Among the items the FBI seized at Mar-a-Lago were pardon applications, health records, IRS forms and paperwork that appears to be related to the 2020 election, according to a Justice Department list released this week.
The collection also included apparent communications about former President Donald Trump’s business dealings, including what is described as a confidential settlement agreement between the PGA and Trump Golf, as well as an email accepting Trump’s resignation from SAG, or the Screen Actors Guild.
Full details of the documents are not available, but collectively, the newly public list provides a glimpse into a handful of the thousands of documents Trump kept at his Florida residence and resort after his presidency and that the FBI removed from the beach compound.
On Tuesday evening, Bloomberg News made the list public by posting the court transcript of it online. The news outlet reported that the list was briefly – and apparently inadvertently – sent to the public court.
The list was created by a “Privilege Review Team” used by the Justice Department to filter out materials seized at Mar-a-Lago.
In all, the list identified 64 sets of materials, or about 520 pages, that the Justice Department’s privileged reviewers believed might need to be filtered from the investigation and kept private.
In the listed items, which appear to relate to the 2020 election, the team filtered out emails from a Republican lawyer to the White House regarding a lawsuit in Georgia, as well as a sticky note that said “Joe Digernova Appoint a Special Counsel” [sic],” a possible reference to Joe diGenova, a lawyer assisting Trump in efforts to cast doubt on the 2020 election results.
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, businessman Ted Suhl and several people identified only by initials are named in the document listing the then-president’s clemency considerations.
Several other records on the list related to legal work for Trump, lawsuits and other legal disputes.
The privilege review team was the first bulwark the DOJ put in place to avoid violating attorney-client or presidential privileges, but a federal judge has now appointed a third-party “special master” to review the documents again with the DOJ and Trump’s team.
The team’s list published by Bloomberg News was submitted to a federal court, marked sealed and stamped for authenticity. A shorter portion of the record is still publicly available, but does not include the inventory list.
Previously, the DOJ had written in its public records that the privilege review team recused itself from investigators’ access: an email between an Air Force Academy baseball coach and the White House; a box of documents which contained a paper containing a law firm’s letterhead “with newspapers”; what appeared to be pages of “The President’s Call”; and a message from a “Rudy,” probably attorney Rudy Giuliani, which did not appear to be legal advice.
A spokesman for the Justice Department, which submitted the full document to the court on Aug. 30, did not immediately have a comment.
Also this week in the Mar-a-Lago document review process, the Justice Department announced Wednesday in a court filing that it and Trump’s team had contracted with third-party vendors to host the thousands of pages of documents seized, so the special master and the Trump team could review them electronically.
This was an expected part of the special master review process, in which Trump’s team may try to argue to a third-party appointee that some records should not be available to Justice Department investigators because they are confidential.
The special master’s work continues even as the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals considers a DOJ challenge to the special master altogether.