Trump FBI search lawsuit: What is a special master?

The FBI says they retrieved hundreds of pages of classified material from former President Donald Trump as Trump is now filing a lawsuit in Florida calling for a special master to review what the FBI took from his Mar-a-Lago residence earlier this month.

In a letter released late Monday night written by the National Archives to Trump's lawyers in May, the National Archivist said they retrieved over 700 pages of classified documents from President Trump's home in January, including highly sensitive government secrets.

READ MORE: DOJ 'taint team' examining Trump Mar-a-Lago documents

That raised alarm bells that led to the executed search warrant on former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate on Aug. 8.

Now, President Trump is arguing that at least some of the documents taken are protected by executive privilege. He wants the judge to appoint a special master to review everything before it gets handed over to prosecutors. 

READ MORE: Trump files motion seeking independent review of docs seized during FBI search on Mar-a-Lago

A special master is someone appointed by the court whose singular task is to review everything that was taken during the execution of a search warrant. A special master sorts through the materials to filter out anything that might be privileged and kept out of the hands of prosecutors.

The DOJ recently asked for special masters after the FBI executed search warrants on the homes and offices of former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani. They did the same in 2018 for Michael Cohen.