The court proceedings concerning the Biden administration’s FBI raid on the Trump family home in Florida continue with rulings designed to stop the due process and keep information within the Biden administration. Former President Trump had requested a special master to review documents alongside the DOJ review, in the interest of fairness and transparency.
After Judge Aileen Cannon named a ‘special master’ to review the material seized during the FBI search, the Justice Department went to the 11th Circuit seeking to overturn part of her ruling. They sought to put an end to parts of the order requiring the special master to go through classified documents – with about 100 documents marked classified seized in an August 8 search – and where Trump was asserting privilege claims.
Trump has repeatedly stated that he himself declassified the documents prior to his leaving the Oval Office.
DOJ argued those documents were the property of the government, and that Trump shouldn’t be allowed claims of executive privilege against them, while also claiming to keep attorney-client documents out of the government’s hands.
The court allowed the ruling against the special master, even as the special master kept his overriding role. District Judge Raymond Dearie, who was recommended by Trump’s team, remains in the role. A three-judge Appeals Court panel ruled in DOJ’s favor.
Trump’s team argued that any interference in the review of material – which comes amid Trump’s own claim of privilege – ‘erodes public confidence in our system of justice.’
Legal experts pointed out Tuesday that Trump’s team did not seek to toss another part of the appeals court’s ruling: that the DOJ could continue to use classified materials in its investigation.
Just as DOJ has argued that Trump’s ploy could interfere with a government investigation under the Espionage Act, Trump’s team argues it could harm the special master’s role.
‘This unwarranted stay should be vacated as it impairs substantially the ongoing, time-sensitive work of the Special Master,’ they wrote.
‘Moreover, any limit on the comprehensive and transparent review of materials seized in the extraordinary raid of a President’s home erodes public confidence in our system of justice.’
Now, former President Donald Trump has asked the Supreme Court to intervene in the Mar-a-Lago case, after the ruling that put a stop to allowing a special master to review classified documents seized from the president’s Florida club.
Trump’s team says the court did not have jurisdiction over such a matter.
The 11th Circuit ‘lacked jurisdiction’ to review the Special Master Order,’ they wrote.
Lawyers for Trump filed the 296-page filing seeking to overturn part of the appeals court’s latest order.
They argue that it compromises ‘the integrity of the well-established policy against piecemeal appellate review and ignoring the District Court’s broad discretion without justification.’
Trump wants to revert back to the process intended where a senior judge acting as a special master reviews material seized in the raid of his Florida club to balance the DOJ review and provide checks and balances to the process, which is why the special master was requested in the first place.
Trump’s lawyers asked Justice Clarence Thomas to issue an order that would undo the appeals court’s move on an emergency basis. Thomas, who has emerged to lead the court’s 6-3 conservative majority, oversees the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals as Circuit Justice, although he could send the matter to the full court.
Trump’s request would put the proceedings back on track as intended before the appeals court ruling tied the hands of the special master.
Trump’s filing to the Supreme Court was signed by four of his lawyers: Lindsey Halligan, Chris Kise, Evan Corcoran, and James Trusty.
Trump’s lawyers defended the original appointment of a special master by Judge Cannon due to the interest of fairness, in a move some legal experts doubted would happen.
But this unprecedented attack on the former president called for exactly those measures.
‘The unprecedented circumstances presented by this case—an investigation of the Forty-Fifth President of the United States by the administration of his political rival and successor—compelled the District Court to acknowledge the significant need for enhanced vigilance and to order the appointment of a Special Master to ensure fairness, transparency, and maintenance of the public trust,’ they write.
In one footnote, Trump’s lawyers cite Justice Ketanji-Brown Jackson, who first sat on the high court Monday.
‘As Justice Jackson long ago recognized, the wheels of justice grind to an ignominious halt when a person—not just the political rival of the sitting administration— is targeted for “being attached to the wrong political views” or “being unpopular with the predominant or governing group,”‘ they write, Daily Mail reports.
Trump himself fired off another attack on the National Archives and Records Administration, which handles presidential records, on Tuesday,
‘There is no security at NARA. I want my documents back!’ he complained.