Justice Department argues Donald Trump special master review is unnecessary

Washington DC - A special master review of documents taken from former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate should not have been approved, the Department of Justice argued in its first filing in the appeal to the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.

Donald Trump is still going head-to-head with the Justice Department over classified government documents found at his estate.
Donald Trump is still going head-to-head with the Justice Department over classified government documents found at his estate.  © Chandan Khanna / AFP

The department is asking the court to overturn US District Judge Aileen Cannon’s decision to appoint a special master to review more than 11,000 records retrieved during the August 8 search of the Florida property by the FBI, and to block the department from using any of the documents for its investigation until the months-long process ends.

In the filing, the department states that the recovered documents are "the very objects" of an "ongoing criminal investigation."

"The Court should therefore reverse the district court’s injunction and end the special master’s review," the filing states.

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The appellate court already granted the department’s request to withhold about 100 classified documents from the special master’s review and overturned Cannon’s order preventing the department from using those records as part of its investigation during the review.

The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected Trump’s request to intervene in the dispute over whether the special master should examine the classified documents.

Cannon named Raymond Dearie, a senior judge of the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York, as special master, and the review of the more than 20,000 pages of documents has already begun.

The special master is supposed to set aside any materials that Trump says are protected from the investigation by claims of attorney-client or executive privilege, and recommend to Cannon how the documents should be categorized.

The process is expected to be completed in December.

Cover photo: Chandan Khanna / AFP

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