Donald Trump’s home was searched a few weeks ago. In response, his legal team has filed a motion requesting a Special Master to review the documents removed from his home. The goal would be to return any documents not within the ambit of the search warrant. You have to love motions filed by Trump lawyers. They are heavy on political bragadacio and settling scores and short on actual legal reasoning.
For example, in this “Motion for Judicial Oversight and Additional Relief,” the lawyers point out on page one Mr. Trump’s high ratings in the polls reflecting his probable run for the presidency in 2024. It includes a full paragraph describing his home at Mar-a-Lago. Mar-a-Lago means sea to lake. The mansion extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the Intracoastal Waterway. It has this many bathrooms and even more bedrooms. This is, of course, essential information to a motion seeking appointment of a Special Master. The words of my law school professors come floating back to me, “only include the facts which directly support your argument.” What would those professors say about including specific numbers of bedrooms and bathrooms?
The appointment of Special Master do occur in the legal business. But, it is more for complicated, ongoing situations. Prison litigation, foster care lawsuits that drag on for years will often see a Special Master. But, here, Donald Trump is asking for review of documents. That review is already being conducted by a special legal team within the Department of Justice. What his motion completely lacks is any explanation why that DOJ team is not enough. It lacks legal citations to precedent explaining why a Special Master is needed.
Nefarious FBI Agents
The motion has a section titled “Argument.” That is usually the section where the advocate pulls together the facts and the law to make his/her argument. But, in this motion, the Argument includes complaining that DOJ and the FBA have a history of treating Donald Trump unfairly. “Two years of noisy ‘Russian collusion” investigations heads that list. “Biased” FBA agents. “Information laundering” by an FBI informant. This is Mr. Trump’s list. But, at some point the lawyer should insert herself and explain why all this matters. Which FBI agents committed those nefarious deeds? How did those dastardly FBI agents influence the search at Mar-a-Lago (Mar-a-Waterway?)? Actual legal argument is absent from this motion. Random complaints about random FBI agents do not an argument make. My law school professors would be very disappointed.
And, then the motion concludes with argument based on “fundamental fairness.” The final refuge of all lawyers who cannot locate actual statutory or legal support. See Donald Trump’s motion here.