requirement on Plaintiff at this stage, prior to the review of any of the seized materials,” the judge said. “The Court’s Appointment Order did not contemplate that obligation.”
The directive had been issued by senior federal Judge Raymond Dearie — appointed to assess whether some of the documents seized in the Aug. 8 raid were privileged — who wished to address implications from Trump on social media that the FBI might have planted evidence during the raid.
Even though there were over 11,000 documents, Dearie wanted Trump’s team to meet a Sept. 30 deadline to identify items in the inventory, “that the plaintiff asserts were not seized from the premises.”
“This submission shall be the plaintiff’s [Trump’s] final opportunity to raise any factual dispute as to the completeness and accuracy of the Detailed Property Inventory,” he said.
But around 100 of the documents were marked classified with limited the former president’s attorneys from seeing them.
“Additionally, Plaintiff currently has no means of accessing the documents bearing classification markings, which would be necessary to complete any such certification by September 30, the currently proposed date of completion,” the former president’s attorneys said.
The judge said that “[s]hould any additional matters surface during the Special Master’s review process that requires reconsideration of the Inventory or the need to object to its contents, the parties shall make those matters known to the Special Master for appropriate resolution and recommendation to this Court.”
The judge also said that the former president’s attorneys did not have to provide details to executive privilege claims as the special master reviews the documents.
He initially asked that the former president log documents “in categories more specific than what Cannon’s order appointing the special master had laid out,” CNN said.
“Trump objected to making the executive privilege distinction Dearie proposed. Cannon adopted other aspects of Dearie’s plan for how the documents should be categorized,” it said.
In his own filing in September, Dearie said he has “determined that the efficient administration of the Special Master’s duties requires the assistance of the Honorable James Orenstein (Ret.), a former United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of New York, who has experience with complex case management, privilege review, warrant procedures, and other matters that may arise in the course of the Special Master’s duties.”
He noted that Orenstein has served as “an appointed amicus curia in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court” and “currently holds Top Secret clearance.”
Dearie, who is charged with reviewing some 11,000 records the FBI seized from Trump, said he does not want to see classified records.
“Let’s not belittle the fact that we are dealing with at least potentially legitimately classified information. The government has a very strong obligation, as all of us, to see to that information doesn’t get in the wrong hands,” said U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie during a federal court hearing.
“It’s not just a matter, it seems to me, of being cleared. It is a matter of need to know. And if you need to know, you will know,” said Dearie. “That’s the way I see it. If I can make my judgments without—I don’t want to see the material—it’s presumably sensitive material. If I can make my recommendation to Judge Cannon, right or wrong, without exposing myself or you to that material, I will do it. On the other hand, if I can’t, we have to take another alternative.”