An independent expert, federal magistrate, is now responsible for reviewing the thousands of documents seized in early August from Donald Trump's home, a judge ruled on Thursday, also confirming a decision limiting their access by the investigators.
The Republican billionaire had asked the courts to appoint an independent third party to examine the papers seized during the August 8 search, spectacular and unprecedented for a former president.
The federal investigators behind this police operation suspect Mr. Trump of having kept top secret documents at his home.
On Monday, the US Department of Justice said it accepted one of the names proposed by Mr. Trump's lawyers, and Florida Judge Aileen Cannon confirmed the name of this independent expert on Thursday evening.
It is Raymond Dearie, 78, a partially retired New York federal judge.
He is now responsible for determining whether certain documents seized could be returned to Mr. Trump or be classified as “confidential — and would therefore not be usable in investigations targeting him.
Ms. Cannon, whom Mr. Trump himself nominated in 2020, also upheld a previous ruling challenged by the Justice Department on Thursday.
She had, last week, blocked the use of all the documents seized during the search as long as the independent expert had not ruled. The ministry asked to be able to access at least some of them, a hundred, classified.
The judge rejected this request on Thursday.
On August 8, the FBI had raided Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump's residence in Florida, and seized boxes of confidential documents that the Republican had not returned after leaving the White House, despite multiple requests.
< p>Federal investigators suspect the Republican of having thus violated an American law on espionage which very strictly regulates the possession of confidential documents. Donald Trump assured that these documents had been declassified.
Donald Trump, who openly plans to run for president in 2024, has since stormed against a search that he considers “illegal and unconstitutional” and repeats having been targeted for political reasons.