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Donald Trump asks judge to review ‘shockingly aggressive’ Mar-a-Lago search

The former president's motion filed Monday asks a judge to appoint a special master to review the materials seized by the government.
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WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump asked a judge Monday to order the appointment of a special master to oversee the handling of the documents seized in the search of his Mar-a-Lago estate two weeks ago.

The court filing also asks the judge to require the Justice Department to return materials not covered by the scope of the search warrant, which Trump's team refers to as "overbroad." The filing also calls the Justice Department's decision to search the estate in Palm Beach, Florida, on Aug. 8 a "shockingly aggressive move."

The federal magistrate judge who signed off on the search reiterated earlier Monday that there was "probable cause that evidence of multiple federal crimes would be found" at the estate and doubled down on his decision to authorize the search.

“Having carefully reviewed the Affidavit before signing the Warrant, I was — and am — satisfied that the facts sworn by the affiant are reliable,” wrote Judge Bruce Reinhart of the Southern District of Florida.

Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said Monday that the U.S. would respond to Trump's allegations through the legal process.

"The Aug. 8 search warrant at Mar-a-Lago was authorized by a federal court upon the required finding of probable cause," he said. "The department is aware of this evening’s motion. The United States will file its response in court."

Trump's filing Monday also included a message that Trump had his lawyer relay to a top Justice Department lawyer on Aug. 11, just days after the search.

"President Trump wants the Attorney General to know that he has been hearing from people all over the county about the raid. If there was one word to describe their mood, it is 'angry.' The heat is building up. The pressure is building up. Whatever I can do to take the heat down, to bring the pressure down, just let us know," the message said, according to the filing.

Hours after the phone call, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced at a news conference that the Justice Department had sought to unseal some of the search warrant materials.

Trump's court filing criticizes Garland over what it refers to as a "hastily prepared press conference," calling it "an ill-founded reaction to the public outcry" over the search.

The court filing suggests that Trump's rights under the Fourth Amendment were at issue.

"Law enforcement is a shield that protects Americans. It cannot be used as a weapon for political purposes," the motion states. "Therefore, we seek judicial assistance in the aftermath of an unprecedented and unnecessary raid on President Trump's home at Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Florida.”

Read the court filing below: