The seized materials “include medical documents, correspondence related to taxes, and accounting information,” U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee, wrote in the filing, citing a document filed under seal by the U.S. government’s team in charge of shielding potentially privileged records from investigators.
That document has still not been made public.
There had been no prior indication that the seized documents included medical and financial records.
U.S. officials have acknowledged that agents took thousands of non-classified documents from Trump when serving the search warrant on Aug. 8, as well as dozens of books, clothing, gifts, magazines, and passports. Trump has said the agents rummaged through the closets of his wife, former First Lady Melania Trump.
“Certain personal effects were commingled with classified material in the Seized Evidence, and they remain in the custody of the United States because of their evidentiary value,” prosecutors wrote in an Aug. 30 filing. “Personal effects without evidentiary value will be returned.”
There are ongoing disputes as to the evidentiary value of some personal effects, according to Cannon.
The warrant authorized by U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart gave agents the ability to seize any documents with classification markings and any containers in which the documents were located, as well as “any other containers/boxes that are collectively stored or found together with the aforementioned documents and containers/boxes.”
It also enabled agents to seize information “regarding the retrieval, storage, or transmission of national defense information or classified material,” any government and/or presidential records created during Trump’s presidency, and any evidence of “the knowing alteration, destruction, or concealment of any government and/or Presidential Records, or of any documents with classification markings.”
U.S. officials have also said they seized potentially privileged materials, with the Department of Justice filter team laying aside some 520 pages of such documents.
Personal Property Seizure Supports Special Master Ruling
Cannon made the new disclosure in an order granting Trump’s motion to appoint an independent third party called a special master to review the records seized from Mar-a-Lago.
The seizure of personal property means Trump has an individual interest in the seized materials, Cannon said, adding that he is also at risk of irreparable injury absent a special master appointment.
“In addition to being deprived of potentially significant personal documents, which alone creates a real harm, Plaintiff faces an unquantifiable potential harm by way of improper disclosure of sensitive information to the public,” she said.
Cannon referred to the leaks regarding secret details surrounding the raid. Some news outlets have reported, citing anonymous sources, alleged details such as specific categories of records seized.
Cannon asked Jay Bratt, a top DOJ official, during a recent hearing whether he was aware of the leaks.
“Not on the part of anybody that I’m working with,” Bratt responded. “Obviously … I see the same things in the press that other people do. It’s bad. People are talking. If people on the Government’s side are talking about it, I’m not aware of anybody that we work with that has had contact with the press and certainly don’t condone it in any way.”