WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is asking a federal appeals court to temporarily block a Trump-appointed judge’s ruling that prevented him from accessing hundreds of classified pages seized from thousands of pages of government documents extracted from the former president’s Mala-a-government filings. Record. Lake home.
“The district court has issued an unprecedented order barring the executive branch from using its highly classified records in criminal investigations with direct national security implications,” the Justice Department wrote in its motion Friday.
Ministry of Justice has It has previously argued that any delay in the investigation into Donald Trump’s handling and retention of government records, including classified records, could cause “irreparable harm” to the government and the public.
On Thursday night, U.S. District Judge Erin Cannon denied her request to allow the FBI to continue using hundreds of pages of classified records seized from Mar-a-Lago in August. 8. She also appointed Senior U.S. District Judge Raymond J. Dearie as a special master and, in an unprecedented move, gave him the power to make decisions on issues of executive privilege at the request of the Trump team.
The Justice Department argued Friday that any consideration of claims for restitution or attorney-client and executive privilege “absolutely does not apply to records marked with classification.”
“Plaintiffs have no right to demand the return of these records belonging to the government, which were confiscated during a court-authorized search,” the Justice Department wrote.
The Justice Department also argued that its request to limit the stay would not undermine the special director’s review of other material and would “unnecessarily enforce disclosure of highly sensitive records by prohibiting key steps in ongoing criminal investigations, including irreparable harm, including plaintiffs’ attorneys.”
Dearie issued an order Friday calling all parties to his Brooklyn federal district court for a preliminary meeting on Tuesday.
Cannon has previously blocked the government from using documents seized from Mar-a-Lago for “investigative purposes.” The government has asked her to lift restrictions on some of the documents — hundreds of pages of classified-marked documents — because, the Justice Department argues, they “are government property controlled by the executive branch and plaintiffs cannot identify property interests.” More broadly Said the department, that a particular host is “unnecessary and would seriously harm important government interests, including national security interests.”
Dearie is one of two special master nominees proposed by Trump and the only Trump proposal that the Justice Department deems acceptable. Trump’s team rejected both candidates for the department without publicly stating their reasons for opposing the two former justices.
Ahead of Cannon’s order to appoint a special director last week, the Justice Department signaled last week that it would make a broad appeal of the judge’s ruling.
The Justice Department’s investigation stemmed from a lengthy back-and-forth discussion with the National Archives and Records Administration about the box of government records Trump kept after leaving office, even though the records were supposed to be turned over during the presidency. record method. The National Archives immediately called the FBI after discovering that hundreds of pages of classified government records were intermingled with some Trump returned in January.
In response to a grand jury subpoena in May, Trump’s team turned over some additional classified records, and in a document signed in June proved that a “diligent search” found no more at Mar-a-Lago. Confidential records. But there is more.
Attorney General Merrick Garland “personally approved” the decision to execute the search warrant, based on the discovery of possible classified national defense information and the President, given the possible consequences of the search for the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the state Record.
In fact, that’s what the Justice Department said it found. According to a detailed property inventory, more than 11,000 government records were seized during the search, as well as more than a hundred classified documents spanning hundreds of pages.
The judge who approved the search reiterated after the search was complete that “evidence of multiple federal crimes may be found” at Mar-a-Lago and upheld his decision. The FBI is authorized to seize “evidence of knowledge of the alteration, destruction, or concealment of any government and/or presidential records or any classified-marked document,” which the Justice Department said “may be seized within the next few months.” Hide and delete” until search.
The Mar-a-Lago investigation is still in its early stages, and former Justice Department officials agree that deciding whether to indict the former president is a very high-stakes and complex decision. Trump is also at the center of a massive investigation related to the January case. 6 Riots at the U.S. Capitol and attempts to prevent a peaceful transfer of power.