Trump Scores Again, Special Master is Overruled by Federal Judge

Trump is granted a reprieve on his lodging objections to the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago inventory.  Judge Aileen Cannon overruled special master Raymond Dearie’s deadline after the former president’s attorneys objected that he lacked the jurisdiction to establish it.

Former President Donald Trump is not required to comment on whether the FBI’s inventory of goods confiscated from Mar-a-Lago is correct, a federal judge said on Thursday, overruling the court-appointed special master conducting a review of the seized records.

In a formal order written by   District Judge Aileen Cannon in Florida stated that Mr. Trump is not required to file any objections to the correctness of the amended inventory released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The order nullifies a Friday deadline set by Judge Raymond Dearie, the semiretired jurist serving as special master in the case.

The special master was appointed by Judge Cannon, who can reject his recommendations. At this time, before the inspection of any of the Seized Materials, there shall be no distinct necessity on Plaintiff (Trump) to register ex-ante final objections to the correctness of Defendant’s Inventory, its descriptions, or its substance, Judge Cannon ruled.

The Court’s Appointment Order did not envisage that requirement, she continued, implying that Judge Dearie had exceeded the power she had provided him after designating him to the position.

Judge Cannon extended the time for Judge Dearie to complete his work from November 30 to December 16 in her Thursday ruling.

On September 22, Judge Dearie said that he would want Mr. Trump’s attorneys to file a “statement or affidavit” by September 30 clarifying if they think any goods mentioned on the FBI’s inventory were not confiscated from the premises.

Mr. Trump stated in television interviews in the days following the unusual August 8 search of his Florida residence that the FBI may have planted evidence during the daylong investigation.

The injunction issued by Judge Dearie effectively challenged Mr. Trump to support such allegations, which his attorneys have never stated in court.

In the September 22 ruling, Judge Dearie stated that this submission should be Plaintiff’s sole opportunity to raise any factual issues concerning the completeness and accuracy of the Detailed Property Inventory.

Mr. Trump’s attorneys protested the order, writing to Judge Dearie on September 25 that he had exceeded his power.

The Appointing Order envisioned no comparable declaration or affidavit by Plaintiff, Mr. Trump’s attorneys said. Because the Special Master’s case management plan exceeds the District Court’s grant of jurisdiction on this matter, Plaintiff must object.

The Trump attorneys said it would be impossible to make any comments without first viewing the about 100 classified papers taken at Mar-a-Lago that are now in the government’s custody.

Mr. Trump’s spokeswoman did not reply to a request for comment. The Justice Department’s spokesperson declined to comment.

Mr. Trump’s attorneys wanted a special master, and Judge Dearie was one of two candidates they recommended. Judge Dearie has rejected several of Mr. Trump’s ideas for how the review should proceed since commencing his work earlier this month but has yet to issue significant decisions.