Judge Agrees to Name Special Master to Examine Materials Seized From Giuliani

May 28, 2021 Updated: May 28, 2021

A federal judge on Friday agreed to a prosecutorial request to name a special master in a case against former President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani.

U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken, an Obama nominee, also denied requests from Giuliani and another lawyer, Victoria Toensing, from whom materials were seized to return the materials to them for review.

Prosecutors earlier this month asked Oetken to appoint a special master, or an outside party, to review the seized materials to filter out any that are potentially privileged. They cited the case against former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, which saw a judge appoint a special master to ensure the “perception of fairness.”

“The Court agrees that the appointment of a special master is warranted here to ensure the perception of fairness,” Oetken wrote in the new order (pdf).

“The special master will expeditiously conduct a filter review of the April 2021 warrant materials for potentially privileged documents, and that review can be informed by Giuliani’s and Toensing’s parallel review of the same materials. The Government’s investigative team will thereafter conduct a responsiveness review of the released materials,” he added.

The judge said he was denying requests from Giuliani and Toensing to first review the materials because he believes their position lacks legal support.

Giuliani’s apartment was raided in April. He and his lawyer have said Giuliani was served with a search warrant indicating federal authorities are investigating whether Giuliani failed to register as a foreign agent.

The Department of Justice has declined to comment on the matter.

Giuliani has said he is innocent and accused the probe of being politically motivated.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
Follow Zachary on Parler: @zackstieber