This undated file photo released by the US Department of Justice on August 31, 2022 shows documents allegedly seized at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, spread out on a rug. Copyright US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE/AFP/File Handout
The U.S. Department of Justice on Friday partially appealed a judge’s decision to suspend examination of seized documents from former President Donald Trump’s estate in Florida, asking for further investigation of those materials marked as classified.
Since last week, federal investigators have been barred from viewing thousands of documents seized by the FBI from Trump’s seaside mansion after a judge sided with the former president and decided to appoint an independent arbitrator to sort the files.
The Justice Department, in a Friday night filing, argued that Judge Eileen Cannon “utterly erred in appointing a special master and granting an injunction,” but will limit its appeal to only “approximately 100 class-marked records” seized from Trump’s property. .
The delay in reviewing classified documents that are said to be state property “impedes the government’s efforts to protect national security,” the Justice Department said.
“It also irreparably harms the government by prescribing critical steps in an ongoing criminal investigation and unnecessarily forcing the release of critical documents, including the plaintiff’s attorney,” the statement said, citing Trump’s lawyers.
Trump is facing mounting legal pressure as the Justice Department said the top-secret documents were “probably withheld” to thwart an FBI investigation into his potential mishandling of classified material.
He denies all wrongdoing and says the raid on his mansion was “one of the most egregious attacks on democracy in our nation’s history,” making it a major talking point at his political rallies.
The appeal will first be heard by a panel of three judges for the 11th Circuit, but could eventually go to the Supreme Court.
On Thursday, Judge Cannon appointed Raymond Deary to review the files as a so-called special master.
The 78-year-old senior federal judge in New York was one of two people proposed by Trump’s legal team.
On Friday, Dirie ordered Trump’s lawyers and a Justice Department adviser to meet with him in New York early next week.
Items on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting must be submitted by either side before business closes on Monday, Dear ordered.
In addition to the paperwork investigation, Trump faces a New York investigation of his business practices, as well as a legal review of his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results and the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol by his supporters. .