Documents seized by the FBI from Mar-a-Lago
Source: Ministry of Justice
The Justice Department on Thursday appealed a federal judge’s decision to authorize a special master to review documents seized by the FBI from former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence.
The Justice Department also asked Judge Aileen Cannon to stay her related order, which bars the government from further reviewing classified documents found in last month’s search of Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Palm Beach resort .
The moves came three days after Cannon approved Trump’s request for a special foreman to sift through the seized materials to identify personal items and records protected by attorney-client privilege or executive privilege.
The DOJ opposed the request, saying it had already completed a privileged review of the documents and that a special master could harm the government’s national security interests.
The FBI seized more than 10,000 government records when it searched Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 8. Many of these documents bore classification marks, including dozens of folders that were empty when picked up by the FBI.
Cannon, who was appointed by Trump, wrote in her ruling Monday in the US District of South Florida that “the country is best served with an orderly process that encourages interest and perceptions of fairness.”
The DOJ’s appeal was filed with the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which has appellate jurisdiction over Florida district court cases.
The DOJ also asked Cannon to stay its order barring the agency from further reviewing and using the seized classified documents for criminal investigative purposes pending appeal. Last week, the department announced that the FBI had seized more than 100 classified documents during the raid.
The DOJ said in Thursday’s filing that it is likely to succeed in its appeal given the classified records, which represent a fraction of the documents found at Mar-a-Lago.
Trump “does not and could not claim that he possesses or possesses classified records, that he has a right to have those government records returned to him, or that he can make plausible claims of attorney-client records preventing the government from doing so would review or use them,” the DOJ wrote.
This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.