For days, Donald Trump noted that he intended to take legal action following the FBI’s raid of his home in Palm Beach, Florida. On Monday, his lawyers did just that and filed a Motion For Judicial Oversight And Additional Relief (“Motion”), a copy of which can be found here.
The motion primarily centers around one or more alleged violations of President Trump’s Fourth Amendment rights. As reported by the Daily Mail, Trump previously issued a series of posts on Truth Social, where he wrote, “A major motion pertaining to the Fourth Amendment will soon be filed concerning the illegal Break-In of my home, Mar-a-Lago, right before the ever-important midterm elections. My rights, together with the rights of all Americans, have been violated at a level rarely seen before in our Country.”
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution specifically states:
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Pursuant to the warrant, FBI agents were authorized to seize various items, including but limited to “Any government and/or Presidential Records created between January 20, 2017, and January 20, 2021.” However, the Fourth Amendment states that a warrant must describe the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. In this case, for example, FBI agents seized numerous items and boxes, including Trump’s passports and information protected by the attorney-client and/or executive privilege(s).
According to Fox News, during a recent episode of the Mark Levin Show, former federal prosecutor James Trusty stated:
“You know, the Fourth Amendment requires particularity. It requires narrowness to the intrusion on the person’s home. And this warrant had language in it. And keep in mind, all we’ve seen is a warrant and an inventory. But the warrant has language in it about if you find a classified document, you can take the whole box around, it and you can take any boxes near it. And that’s really the functional equivalent of a general search. There’s just no limit to that kind of scope in the warrant.”
In essence, President Trump’s lawyers argue in the motion: that the warrant and resulting search were overly broad and lacked specificity, that the raid was unwarranted due to Trump’s voluntary and continued cooperation and assistance, that the real purpose behind the warrant and raid was to look for information that could be utilized against Trump (i.e., such as the seizure of the Executive Grant of Clemency regarding Roger Stone), that the affidavits failed to disclose the “dual” purpose of the raid and/or contained possible material or intentional omissions, and that the decision to raid Mar-a-Lago “involved political calculations aimed at diminishing the leading voice in the Republican party.”
As a result, President Trump’s attorneys asked the court to appoint a Special Master to review the documents to “preserve the sanctity of executive communications and other privileged materials.” They also sought a protective order enjoining the government from reviewing the seized documents. This, of course, could be meaningless by now given the time that has passed since the raid.
Additionally, President Trump’s lawyers asked the court to direct the government to prepare and provide a specific and detailed Receipt for Property pursuant to Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 41 (f), which states, in part, “An officer present during the execution of the warrant must prepare and verify an inventory of any property seized,” and “must do so in the presence of another officer and the person from whom, or from whose premises, the property was taken,” if they are present.
Finally, they sought to return any item seized that was not within the scope of the warrant. According to Trusty, while Trump was entitled to a specific inventory of what was taken from his property, the property receipt that was publicly released was a “very vague document.”
On Monday evening, President Trump issued a statement where he said, in part:
“The wrongful, overbroad warrant was signed by a Magistrate Judge who recused himself just two months ago, from a MAJOR civil suit that I filed, because of his bias and animus toward me,” he wrote. “This Mar-a-Lago Break-In, Search, and Seizure was illegal and unconstitutional, and we are taking all actions necessary to get the documents back, which we would have given to them without the necessity of the despicable raid of my home, so that I can give them to the National Archives until they are required for the future Donald J. Trump Presidential Library and Museum.”
“I will never stop fighting for the American people, our Country, and the Rule of Law. Make America Great Again!”
While not a part of the motion, the Supreme Court in Bivens v. Six Unknown Agents (1971) held that a cause of action for damages arising from the federal agents’ Fourth Amendment violations was permissible and that proof of injury was required. President Trump’s attorneys have not made or pursued a claim of this nature.
Mr. Hakim is an attorney and columnist. His articles have been published in The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, American Thinker, and other online publications. He is also a regular guest on OANN’s Tipping Point, and has appeared on Newsmax, The Jenna Ellis Show, Steadfast and Loyal Podcast with Allen West, The Dave Weinbaum Show, and Real America’s Voice.