The Justice Department asked the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday to prevent a third-party special chief from reviewing classified documents it seized at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, after a Trump-appointed Florida judge denied the Justice Department’s request to hold the classified material. – and postponed its investigation until November (November).
The Department of Justice asked the Court of Appeals to block the order of U.S. District Judge Elaine M. Cannon, who prevented the agency from reviewing nearly 100 classified documents while a private master reviewed them, said the matter “hampered its investigation” and would irreparably harm the government. and the public by delaying the investigation and forcing them to divulge classified material.
The Justice Department said it would appeal Cannon’s order to give a private master to review Mar-A-Lago documents if it does not back down by allowing the agency to hold onto the classified documents — which it has not.
Cannon ruled Thursday that former U.S. District Judge Raymond Deere — who appointed her as special director — would review even confidential documents, dismissing the Department of Justice’s request because the agency “presumes” that all documents are confidential and not covered by the CEO or attorney-client privilege, which it has not agreed to.
Trump’s lawyers argued that documents marked secret should not be withheld from the special master because Trump could have declassified them – but the attorneys didn’t actually say he declassified any of them, and legal experts believe Trump likely couldn’t have declassified without following him . appropriate protocols.
Cannon’s ruling on Thursday and the initial order to grant a special master – which he said failure to do could result in Trump facing “reputational damage” – was widely ridiculed by legal experts, with former federal prosecutor Andrew Wiseman calling Thursday’s ruling on Mr. MSNBC as “outrageous and stupid, frankly”.
Cannon’s order “irreparably harms the government by imposing critical steps for an ongoing criminal investigation and the needless disclosure of highly sensitive records, including [Trump’s] The Justice Department argued in its appeal.
What to watch
It remains unclear how long the Eleventh Circuit can take to rule on the case or how things will go — particularly given that the majority of judges in that court have been appointed by Trump. If Cannon’s order remains in effect, Dearie has been directed to review the documents and clear the marked material by November 30, prioritizing the classified material so that Cannon can release it to the Department of Justice earlier.
Although Cannon’s ruling on Thursday largely sided with Trump, the judge ruled that he must pay the full cost of a private master’s review, rather than splitting the costs with the Department of Justice as Trump requested.
Trump asked Cannon to appoint a special master two weeks after the FBI searched Mar-A-Lago on August 8. The research was part of an ongoing investigation at the Department of Justice into whether Trump returned more than 11,000 White House documents with him to Florida, instead. From being handed over to the National Archives, she violated federal laws regarding mishandling of government and national security documents. The Department of Justice also alleged that Trump may have obstructed the government’s investigation, as Trump’s lawyers did not turn over all confidential documents in their possession despite being called to do so, and did not follow the Department of Justice’s request to keep all documents stored in a secure storage area. . Federal prosecutors fought Trump’s request for a special master, arguing that he would hinder the investigation by delaying it and that Trump had no right to protect the documents under executive privilege from the de facto executive.
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