A US judge ordered on Monday that the documents confiscated by the FBI in August from ex-President Donald Trump’s private property be examined by an independent expert.
The documents confiscated by the US federal police FBI in the private residence of ex-President Donald Trump are to be checked by an independent expert. US Judge Aileen Cannon issued a written order Monday that an expert be appointed “to review the seized material” and to investigate “requests for its return.” In doing so, Cannon granted the former President’s request.
The judge’s order is a setback for prosecutors who denied Trump’s request. Due to Cannon’s decision, investigators are initially unable to examine the materials confiscated from Trump.
According to the US Department of Justice — which is also the top law enforcement agency — in the Aug. 8 raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, Florida, home, 18 documents were classified as “top secret,” 53 documents classified as “secret,” and 31 documents classified as “confidential” seized. Seven of the top secret documents, 17 of the secret documents and three of the confidential documents were in Trump’s office.
Trump is suspected of violating an espionage law. It contains strict guidelines for the retention of national security documents. US Presidents are required to hand over all official documents, including emails and letters, to the National Archives upon leaving office.
The raid on Trump has led to a fierce political dispute in the USA. Trump repeatedly described the search of his villa as politically motivated. He accuses President Joe Biden’s Democrats of using the judiciary to prevent him from running for president again in 2024.