Trump motion for “judicial oversight” of materials seized by FBI from Mar-a-Lago

Today former President Trump’s attorneys filed a motion on his behalf asking a federal court to impose a Special Master to oversee the FBI’s review and processing of the materials it seized at Mar-a-Lago two weeks ago. Trump is also asking for a more detailed receipt of the materials that the FBI seized, and for the FBI to return any materials outside the scope of the search warrant.

The motion is full of classic Trump hyperbole, with attacks on the FBI (even though its Director was appointed by Trump himself), claims that Trump cooperated with every request that the FBI made (despite not turning over all relevant materials when previously requested), and accusations that the FBI is known to be biased against him.

Strangely, much of Trump’s motion centers around claims that the materials are protected by attorney-client privilege or executive privilege — and thus the FBI cannot review them (thus the need for a special master, rather than rely on the FBI’s “filter team” protocol for ensuring the team investigating Trump only sees materials they are allowed to). But in so doing, he effectively admits not only the existence of such materials in the boxes that the FBI seized, but that they are, in fact, Presidential records that are the property of the government — and thus illegal for Trump to have kept.

It also seems to imply at points that Trump still believes that he is President: that he still may assert executive privilege (he may not). Also he cites the Presidential Records Act as according the President “virtually complete control over his records before his records during his term of office,” as if that would protect his right to maintain possession of presidential records today.

It also won’t serve Trump well that he waited two weeks to take legal action.

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