Justice Department asks appeals court to block Trump judge’s Mar-a-Lago ruling

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department is asking a federal appeals court to temporarily block a Trump-appointed judge’s decision that it will find classified records seized among thousands of pages of government documents taken from the former president’s Mar-a-A. Accessing hundreds of pages of . Go home

“The District Court has entered an unprecedented order involving the executive branch’s use of its highly classified records in criminal investigations with direct implications for national security,” the Justice Department wrote in its motion Friday.

the justice department was It has previously argued that any delay in its investigation into handling and maintaining Donald Trump’s government records, including classified records, could result in “irreparable harm” to the government and the public.

On Thursday night, US District Judge Eileen Cannon denied her request to allow the FBI to continue using hundreds of pages of classified records seized from Mar-a-Lago on Aug. Together they met Senior U.S. District Judge Raymond J. Dairy was appointed. as a special master, and – in an unprecedented move – gave him the authority to make decisions on questions of executive privilege following a request from Trump’s team.

The Justice Department argued Friday that any consideration of claims for return of property or attorney-client and executive privileges was “clearly inappropriate for records containing classification markings.”

The Justice Department wrote, “Plaintiffs have no claim for the return of records that pertain to the government and were confiscated in a court-authorized search.”

Although Trump has previously suggested that he declassified or designated the documents seized from his home as “personal,” the Justice Department said he “never represented that he had actually held both of them.” have taken any step from the court – with competent evidence supporting such representation with little support. The court erred in granting extraordinary relief on the ground of unfounded probabilities.”

The Justice Department also argued that its request for limited stay would not impede the Special Master’s review of other materials and “irreparably harm the government by including important steps of the ongoing criminal investigation and highly sensitive issues including the plaintiffs.” Forces disclosure of records unnecessarily. Advice.”

“The records here are not merely relevant evidence, they are the object of the crime,” the Justice Department wrote, later adding that the injunction “prevents the government from accessing the seized records to assess whether the charges are justified.” are or not.”

Dearie issued an order Friday calling the parties to Federal District Court in Brooklyn, where he is based, for a preliminary convention on Tuesday.

Cannon previously barred the government from using documents seized from Mar-a-Lago for “investigative purposes”. The government asked him to lift the ban on a subset of documents—hundreds of pages bearing classification marks—because, the Justice Department argued, they are “government property over which the executive branch has control and in which the plaintiff has no cognizance.” Property interest.” Broadly speaking, the department argued that a special master is “unnecessary and would cause substantial damage to important government interests, including national security interests.”

Dearie was one of two Special Master candidates proposed by Trump, and the only suggestion from Trump that the Justice Department considered acceptable. Trump’s team rejected both candidates for the department, but did not publicly explain why they opposed those two former judges.

The Justice Department indicated last week that it would widely appeal the judge’s decision, ahead of Cannon’s order appointing the special master on Thursday night.

The Justice Department’s investigation went back and forth with the National Archives and Records Administration over the boxes of government records that Trump held after Trump left office, even though the records should have been turned over under the Presidential Records Act. The National Archives called in the FBI after hundreds of pages of classified government records were mixed up with some returned by Trump in January.

In response to a grand jury subpoena in May, Trump’s team turned over some additional classified records and in June a signed document testified that a “difficult search” did not produce any more classified records at Mar-a-Lago. But there were more.

Given the results of the search for the Justice Department, the FBI, and the country, Attorney General Merrick Garland “personally approved” the decision to execute the search warrant, based on a finding of probable cause that the classified would be national defense. Information and presidential records on campus.

In fact, the Justice Department says that’s what it found. According to a detailed property list, more than 11,000 government records were seized during the search, as well as over a hundred classified documents amounting to hundreds of pages.

The judge who signed the search reiterated after its completion that Mar-a-Lago had “probable reason to find evidence of several federal crimes”, and upheld his decision. The FBI was authorized to seize “evidence of alteration, destruction, or concealment of any government and/or presidential records, or any document bearing classification markings”, and the Justice Department stated that the records “probably hidden and removed from” were in the months. until the search.

The Mar-a-Lago investigation is still in its early stages, and former Justice Department officials agree that charging the former president is an incredibly high-stakes and complicated decision. Trump is also at the center of a wider investigation into the January 6 riots at the US Capitol and attempts to prevent a peaceful transfer of power.

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