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Trump seeks to temporarily block FBI from reviewing items seized from Florida home

Trump seeks to temporarily block FBI from reviewing items seized from Florida home
August 23, 2022 Web Desk

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former President Donald Trump on Monday asked a federal court to temporarily block the FBI from reviewing the materials it seized two weeks ago from his Florida home, until a special master can be appointed to oversee the review.

Trump's motion, filed in federal court in West Palm Beach, Florida, also demanded that the US Justice Department provide him a more detailed property receipt outlining items the FBI seized from his Mar-a-Lago home during its Aug. 8 search, and asked investigators to return any items outside the scope of the search warrant.

"Politics cannot be allowed to impact the administration of justice," the filing says. "Law enforcement is a shield that protects Americans. It cannot be used as a weapon for political purposes," it added.

A special master can sometimes be appointed in highly sensitive cases to go through seized materials and ensure that investigators do not review privileged information.

When FBI agents had searched the homes of Trump's former lawyers Michael Cohen and Rudy Giuliani the US Attorney's office in Manhattan requested the appointment of a special master.

Trump's request was assigned to US District Judge Aileen M. Cannon, whom Trump appointed to the bench. A Justice Department spokesman said prosecutors would file their response in court.

“The Aug. 8 search warrant at Mar-a-Lago was authorized by a federal court upon the required finding of probable cause," Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said.

Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, of US District Court in West Palm Beach and who approved the warrant, is weighing whether to require the Justice Department to release a redacted copy of the affidavit laying out evidence for probable cause to search Trump's home.

The Justice Department at a court hearing last week opposed the affidavit's release, saying it would provide a "roadmap" of its investigation and possibly chill witness cooperation.