Judge Dismisses DOJ Request To Review Classified Files, Giving Trump Two Major Victories


OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion


President Donald J. Trump has won again over the highly politicized FBI, as his legal request is bringing him vindication upon vindication by a Florida judge who appointed the promised special master to handle documents taken from his home and then dismissed the Department of Justice’s request to start reviewing classified files.

Smacking down the DOJ, instead, federal judge Aileen Cannon sided with Trump granting his request for court intervention and then appointing Trump’s choice, Senior District Judge Raymond Dearie as a ‘special master’ to review records seized by the FBI, which Trump claims were designated and de-classified when he was President.

Cannon, in her ruling, is also urging Dearie to complete his review by Nov. 30 — more than a month longer than DOJ urged.

And for the second consecutive ruling, Cannon cites “media leaks” as a basis for rejecting DOJ’s demands.

Trump’s lawyers last month asked that a third party be put in charge of reviewing the documents to weed out any that were protected by executive privilege or attorney-client privilege.

Judge Aileen Cannon released her decision on Thursday evening, showing that she rejected a government appeal and got the appointment of the special master done, choosing Dearie, a federal judge who was appointed by President Ronald Regan.

Cannon’s actions come after 11,000 government files were removed from Trump’s home in a brazen August raid of Trump’s family home in Florida.

“Trump is at the center of a legal battle over thousands of government documents found by FBI agents at his Mar-a-Lago home. Not only were official files supposed to be handed to the national archives when he left office, but many bore ‘classified’ markings.

The Thursday ruling could further complicate the investigation, preventing prosecutors from reviewing some documents as they weigh what action to take against the former president.

The Justice Department said a third-party review was unnecessary in this case. But when the court ruled that it would appoint a ‘special master’ government lawyers said they would accept Dearie, the former chief judge of the federal court based in Brooklyn, in the role,” the Daily Mail reported.

However, they lodged an appeal asking that it be allowed to resume reviewing documents and arguing that 100 marked ‘classified’ be exempted from the review.

Kyle Cheney reported on Cannon’s decision:

“CANNON order on the special master suggests Dearie will make recommendations to her about any assertions of executive privilege by Trump.

“On DOJ’s claims about the classified docs: “The Court does not find it appropriate to accept the Government’s conclusions on these important and disputed issues without further review by a neutral third party in an expedited and orderly fashion.

CANNON says DOJ can continue pursuing criminal aspects of their probe that don’t include showing the seized materials to witnesses, and says they can brief Congress on the matter.”

It argued that if the documents were classified then it was nonsensical to suggest the government had no right to see them.

‘Plaintiff does not and could not assert that he owns or has any possessory interest in classified records; that he has any right to have those government records returned to him; or that he can advance any plausible claims of attorney-client privilege as to such records that would bar the government from reviewing or using them,’ it said in its appeal.

In making her decision, Cannon said it was a matter of dispute whether the files were in fact classified.

‘In many respects, the government’s position thus presupposes the content, designation, and associated interests in materials under its control—yet, as the parties’ competing filings reveal, there are disputes as to the proper designation of the seized materials, the legal implications flowing from those designations, and the intersecting bodies of law permeating those designations,’ she wrote.

The Daily Mail reported:

“The result is that she pressed ahead with appointing Dearie, who has extensive experience in handling cases involving sensitive intelligence.

He was the top prosecutor in Brooklyn, New York, before being appointed to the federal bench by Ronald Reagan in 1986.

His docket included high-profile terrorism cases – including some from overseas.

He has also served on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which authorizes Justice Department wiretap applications for investigations into suspected foreign agents.

For his part, Trump has denied any wrongdoing and insists he is the victim of a political conspiracy to knock him out of the 2024 election.

He told radio host Hugh Hewitt that the Department of Justice had no justification for its actions.

‘There is no reason that they can be other than if they are just sick and deranged, which is always possible, because I did absolutely – you see the legal papers – absolutely nothing wrong,’ he said.

Hewitt asked Trump whether he could have taken the papers by accident or on purpose.

‘Remember this – everything was declassified, number one,’ Trump responded.”

Latest from Blog

Send this to a friend