External review of documents seized in Mar-a-Lago officially ends


Washington – An external review of documents seized by the FBI from former President Donald Trump’s Florida resort has officially come to an end.

of 3-Judge Panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled unanimously Last week, a federal district judge said she was at fault. appointed The FBI appointed an outside arbitrator or special master to review approximately 13,000 records obtained when it executed a search warrant in Mar-a-Lago on August 8.A former president who requested the appointment of a special master, he moved from the White House to a property in South Florida at the end of his presidency, federal prosecutors said. clearly About 100 of these records were classified in court filings.

Justice Department investigators were also barred from using unclassified materials to investigate Trump’s handling of classified government records and whether they could interfere with that investigation. But an 11th Circuit decision lifted the injunction issued by U.S. District Court judge Eileen Cannon in September, giving investigators access to a tranche of unclassified documents obtained by her FBI. became.

Trump spokesman Stephen Chan said the former president “continues to fight the weaponization of law enforcement and has taken appropriate measures to obtain items brazenly and illegally seized from his home during the Biden administration’s unconstitutional investigation.” We will pursue legal recourse,” he said.

Ann previous decision From a separate 11th Circuit Court panel, investigators noted that classification markings and made them off limits To a special master for review.

Former US President Donald Trump Announces at Home in Florida
Former President Donald Trump takes the stage during an event at his Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Fla., Nov. 15. Trump has announced that he wants another term, and he has officially launched the 2024 presidential campaign.

Getty Images

An appeals court panel said its mandate was not valid for seven days, and Trump asked for an emergency stay of judgment until Thursday, prompting the entire 11th Circuit to revisit the case or appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. request.

Late Thursday afternoon, the clerk of the 11th Circuit sent a letter to the U.S. District Court in Miami, noting that the power of attorney had taken effect, stemming from Trump’s request for a special master to scrutinize the records. It ended a months-long legal battle.

Special Master, U.S. District Judge Raymond Deary, was scheduled to complete his review of the seized documents by December 16th.

The decision by a three-judge panel of Chief Justices William Pryor, Britt Grant, and Andrew Brasher is an important victory for the Justice Department, which has been investigating Trump’s handling of classified government records for months. did. Pryor was nominated by former President George W. Bush, while Grant and Brasher were nominated by Trump.

Attorney General Merrick Garland last month appointed Special Counsel Jack Smith will oversee a Justice Department investigation into the retention of classified government documents in Mar-a-Lago and another investigation into attempts to obstruct the transition of power after the 2020 presidential election.

Trump asked Cannon in late August to appoint a special master to review the materials brought out of Mar-a-Lago. named A semi-retired judge in Brooklyn, Deary reviews documents that may be the subject of attorney client or executive privilege claims.

Justice Department attorneys opposed the appointment of a special master, and in filings with Cannon and the 11th Circuit, Trump cannot claim executive privilege that precludes review of executive papers by the executive branch itself. claimed.

However, the former president’s attorneys told the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals that President Trump has labeled the records he brought into Mar-a-Lago while in office “personal,” a designation permitted under the Presidential Records Act. claimed to have regarded it as a thing.

An 11th Circuit panel rejected that claim, noting that even though Trump deemed the documents “personal,” federal agents were authorized to seize them pursuant to a search warrant. .

The Court of Appeal found the execution of the warrant lawful, and the federal magistrate who approved the warrant said, “There are good reasons to believe that evidence of criminal activity is likely to be found at Mar-a-Lago.” I agreed to exist,” he wrote.

Mr. Trump last month asked Mr. Cannon to order him to turn over to the Justice Department an unredacted version of an affidavit outlining the government’s justification for the Mar-a-Lago search warrant.a edited version The affidavit was released in August.

The Justice Department investigation began after the National Archives and Records Administration recovered 15 boxes of documents from Mar-a-Lago in January and found about 150 records classified within them. rice field. Prosecutors said about 300 documents marked as classified were recovered from Mar-a-Lago, including 103 records obtained in the August raid, including “highest level “Some showed a classification and very limited distribution.”

Government attorneys also alleged to Dearie that Trump may have mixed classified government documents with his post-presidential personal effects. one labeled SECRET and another labeled CONFIDENTIAL) were allegedly mixed up with three personal correspondence following the end of the Trump administration. Correspondence came from religious leaders, writers and pollsters, prosecutors said.

Robert Legare contributed to this report.


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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