WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A day after a judge granted former President Donald Trump's request for a special master to review documents seized by the FBI from his Palm Beach home, legal experts are taking a closer look at what it means.
The Labor Day decision took some by surprise and now some have many questions about how this turned out the way it did and how it may affect the investigation by the Department of Justice.
"Forgetting the politics, looking purely as a legal opinion and grading it as such, I don't think anybody could be impressed by her reasoning," Nova Southeastern University law professor Bob Jarvis told WPTV Tuesday. "If you were grading this, if this was a first-year law school exam and you were grading it, you'd give it an F."
Jarvis and other law experts said it appears that the U.S. Justice Department has a few grounds to appeal the decision, which some suggest could not only slow down the investigation into top secret documents at Mar-a-Lago but might also derail it.
"[Judge Aileen Cannon] keeps talking in the opinion about the reputational damage to Trump, of course any criminal defendant can now make the same argument any kind of investigation is potentially harmful to my reputation and therefore cannot take place," Jarvis said.
Others have suggested the special master could remove any of the documents seized under attorney-client privilege or even executive privilege.
But that is a long shot viewed by many people since Trump is a former president and not currently in office.
David Weinstein, a former assistant U.S. attorney in South Florida, shared his views on the case.
"I think it's a very extreme position to think that any of this material marked classified or confidential will ever be returned to the former president," Weinstein said. "I just don't see that happening."
So, who will be the special master?
At least two South Florida names are being mentioned: retired Southern District of Florida judges Ursula Ungaro and John O'Sullivan. Experts said the search warrant drama and legal struggle are far from over.
"The Department of Justice is certainly entitled to make an appeal," Weinstein said. "I believe they will take an appeal. There are a number of grounds they can assert on the appeal."
The DOJ, along with Trump's attorneys, have been told to get together to consider a list of candidates for the special master.
Both sides have until Friday to nominate their candidates for the position.