The US Justice Department has asked a federal appeals court to reverse a judge’s order that temporarily barred it from reviewing a batch of classified documents seized last month during an FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate. was stopped from
The department told the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta that the judge’s ban imposed last week hindered the government’s “efforts to protect the nation’s security” and interfered with its investigation into the appearance of top-secret documents in March. did. -A-Lago Mansion. They asked the court to quash that order so work could resume and to stay a judge’s order requiring the department to turn over the seized classified documents to an independent arbitrator for review.
“Irreparable harm will be done to the government and the public if the order is not suspended,” lawyers for the department wrote in their submission to a federal appeals court on Friday.
US District Judge Eileen Cannon’s appointment of a special expert to review the documents, and the resulting legal tussle, has sparked a delay in the department’s investigation into the Florida-owned retention of secret documents after Trump left office. There is a possibility.
The Justice Department is probing possible violations of various rules, including the Espionage Act, but it is unclear whether Trump – who is paving the way for a possible presidential run – or anyone else could be charged.
The FBI says it seized nearly 11,000 documents, including about 100 with top-secret warnings, found in a warehouse and an office on August 8 while executing a warrant at the mansion. Weeks after discovery, Trump’s lawyers asked the judge to appoint a special expert to conduct an independent review of the documents.
Canon approved the request last week, allowing a special expert to review the files and be covered by executive privilege or attorney-client privilege. It ordered the department to suspend access to classified documents for investigative purposes until further court orders, or until the special expert completes his work.
On Thursday night, the judge appointed Raymond Derry, former chief justice of the federal court in Brooklyn, to be an expert witness. He also declined to rescind his earlier order, citing ongoing disputes over the nature of the documents, which he said merited a neutral review by an outside arbitrator.
“The Court does not find it appropriate to accept the government’s findings on these important and controversial issues without a prompt and systematic review by a neutral third party,” he wrote.
The department also asked the appellate court to reverse Canon’s order to provide classified documents to the newly appointed special expert, arguing that there was no reason for the arbitrator to review highly confidential records that did not involve issues of legal privilege. Were.
“Plaintiffs have no right to demand the return of documents that belong to the government and were seized in a court-authorized search,” the department’s attorneys wrote. “The documents are not subject to any claim of potential attorney-client personal privilege. And neither the plaintiffs nor the court have cited any authority to suggest that the executive branch could be prevented from reviewing its files.” A former president can successfully invoke executive privilege.”