As a function of Plaintiff’s former position as President of the United States, the stigma associated with the subject seizure is in a league of its own. A future indictment, based to any degree on property that ought to be returned, would result in reputational harm of a decidedly different order of magnitude.
Hence, the Court takes into account the undeniably unprecedented nature of the search of a former President’s residence; Plaintiff’s inability to examine the seized materials in formulating his arguments to date; Plaintiff’s stated reliance on the customary cooperation between former and incumbent administrations regarding the ownership and exchange of documents; the power imbalance between the parties; the importance of maintaining institutional trust; and the interest in ensuring the integrity of an orderly process amidst swirling allegations of bias and media leaks.
Page 16, footnote:
True, special masters ordinarily arise in the more traditional setting of law firms and attorneys’ offices. But the Court does not see why these concerns would not apply, at least to a considerable degree, to the office and home of a former president.
As Plaintiff articulated at the hearing, the investigation and treatment of a former president is of unique interest to the general public, and the country is served best by an orderly process that promotes the interest and perception of fairness.
submitted by /u/Quidfacis_