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Why the Justice Department wants a faster decision on Trump’s special master review appeal

The Justice Department has filed a request to expedite its appeal of a judge’s order to allow a special master to review classified documents taken from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.

The request, filed Friday with the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, proposed an expedited schedule that would end written reports by Nov. 11 instead of the current deadline scheduled for a month later. The DOJ said the special independent master review has stymied the department’s own criminal investigation of documents seized from the former president’s residence in Florida in August.

“An expedited appeal would serve the interests of justice,” the filing said. “Under the district court’s orders thus far, the government is prohibited from accessing all materials except those with classification marks recovered in August pursuant to a lawful search warrant, and may continue to be unable to do so until mid-December. or later.”

Former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate is seen on September 14, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida. The Justice Department filed a request Sept. 30 to expedite its appeal to have a special master review documents that were seized in August at Mar-a-Lago.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The DOJ received an appeal from the court in early September for more than 100 documents marked as classified to be exempt from special master review.

Expediting the appeal of the broader review and winning the appeal would give the DOJ access to the 11,000 documents as part of its investigation into how they were transferred, stored, and who accessed them.

Legal experts took to Twitter in light of the news to explain why the Justice Department would be motivated to speed up the appeal process and weigh in on why they think the court might concede the department’s arguments.

Former appellate advocate Teri Kanefield posted a thread to Twitter explaining why he thinks the circuit court would be inclined to grant the request. Among Kanefield’s arguments, she noted that the court has already “beaten the crap out of” Judge Aileen Cannon by blocking special master review of specific classified documents.

The Justice Department referenced in Friday’s filing that the court had granted its order earlier in the month on the basis that the “injunction against government review” posed “real and significant harm to the United States and the public”.

“Even if not to the same degree,” the Justice Department continued, “such harm persists with respect to the district court’s injunction against the government’s review and use of thousands of remaining documents and other material. .”.

The DOJ also argued in its filing that there is “good cause” to expedite the appeal, including that the request does not ask the court to “examine an extensive factual record.”

“Instead, this appeal raises two questions of law,” the Justice Department wrote. “If the district court erred in exercising equitable jurisdiction over [Trump’s] motion, and whether the district court erred in granting a preliminary injunction prohibiting the government from reviewing or using the seized evidence … in an ongoing criminal investigation.”

Kanefield added that if the Justice Department is granted its request to expedite the process and wins the appeal, “it was all a waste of Trump’s money and the Justice Department’s time.”

Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti also weighed in on Twitter, saying he believes Judge Cannon’s recent decision to side with Trump in an argument between the former president and special master played a role in the Justice Department’s decision to request an appeal. accelerated.

Mariotti added that it’s hard to say whether the appeals court will grant the DOJ’s request, but that the department’s decision on the motion is “a good sign, and the DOJ is right to prefer them to Cannon.”

The Justice Department noted in its request that it had consulted with Trump’s attorney, Chris Kise, who said Trump opposes the motion to expedite the process.

“It will be interesting to see what reasons Trump comes up with for needing more time, particularly as the DOJ is shortening its own time frame,” Kanefield tweeted.

On his Truth Social account on Friday, the former president referred to the “Document Fraud Lawsuit” as another “scam” by the Department of Justice and the FBI.

“Like Russia, Russia, Russia, impeachment hoax #1, impeachment hoax #2, the Mueller Report, spying on my campaign, lying to the FISA Court, lying to Congress, breaking into my home in Florida in violation of the Fourth Amendment and also in violation of the Presidential Records Act,” Trump said in The charge.

news week contacted Trump’s team for comment.


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