The special master assigned to review the documents taken during the August search of Mar-a-Lago is asking former President Trump to back up his claim that the FBI planted evidence on his Florida property.
Judge Raymond Dearie, the special master selected after being out forth by Trump, told his attorneys they would need to submit a sworn declaration that details “a list of any specific items set forth in the [FBI’s] detailed property inventory that plaintiff asserts were not seized from the premises.”
Trump made the insinuation just two days after his home was searched.
“Everyone was asked to leave the premises, they wanted to be alone,” he wrote in a post on his social media platform, “without any witnesses to see what they were doing, taking or, hopefully not, ‘planting.’”
Trump asserted as recently as Wednesday evening during an interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity that the FBI may have planted evidence during the search.
“The problem that you have is they go into rooms — they won’t let anybody near — they wouldn’t even let them in the same building. Did they drop anything on those piles? Or did they do it later?” he said.
Neither Trump nor his attorneys have supplied any evidence to back such claims.
The plan from Dearie also asked for the attorneys to list a “description of contents or location within the premises where the item was found is incorrect” as well as to break down any property they say was taken during the search but not listed among the FBI’s inventory.
The request marks the second time Dearie has asked the Trump legal team to back its claims.
A Monday filing from Trump’s team indicated Dearie had asked the former president’s lawyers to explain whether he had in fact ever declassified the intelligence records found in his home.
Earlier legal filings from Trump insinuated he may have done so but stopped short of fully making the claim.
Dearie expressed frustration during a Tuesday conference with both Trump’s team and the Justice Department.
Trump attorney James Trusty told Dearie that the former president’s lawyers were “not in the position” to explain the claim, as they would only do so in a motion to recover property if criminal charges are brought.
“Well, you did bring the lawsuit and make that claim,” Dearie responded, adding later, “You can’t have your cake and eat it.”