Mar-a-Lago documents: Appeals court hearing to determine future of special master for Trump’s Mar-a-Lago documents



CNN

As former President Donald Trump faces the new reality of a special counsel leading the Justice Department’s investigation into his conduct, the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear arguments to remove what has become a controversial investigation.

The 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals will review a lower court’s request for a special master to review the FBI weapons seized from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in August.

The move by a Florida judge to appoint someone to help sort out the nearly 22,000 pages of material he found in the investigation is in the hands of investigators – creating a major blow to the Justice Department’s criminal investigation into Trump’s documents. The White House was mismanaged.

Prosecutors are investigating whether there was obstruction of justice, tampering with government records, and violations of the Espionage Act, which prohibits the unauthorized storage of national security information.

The Justice Department has already won a ruling from the 11th Circuit allowing it to continue its investigation into the classified documents.

Now, the Department of Justice is asking to release a special investigation, which will be led by Raymond Dearie.

The decision of the appeals court that eliminated the special review of the documents of Mar-a-Lago could advance the investigation of government documents, which in some ways is the easiest of the various investigations that have surrounded the former president and 2024.

Special counsel Jack Smith is now overseeing the Mar-a-Lago investigation and the investigation into Trump’s actions after the 2020 election to reverse his election defeat. Smith is not expected to appear in court Tuesday.

The decision by US District Judge Aileen Cannon – who sits in federal court in Ft. Pierce, Florida – the appointment of a special master drew criticism from many legal experts.

When the 11th Circuit in September excluded the documents selected for review, three judges indicated that the entire appointment of a special master was based on legally flawed reasoning. However, it will be a new panel – chosen at random – that will hear the DOJ’s request on Tuesday, making it possible for the former president to attract judges who listen to what he has to say.

Trump requested the special master because he said there was a risk that documents containing attorney-client privilege or privileged access were swept up in the investigation. In his arguments with the appeals court, however, he focused on the theory that he had the ability to make many White House documents private. Therefore, Trump says, the Department of Justice does not have the right to continue to investigate the crime in which the weapons were seized.

“President Trump has an interest in his personal records (as well as the President’s) and the District Court did what it needed to do by finding that no neutral party was required to rule on those documents,” his lawyer said in a brief. and the appellate court.

The Justice Department told the 11th Circuit that Trump’s new theory was “absurd,” “absurd” and a point the appeals court should not consider. Opponents say that there was no good reason to request a review and that this special process, with the ability of investigators to use the documents in their research, seriously harms public interest in the speedy administration of criminal laws.

Cannon appointed Dearie, a senior judge based in federal court in Brooklyn, to oversee the third-party review. Dearie has indicated he wants to move quickly and has shown little patience in delaying the Trump team’s tactics. However, Cannon intervened on several occasions to change his views, including postponing the review deadline until at least mid-December. At that time, Dearie will report to Cannon with his opinion on who should win the debate between Trump and the opposition if other documents can be used in the investigation, but Cannon will have the final call.

The Department of Justice has already returned to Trump classified documents that were legitimate in nature or that were not government documents containing personal information, such as medical records. At stake now are more than 2,800 documents obtained during the investigation that Trump is fighting to keep out of the hands of investigators.

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