The Department of Justice asks for a expedited appeal in connection with his criminal investigation into White House records seized by the FBI at Mar-a-Lago.
DOJ officials argue that they must have access to unclassified material seized from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence and resort by the FBI earlier this month to better assess classified files, including top-secret ones, that they are examining. They must also examine all records for possible clues as to how the documents may have been transported and accessed, authorities said.
The unclassified material is currently off limits to the Justice Department, as the files are supposed to be examined first by former US Judge Raymond Dearie, who was appointed special master, at Trump’s request, by District Court Judge of the USA Aileen Cannon, who was appointed by Trump.
Cannon had initially blocked the Justice Department’s access to all records seized at Mar-a-Lago. But in a blow to Trump, the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled last week that the Justice Department can resume review the classified records seized, blocking a portion of a suspension previously issued by Cannon. The appeals court also barred Dearie from examining the documents marked classified.
However, Justice Department officials argued in a motion filed Friday that the special master’s appointment still impedes their investigation into what could have dire consequences for national security.
On Thursday, Cannon moved the deadline for Dearie’s full review from mid-November to mid-December, which would serve Republican interests to postpone damaging information until after the midterm elections. The DOJ is pushing to move the appeal process forward until mid-November.
Dearie is supposed to be examining the unclassified documents to determine if any are protected by attorney-client or executive privilege.
Meanwhile, the “government is…unable to examine [unclassified] records that were commingled with class-marked materials, including records that may shed light on … how the class-marked materials were transferred to the plaintiff’s residence, how they were stored, and who may have accessed them,” he said. the presentation of the Department of Justice before the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
“Records not marked as classified may also constitute evidence of possible [obstruction] other [concealment or removal of government records]”, noted the motion, which was first reported by political.
The presentation also attacked Cannon’s recent rulings against Dearie.
Cannon ruled Thursday that Trump could either ignore Dearie’s demand that his legal team prove Trump’s apparently unfounded claim that the FBI “planted” records at Mar-a-Lago, or withdraw the claim.
However, Cannon’s ruling seemed to contradict his own earlier ruling that gave Dearie power over his review.
Several legal experts have harshly criticized the logic behind Cannon’s decisions. Former federal prosecutor Andrew Weissmann said Thursday on MSNBC that she should be removed from her position. “She is not fit to serve,” he said.
She noted that Cannon has reversed her own decision and granted Dearie power as a special teacher.