DOJ to Appeal Special Master’s Ruling, Argues Classified Documents Are Not Trump’s ‘Personal Records’

WASHINGTON – Hundreds of pages of government documents seized from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate last month are not the former president’s personal records and he is not entitled to them, the Justice Department told a court. The government said on Thursday that it will appeal the judge’s ruling in the matter.

The Justice Department has announced it will appeal U.S. District Judge Eileen Cannon’s ruling to allow a special magistrate to monitor documents seized during a search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. Filed Thursday. The Justice Department said it will appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.

Pending an appeal, the department asked for a partial stay of Cannon’s ruling, to say “When criminal investigations are ordered into matters involving threats to national security, the government and the public are irreparably injured.”

Trump gave Cannon until 10 a.m. Monday to respond to the DOJ’s motion to partially stay his order granting the special master request.

Parts of Cannon’s ruling — specifically ordering that the government do nothing with the classified records it seized — “cause the government and the public to cause very immediate and serious harm.” The government also wrote in an eyebrow-raising line that the injunction “may impede efforts to discover the existence of additional classified records that are not properly stored.”

“The classified records are government property over which the executive branch has control and in which plaintiff has no identifiable property interest,” the Justice Department wrote.

Cannon, 41, is a Trump appointee who was confirmed to the Southern District of Florida at the tail end of the Trump administration. provided Trump’s Request A special Master Monday. Her judgment was there Widely banned by the legal communityNotably given his unprecedented decision to grant a special prima facie authority not only over documents protected by attorney-client privilege, but also over Trump’s executive privilege claims.

The Justice Department said there was no doubt the classified documents the FBI recovered from Mar-a-Lago belonged to the U.S. government.

“The classification marks establish on the face of the documents that they are government records, not plaintiff’s personal records,” the government wrote. “The government’s review of those records raises no plausible attorney-client privilege claims because such classified records do not contain communications between the plaintiff and his personal attorneys. And for several reasons, it cannot be justified to restrict the executive branch’s review and use of the classified records at issue here.”

The DOJ wrote that Trump “cannot assert that he has classified records or that he has discretion over them; that he has any right to have those government records returned to him; or that he can make any plausible claims of attorney-client privilege that would prevent the government from reviewing or using the records.” .

Former President Donald Trump on September 3, 2022 in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Former President Donald Trump on Sept. 3 in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.Spencer Platt/Getty Images

When the FBI A search warrant was executed A month ago at Mar-a-Lago, the Justice Department says it More than 11,000 pages of government documents were found Under the Presidential Records Act – in the custody of the National Archives. After turning over 38 classified documents in June in response to a grand jury subpoena, they found hundreds of pages of documents with classified markings, despite Trump’s attorney certifying that the former president had no classified records. Earlier in the year, Trump turned over boxes of documents containing more than 700 pages of classified records to the National Archives.

The government argued that there was evidence that the Trump team was.Hidden and deletedAdditional classified documents stored at Mar-a-Lago prior to the FBI’s August search.

A federal magistrate judge Probable cause identified Incriminating evidence was found at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate and the FBI signed a warrant to search the property. In fact, the FBI found more than 100 classified records that Trump shouldn’t have, the DOJ said in a court filing last week, along with more than 11,000 government documents that rightfully belong in the National Archives.

“There is nothing in the law that prevents a former president from successfully asserting executive authority to prevent the executive branch from reviewing and using his own records,” the Justice Department wrote Thursday.

“The stay would allow the government to continue to review and use the same records — which again, indisputably belong to the government, not the plaintiff — in its ongoing criminal investigation,” the department added.

Daniel Barnes, and Dilanian And Dare Gregorian Contributed.

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