DOJ Backs Releasing Full List of Trump Documents Taken From Mar-a-Lago

The Department of Justice (DOJ) did not object the release of an unredacted version of a more detailed list of the items seized during the FBI's Mar-a-Lago search during a Thursday hearing in Palm Beach.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon had ordered the federal government to file the full inventory list under seal this week, asking the DOJ to provide more detail about the property seized than what was included on the search receipt that has already been made public.

Given the chance to object to the release of the detailed list, neither the DOJ nor Trump's legal team raised issue with unsealing the inventory document.

Former Prosecutor Andrew Weissman initially reported that Trump's lawyers had objected to the unsealing of the property list from the August 8 raid. However, Trump actually objected to the release of an interim report from the DOJ's "filter team" on its progress in sorting out which materials would be privileged from federal investigators.

The DOJ had already signaled its support for the release of the more comprehensive receipt in its court filing earlier this week, saying it would not oppose the court releasing it.

Trump Special Master Mar-a-Lago
Former President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference on August 6, 2022, in Dallas, Texas. Trump's lawyers reversed course during Thursday's hearing, opposing the unsealing of a more detailed list of the items seized during the FBI Mar-a-Lago search. Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Thursday's hearing marked the first time Trump's lawyers appeared in court for a proceeding related to the Mar-a-Lago search. While the hearing was not open to the public, several reporters were present in the Florida courtroom.

The debate over whether Trump should be granted his request for a special master in the Mar-a-Lago matter is expected to reach a conclusion now that both sides have delivered their arguments to Cannon.

On Thursday, Cannon held a closed-door hearing to consider Trump's bid for an outsider to be assigned over the review of documents seized. The judge did not make a ruling from the bench. It is unclear when her written order will come.

Cannon previously signaled her "preliminary intent" to grant the request for a special master last weekend, although the DOJ has since argued in a lengthy filing that it had already used a filter team over the evidence.

In its Tuesday court filing, the DOJ wrote that a special master would be "unnecessary" and argued that appointing one "would significantly harm important governmental interests, including national security interests."

In response to the federal government, Trump's team maintained there was no "cause for alarm" and that the DOJ "significantly mischaracterized" previous meetings between Trump attorneys and prosecutors over the handling of presidential records.

During Thursday's hearing, Cannon said she would consider allowing the U.S. intelligence community to review the Mar-a-Lago documents if she decides to appoint a special master to weed through the materials first. However, that carveout would not extend to the DOJ as Cannon added that under those circumstances, she would consider temporarily blocking the DOJ from accessing those documents until the special master's review is complete.

Correction 9/2/22, 11:21 a.m. ET: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that Trump's team opposed the more detailed inventory list being publicized. The headline has been updated to reflect the error.