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Documents seized by FBI from Mar-a-Lago
Source: Department of Justice
The Department of Justice on Thursday appealed a federal judge’s ruling to authorize a special master to review documents that the FBI seized from the Florida residence of former President Donald Trump.
The move came three days after Judge Aileen Cannon approved Trump’s request for that outside watchdog to sift through the materials seized from the resort home Mar-a-Lago to identify personal items and records that are protected by attorney-client privilege or executive privilege.
The DOJ had opposed that request, saying it had already completed a privilege review of the documents, and that a special master could harm the government’s national security interests.
The FBI seized more than ten thousand government records when it raided Trump’s resort home Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, last month. Many of those documents bore classification markings, including dozens of folders that were empty when they were collected by the FBI.
Cannon, who was appointed by Trump, wrote in her ruling Monday in U.S. District in southern Florida that “the country is served best by an orderly process that promotes the interest and perception of fairness.”
The DOJ’s appeal was filed at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which holds appellate jurisdiction over cases from district courts in Florida.
The DOJ also asked Cannon to stay her order blocking the agency from further reviewing and using the seized documents that bear classification markings for criminal investigative purposes.
The DOJ said in that request that it is likely to succeed on its appeal as it applies to the classified records, which represent a fraction of the documents that were found at Mar-a-Lago.
Trump “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,” the DOJ wrote.
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