The Department of Justice has shot back with a filing with the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 11th Circuit to stay the lower court’s decision, which prevents the federal agency from accessing classified documents recovered from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.
For the uninitiated, judge Aileen Cannon of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, in a Sept. 5 ruling, granted Trump’s request for appointing a special master and also forbade the DOJ from reviewing and using the seized materials for investigative purposes.
The federal agency then fought for a partial lifting of the stay and requested an exemption for about 100 classified documents. Cannon, however, rejected the request.
In the Sept. 16 court filing, the DOJ asked the appeals court to stay the district court’s order, allowing review and use of records bearing classified markings for criminal-investigative purposes. It also asked not to subject the classified documents to the special-master review process.
Earlier this week, Senior Judge Raymond Dearie was selected as an independent arbiter to review the Mar-a-Lago documents.
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"The court's order hamstrings that investigation and places the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) under a Damoclean threat of contempt should the court later disagree with how investigators disaggregated their previously integrated criminal-investigative and national-security activities," the federal agency said in the latest filing.
"The government and the public will suffer irreparable injury absent a stay, the United States respectfully asks that the Court act on this motion as soon as practicable," the DOJ added.
The department, however, may have a tall order before it as the appeals court, based in Atlanta, has a conservative majority, with six out of the 11 active judges being Trump appointees, according to Reuters.
Photo: Courtesy of Gage Skidmore on Flickr
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