Special master orders Trump team to prove claims that FBI planted evidence at Mar-a-Lago

The special master reviewing the records seized from Mar-a-Lago ordered former President Donald Trump’s lawyers to prove public claims that federal agents planted evidence at the Florida estate during the search.

United States District Judge Raymond Dearie said in a court filing on Sept. 22 that Trump’s legal team must submit a declaration or affidavit of any issues they have with the Justice Department’s detailed inventory of materials taken from Mar-a-Lago during the Aug. 8 search.

The declaration must include “a list of any specific items set forth in the Detailed Property Inventory that Plaintiff asserts were not seized from the Premises on August 8, 2022,” Dearie wrote.

Dearie set a Sept. 30 deadline for Trump’s team to submit the declaration.

Dearie also asked the Justice Department to submit declarations attesting to key facts regarding the search.

The order comes after Trump publicly claimed, without providing proof, that Federal Bureau of Investigation agents planted evidence at Mar-a-Lago during the search.

On Sept. 21, Trump asked Fox News‘ Sean Hannity, “Did they drop anything into those piles or did they do it later?”

Hannity asked Trump if there was footage but Trump replied, “Nah, I don’t think so.”

On his Truth Social platform two days after the search, Trump said, “Everyone was asked to leave the premises, they wanted to be alone without any witnesses to see what they were doing, taking or, hopefully not, ‘planting.'”

The order also came two days after Dearie held his first in-person hearing with Trump’s lawyers and federal prosecutors.

At the Sept. 20 hearing, Dearie pushed back against Trump’s team after they failed to provide evidence that Trump had declassified all the documents taken from Mar-a-Lago.

“You can’t have your cake and eat it,” Dearie said.

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