Former US President Donald Trump on Tuesday asked the US Supreme Court to intervene in his dispute with the Justice Department over classified documents seized at his Florida home as part of a criminal investigation into his handling of government records.
Trump filed an emergency motion asking judges to block part of a lower court’s decision that barred a Trump-requested independent arbitrator, known as the Sondermeister, from reviewing more than 100 documents marked as secret belonging to the 11,000 records seized by FBI agents included the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach on August 8.
The Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Sept. 21 reversed a decision by U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon that temporarily barred the department from examining the seized classified information until the special master sorted out any documents deemed privileged by investigators withheld.
Judge Clarence Thomas, who is assigned to hear emergency appeals from the 11th Circuit, late Tuesday requested a response from the Justice Department by Oct. 11. Thomas is one of six Conservatives on the nine-member Supreme Court.
The 11th Circuit Circuit also barred Special Master Judge Raymond Dearie from having access to the documents with classified markings, noting the importance of restricting access to classified information.
Trump’s attorneys said in Tuesday’s filing that Dearie should have access to “determine whether documents with classification marks are actually classified, and regardless of classification, whether those records are personal records or presidential records.”
The Justice Department has “attempted to criminalize a document management dispute and now vehemently opposes a transparent process that provides much-needed oversight,” Trump’s attorneys added.
The court-authorized search in Mar-a-Lago was conducted as part of a federal probe into whether Trump illegally kept documents from the White House when he left office in January 2021 following his failed re-election in 2020 Trump tried to prevent this probe.
The investigation attempts to determine who accessed confidential materials, whether they were compromised, and whether any information is untraceable. The 11th Circuit Court ruled on documents marked as confidential, secret or top secret.
Cannon, who led Trump’s lawsuit to restrict the Justice Department’s access to the seized documents, refused to review any materials and appointed Dearie to review the records, hampering the investigation.
On Sept. 15, Cannon, who had been appointed to the bench by Trump, denied the Justice Department’s request to partially relieve her disposition of the classified materials, saying it hampered the administration’s efforts to mitigate potential national security risks from their possible unauthorized disclosure .
The three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit included two judges appointed by Trump and one by former President Barack Obama.
Noting that classified records belong to the US government, the 11th Circle doubted that Trump had an “individual interest” in them and that he “has not even attempted to show that he is aware of the information contained in the classified documents.” got to”.
The 11th Circuit also dismissed any suggestion that Trump declassified the documents — as the former president claimed — saying there was “no evidence” of such action and that the argument was “a red herring because the declassification of an official document wouldn’t change its content or make it personal.”
In Tuesday’s filing, Trump’s attorneys said he has “wide powers to regulate the classification of and access to classified documents.” In an interview on Fox News last month, Trump again claimed without evidence that he released the documents and claimed he had the power to do so “even if he thought about it.”
The three statutes underpinning the search warrant used by the FBI in Mar-a-Lago make it a crime to tamper with government records, regardless of their classified status.
Cannon had hired Dearie to review all seized materials, including classified ones, to identify anything subject to attorney-client confidentiality or executive privilege — a legal doctrine that protects some White House communications from disclosure.
The documents investigation is one of several legal issues Trump is facing as he considers running for president again in 2024.
The New York State Attorney General last month filed a civil lawsuit accusing Trump and three of his adult children of fraud and misrepresentation in the preparation of financial statements for the family’s real estate business. The Trump Organization is also scheduled to go on trial in New York State on October 24 for criminal tax evasion.
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/donald-trump-asks-us-supreme-court-to-intervene-over-seized-classified-records-42041569.html Donald Trump is asking the US Supreme Court to intervene over confiscated secret records