The review was conducted by Brooklyn-based federal judge special guru Raymond J. Dearie, who was recommended by Trump’s legal team for the job. Trump’s lawyers are demanding a review of all 11,000 or so documents seized by the FBI to see if any were kept secret from investigators because of attorney-client or executive privilege.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit stayed Cannon’s order that Dearie’s review should be included in the 103 seized documents marked as classified. It also overturned Cannon’s ruling that the Justice Department could not continue to use classified documents in criminal investigations.
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The Trump team did not try to persuade the Supreme Court to withhold documents from Justice Department investigators, considered a more important part of the appeals court’s order. But it did challenge the 11th Circuit’s order that Dearie should not examine classified documents.
Such a scrutiny could entail showing Trump’s legal team classified documents so they can make claims of privilege. The administration said some of the seized documents were extremely sensitive, and the Washington Post reported that authorities had recovered a document describing the military defenses of foreign governments, including their nuclear capabilities.
Team Trump’s request effectively said that key parts of Cannon’s order were not in place prior to the 11th Circuit. The Justice Department’s response was that all the terms of Cannon’s involvement in the case were entangled and that the appeals court’s action was warranted.
The Justice Department said allowing an outside arbitrator to review classified documents would “inflict irreparable harm to the government,” arguing that Trump provided no evidence and would have been harmed without the Supreme Court’s intervention. As a former president, Trump has no “reasonable” ownership claims over sensitive government material, the administration said.
The legal battle over Cannon’s involvement in the case is not over. The Justice Department said it intends to ask the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn Cannon’s entire decision to appoint a special director; it has until Friday to appeal.
Trump’s lawyers will remain until November. Responded to the Justice Department’s appeal on the 10th, according to the 11th Circuit’s order. The government said in a Supreme Court filing this week that Cannon was “fundamentally wrong” in appointing a special master.
The Supreme Court swiftly rejected Trump’s request to intervene in the case, suggesting little interest in intervening in the case at this time. As is customary, the court issued the order without waiting for Trump’s lawyers to respond to the Justice Department’s response.
Regardless, Trump’s demands are modest, legal experts said. Washington appellate attorney Sean M. Moratta rejected the petition before the justices announced. “This is not the earth-shattering aspect of the investigation.”
The high court has rejected Trump’s request, continuing a series of adverse rulings against the former president. Trump chose a third of the nine justices on the Supreme Court, which has turned right on conservative concerns such as abortion, gun rights and religion. But the court has disappointed Trump on issues related to him personally.
The justices brushed aside multiple challenges to the 2020 election result from Trump and his allies. After the presidency ended, the court rejected his request for a congressional committee to keep certain White House documents. Riots at the U.S. Capitol in June 2021. In that case, only Justice Clarence Thomas said he would support Trump’s request.
In July 2020, a court rejected Trump’s bold claim to exempt local law enforcement and congressional investigators.