Trump opposes DOJ’s offer to resume review of classified documents

Former US President Donald Trump speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas on August 6, 2022.

Brian Snyder | Reuters

Lawyers for the former president donald trump on Monday urged a federal judge to reject an attempt by the Justice Department to resume document review seized from Trump’s home while agency appeals judge’s decision appoint a special master in the case.

Judge Aileen Cannon’s order authorizing the appointment of the Special Master — an independent third party to review seized records for personal items and possibly privileged material — “is a sensible preliminary step toward restoring order from chaos. “wrote Trump’s lawyers.

“The government should therefore not be allowed to skip the process and jump straight to a pre-determined conclusion,” they argued in US District Court in South Florida.

The FBI seized thousands of government documents while raiding Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s resort residence in Palm Beach, Florida, 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.

The Justice Department argued that a special master’s degree was unnecessary because a team of agency officials had already completed a review of the documents to exclude prosecutors’ documents protected by solicitor-client privilege. . The DOJ also argued that appointing a special master could harm the government’s national security interests in the criminal investigation.

Cannon, who was appointed by Trump, last week ordered a special master to review the records before turning them over to federal prosecutors. His order also temporarily prevented the DOJ from further reviewing documents bearing classification marks.

The DOJ on Thursday appealed Cannon’s decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which has appellate jurisdiction over Florida district court cases.

On the same day, the government also asked Cannon to suspend its order prohibiting the review of classified documents during the appeals process.

On Friday, Trump and the DOJ each fielded two candidates to serve as the special master, while expressing disagreements over the scope of the review of seized records. The DOJ wants the special master to send any documents of alleged executive privilege to the National Archives and Records Administration, while Trump’s lawyers say the special master does not need to.

Trump has publicly claimed to have declassified the documents found at Mar-a-Lago. His attorneys do not directly echo that assertion in Monday’s filing, but argue that the Justice Department is wrong to assume that “if a document has a classification mark, it remains classified regardless of any action taken during the process.” term of President Trump”.

The government “has not proven that these files remain classified”, wrote the lawyers of the former president.

Some former DOJ officials and legal experts criticized Cannon’s order authorizing the special master. Trump’s former attorney general, William Barr, said last week that he considers the decision “deeply flawed in several respects” and hopes the DOJ will appeal.

Leave a Comment