Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Advertisement

US Justice Department asks appeals court to lift judge’s barring order on Mar-a-Lago documents

It said the hold needed to be lifted immediately so work could resume.

File photo.
File photo.
Image: AP

THE US JUSTICE Department has asked a federal appeals court to lift a judge’s order that temporarily barred it from reviewing classified documents seized during an FBI search of former president Donald Trump’s Florida home.

The department told the 11th Circuit US Court of Appeals that the judge’s hold was impeding the “government’s efforts to protect the nation’s security” and interfering with its investigation into the presence of top-secret information at Mar-a-Lago.

It said the hold needed to be lifted immediately so work could resume.

“The government and the public would suffer irreparable harm absent a stay,” department lawyers wrote in their brief to the appeals court.

The judge’s appointment of a “special master” to review the documents, and the resulting legal tussle, appear certain to further slow the department’s criminal investigation.

It remains unclear whether Trump, who has been laying the groundwork for another potential presidential run, or anyone else might be charged.

US District Judge Aileen Cannon earlier this month directed the department to halt its use of the records until further court order, or until the completion of a report of an independent arbiter.

On Thursday night, she assigned Raymond Dearie, the former chief judge of the federal court based in Brooklyn, to serve as the arbiter — also known as a special master.

She also declined to lift an order that prevented the department from using for its investigation about 100 seized documents marked as classified, citing ongoing disputes about the nature of the documents that she said merited a neutral review.

“The Court does not find it appropriate to accept the Government’s conclusions on these important and disputed issues without further review by a neutral third party in an expedited and orderly fashion,” she wrote.

The Justice Department last week asked Judge Cannon to put her own order on hold by Thursday, and said that if she did not, it would ask the appeals court to step in.

The FBI says it took about 11,000 documents, including roughly 100 with classification markings found in a storage room and an office, while serving a court-authorised search warrant at the home.

Weeks after the search, Trump lawyers asked a judge to appoint a special master to do an independent review of the records.

About the author:

Press Association

Read next:

COMMENTS (13)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel