Former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago SEARCH DEEMED Unconstitutional – Judge Disagrees


The attorneys of former President Trump argued that the August 2022 Mar-a-Lago property search was conducted without probable cause and an unconstitutional violation of rights against the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, while federal prosecutors called the defense claims a “conspiracy theory.”

Last Tuesday, Trump’s legal team and federal prosecutors appeared in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida before Judge Aileen Cannon.

Cannon initially took a closed-door hearing on Trump’s “Motion for Relief pertaining to the Mar-a-Lago Raid and Unlawful Piercing of Attorney-Client Privilege” because he said it dealt the secret work federal grand juries do, as well as materials covered by attorney-client privilege or work product protection.

Cannon later reopened the hearing to the public and press, with an examination of the legality of the fed raid on Mar-a-Lago.

Lawyer for President Trump Emil Bove said the search was too broad, citing Mar-a-Lago is a 58-bedroom and 33-bathroom property, adding that the federal government would need probable cause to search the whole place.

Cannon was skeptical, and asked Bove: “What do you mean? It’s a property.”

Bove said FBI agents took photos of rooms they were not authorized to enter, including the first lady’s bedroom, the gym, and Barron Trump’s room.

Cannon fired back: “You can agree though, paperwork is a thing you could find anywhere,” indicating that classified documents could have been found anywhere.

Bove contended that the government also failed to do a full background check on the FBI agents who conducted the raid.

The Trump legal team frequently demanded that Cannon hold a “Franks hearing” on the use of evidence collected pursuant to the search warrant, declaring it to be faulty because the magistrate judge who authorized the warrant was allegedly duped. She said she would take the motion under advisement, but Cannon appeared skeptical.

The case was referred for criminal charges by the classified records investigation to Special Counsel Jack Smith, who was in court.

U.S. Attorney David Harbach, arguing on behalf of the special counsel’s team, said that the defense must “substantially allege” that the documentation presented to the magistrate judge contained false statements made intentionally or with reckless disregard for the truth. He said that Trump’s team was “far behind” in its filings.

Cannon asked about the charge that the FBI is divided over whether to inform Trump of the search before taking such a step and bargaining conditions on which documents will change hands.

“Would that have made a difference?” Cannon asked.

Harbach replied, “Definitely not,” and added that was not something that the magistrate judge would have considered in connection with probable cause. Harbach also called that argument from the Trump team a “conspiracy theory.”

Harbach said the defense team did not meet their burden of proof for this motion and argued they should not be allowed to trigger an additional evidentiary hearing. They hoped to be able to bring in FBI agents to ask about their “mental state” on the day of the Mar-a-Lago raid.

Trump’s attorneys expressed concerns about the confiscation of additional records in the raid that go beyond personal files, including medical and tax documents.

Cannon asked why a medical record “would need to be seized?” 

Harbach answered that was because the warrant “authorized the seizure of the box… the boxes contained all kinds of things.”

Harbach also said the FBI acted properly in the raid and that there was no “rummaging” by agents.

During his closing argument, Bove again called on Cannon to set a hearing into issues surrounding the search warrant and its service. Bove pointed to Harbach, who said that there was no rummaging.

“Your challenge is a particularity challenge,” Cannon said. “I don’t see what else should have been [in the attachments given to the magistrate judge.]” 

Harbach complained that Trump’s lawyers were trying to “hijack the hearing,” but Cannon countered there was no hijacking. After Harbach tried to make what he indicated was a “factual point about the tactics of the defense,” Cannon said abruptly, “I’ll take it under advisement.

The hearing comes after Cannon postponed Trump’s trial due to the “myriad and interconnected pre-trial” issues “remaining and forthcoming.” She said it would be “imprudent and inconsistent with the Court’s duty to fully and fairly consider the various pending pre-trial motions.”

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