The Lawfare Podcast: About That Special Master Ruling

By Jen Patja Howell
Wednesday, September 7, 2022, 5:01 AM

Monday afternoon, a federal judge in Florida acceded to Donald Trump's motion to appoint a special master to review privilege claims arising out of the Mar-a-Lago search. The ruling was not a particular surprise given that the judge had foreshadowed that it was coming, but it shocked observers nonetheless on a number of different bases. The decision raised questions of how it would affect the Justice Department's ongoing investigation of document retention at Mar-a-Lago. Would the department appeal, would it seek a stay, and who could possibly serve as special master for such a task?

Lawfare editor-in-chief Benjamin Wittes sat down before a live audience on Twitter Spaces with Lawfare executive editor Natalie Orpett, Lawfare contributing editor Jonathan Shaub, and Lawfare student contributor Anna Bower, who attended the hearing. They talked about whether the opinion is quite as outlandish as many commentators seem to think, about how the Justice Department would likely respond, and whether it could just let it stand. They also nominated their picks for special master and took questions from the audience.