Judiciary Appeals Judge’s Ruling on Confidential Materials in Mar-a-Lago Case

The Justice Department on Friday night asked a federal appeals court to overturn parts of a judge’s order appointing a special chief to review documents seized from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home and club, saying Some of these provisions hamper key national security investigations.

The appeals court filing comes a day after U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon appointed another federal judge, Raymond J. Dearie, to serve as special director and to review nearly 11,000 documents seized by the FBI on Aug. 8. 8 Search.

The new DOJ filing states that it disagreed with the decision, but is now asking the appeals court to mediate two parts of Cannon’s ruling — one that prohibits criminal investigators from using seized material while working on special supervisors, and the other that allows special masters Review of approximately 100 classified documents as well as unclassified material seized.

The government document called for a moratorium on “only those parts of the order that cause the most serious and immediate harm to the government and the public,” saying the scope of their request was “modest but critical.”

It’s unclear how long a special trial or appeal might take, but the new filing asks the appeals court to rule on their stay request “as soon as possible.”

Cannon asked Dearie to complete the review by November. 30. She said he should give priority to classifying classified documents, although she did not provide a timetable as to when that part would have to be completed.

The Justice Department in a previously filed court filing asked for the review to be completed by October. 17. Trump’s lawyers have said that a special guru would take 90 days to complete the review.

Derie, 78, was nominated to the bench by President Ronald Reagan (right) after serving as a U.S. attorney. Lawyers and colleagues in Brooklyn federal court described him as a model jurist well-suited for the job of a special guru, having previously served in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees sensitive national security cases.

The appeals court filing also argues that the premise of Cannon’s order, as it pertains to classified material, makes little sense because classified documents are by definition the property of the government, not the former president or private clubs.

Trump “has not requested the return of these records belonging to the government and confiscated in court-authorized searches. These records are not subject to any possible claims of individual attorney-client privilege,” prosecutors wrote, adding that Trump Not citing any legal authority “suggests that a former president could successfully invoke executive privilege to prevent the executive branch from reviewing his own records.”

The Justice Department argues that Cannon instructing intelligence officers to continue risk assessments in the Mar-a-Lago case while criminal investigators cannot use the same material in their work is highly impractical because of the two tasks” inseparable”.

If the court later disagreed with how investigators disaggregated their previously integrated criminal investigation and national security activities, the order “obstructed the investigation and placed the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) in contempt of Damoclin by threatening to hold the FBI and DOJ in contempt,” the document said. under”. It has also done irreparable harm to the government “by barring key steps in an ongoing criminal investigation and unnecessarily mandating the disclosure of highly sensitive records, including to” Trump’s lawyers.

Prosecutors also said the judge’s restrictions on further investigations made it impossible for them to determine whether there were any other classified documents to be found — which could pose an ongoing national security risk — making it harder for the FBI to determine whether, the appeals document said. Someone accessed the files they did recover.

“The court’s injunction restricts the FBI … from using seized records in its criminal investigation tools to assess which records, if any, were actually disclosed, to whom, and under what circumstances,” the new filing said.

Similar arguments haven’t swayed Cannon, who has repeatedly cast doubt on the Justice Department’s claims, even on the question of whether the roughly 100 documents at the heart of the case are classified. In Thursday’s ruling, she rejected arguments that her decision would do serious damage to the national security investigation. Fair application of the rules of law “does not require unquestioned trust in the Justice Department’s decisions,” the judge wrote.

Days after Trump’s failed re-election bid, U.S. Senate-confirmed Trump appointee Cannon added that she remains “firm” that the appointment of a special guru and the use of the documents to issue a temporary injunction to the Justice Department, It is to maintain “at least the surface fairness and integrity in an unprecedented situation”.

The Justice Department is investigating Trump and his advisers for possible mishandling of classified information and the hiding or destruction of government records — an incident that began last year when the National Archives and Records Administration became concerned about some items and documents belonging to the president’s records , so government property is instead owned by Trump at his Florida club.

After months of discussions, Trump aides turned over about 15 boxes of material to the archives, and a review of the boxes uncovered what officials said were 184 classified documents, including some top secret.

Subpoenas were issued in May for the return of all documents marked classified, following a criminal investigation by the FBI and the Justice Department. In response, a lawyer for Trump turned over another 38 classified documents, and another Trump aide signed a document claiming they had conducted a serious search for any remaining sensitive documents, prosecutors said. .

“The FBI found evidence that the response to the grand jury subpoena was incomplete, that classified documents may remain at Mar-a-Lago, and steps may have been taken to obstruct the investigation,” the document said in describing its decision to obtain a court order to search Mar-a-Lago.

The search uncovered more than 100 classified documents, including some of the highest-ranking ones, officials said.

Two weeks after that search, Trump’s lawyers filed court documents calling for the appointment of a special director to review the seized material and to set aside any documents covered by attorney-client or executive privilege.

Executive privilege is a loosely defined legal concept designed to protect the privacy of presidential communications from other branches of government, but in this case Trump’s legal team suggested that former presidents could invoke it against the current executive branch.

The administration’s appeal arguments also seek to overturn claims that Trump may have declassified the materials during his presidency, noting that his legal team never claimed he did so at any point during the long months of negotiations to return the documents, and Because the raid is just a hint that he may or may have decrypted them.

In accepting this reasoning, Justice Cannon “wrongly granted special relief based on unproven possibility,” attorneys for the Justice Department wrote.

Judge names fellow judge Dirie as special director in Trump’s Mar-a-Lago case

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