Former President Donald Trump’s lawsuit against the government over papers and other items taken in an FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago is being handled by a judge who was appointed by him.
Trump’s legal team must provide more information on the “specific remedies” he is pursuing in the lawsuit, according to an order from U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon of the Southern District of Florida, which was issued on Tuesday. According to Politico, the judge also inquires about Trump’s belief that her court should be the appropriate site for the lawsuit.
Trump nominated the judge overseeing his legal lawsuit in May 2020. In November of the same year, she was confirmed to the bench by the Senate on a vote of 56 to 21. Cannon served from 2013 until 2020 as an assistant US attorney for the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, prior to being nominated.
Trump filed a lawsuit against the federal government on Monday, asking the court to appoint a special master to supervise the FBI audit of the Mar-a-Lago items confiscated. The complaint demanded the immediate return of any goods seized that were beyond the purview of the search warrant as well as a comprehensive inventory of the objects taken. Trump’s passports were mistakenly taken during the raid, the FBI has confessed.
In his ruling from Tuesday, Cannon questioned Trump’s defense counsel over five different facets of the lawsuit. Trump’s staff has until Friday to reply, according to the court.
On the morning of August 8, when Trump was in New York, around twenty FBI officers showed up to Mar-a-Lago. Having obtained a search order from U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, the agents presented it. Reinhart worked as a federal prosecutor before being appointed to the federal bench and he represented Jeffrey Epstein’s workers in court as their defense counsel.
Critics have questioned Reinhart’s capacity to be impartial due to his political contributions, which included supporting Republican Jeb Bush during his 2016 presidential campaign and former President Barack Obama in 2008. He also withdrew earlier this year from a RICO case Trump brought against the Democratic National Committee, Hillary Clinton, and others.
Reinhart did not provide a justification for his absence other than to mention Section 455 of Title 28 of the United States Code.
Reinhart instructed the Justice Department to provide a copy of the search warrant affidavit to the court on Monday with redactions for possible public publication. In response to demands from several news outlets and watchdog organizations, Reinhart issued his directive. “The Court granted a search warrant for the Premises after establishing reasonable cause that evidence of numerous federal offenses would be located at the Premises,” the judge said in the ruling, partly defending his decision to approve the search request.