Documents seized by the FBI at Mar-a-Lago
Source: Ministry of Justice
The Justice Department on Thursday appealed a federal judge’s decision to allow a special master to examine documents the FBI seized from the former president’s Florida residence. donald trump.
The Justice Department also asked Judge Aileen Cannon to suspend her related order preventing the government from further examining documents marked classified that were found during last month’s search of Mar-a-Lago, the residence Trump’s Palm Beach resort.
The measures came three days after Cannon approved Trump’s request for a special master to sift through seized documents to identify personal items and records protected by attorney-client or executive privilege.
The DOJ had opposed the request, saying a team of agency officials had already conducted a privileged review of the documents and that a special master could harm the government’s national security interests.
In another court filing on Thursday, the DOJ asked Cannon to make public an opinion on the status of that team’s filter review process, which was filed under seal Aug. 30.
The “broad features” of the filter notice have already been made public, as the government outlined the review team’s process during a court hearing last week, the DOJ said in the filing. . But Trump’s attorneys object to the filter notice being unsealed, even though they have offered no redactions to the document and identified “no basis for asserting privilege,” the DOJ said.
The FBI seized more than 10,000 government documents during a raid on Mar-a-Lago on August 8. Many of these documents bore classification marks, including dozens of folders that were empty when they were picked up by the FBI.
Cannon, who was nominated by Trump, wrote in her ruling Monday in the U.S. District of South Florida that “the country is best served by an orderly process that promotes self-interest and the perception of fairness.”
The DOJ’s appeal was filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which has appellate jurisdiction over Florida district court cases.
The Justice Department also asked Cannon to suspend its order that bars the agency from reviewing and using documents seized with classification marks for criminal investigation purposes, pending appeal. Last week, the department revealed that the FBI 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 as it applies to classified documents, which represent a fraction of the documents found at Mar-a-Lago.
Trump “does not and cannot assert that he owns or has a right of possession to classified documents; that he has a right to the return of such government documents; or that he can assert any plausible claim of attorney-client privilege in those records that would prevent the government from reviewing or using them,” the DOJ wrote.