Judge Cannon approved the appointment of a special master and enjoined DOJ “from further review and use of any of the materials” seized at Mar-a-Lago until the special master releases them. The order allows the government to “continue to review and use the materials seized for purposes of intelligence classification and national security assessments.” The parties are ordered to submit a joint filing that identifies special master candidates and outlines the duties and procedures to be followed.
The order contains an interesting detail:
On May 11, 2022, during the period of ongoing communications between Plaintiff and NARA, and before DOJ received the Fifteen Boxes, DOJ “obtained a grand jury subpoena, for which Plaintiff’s counsel accepted service”. The subpoena was directed to the “Custodian of Records [for] [t]he Office of Donald J. Trump” and requested “[a]ny and all documents or writings in the custody or control of Donald J. Trump and/or the Office of Donald J. Trump bearing classification markings”. [Citations removed.]
Some have alleged that the Trump attorney who accepted service of that subpoena lied when he signed a statement attesting that all documents the subpoena requested had been turned over. But notice that the custodian of records for the Office of Donald J. Trump can only represent the “Office of” and not the person of Trump. In that case, the custodian’s attestation may not have been a lie at all.
I’m not saying there is a weakness in the government’s case. Rather, we should be careful in our assumptions about it. It still remains to be seen, or even alleged, that Trump did something wrong.