Trump asked the US Supreme Court to intervene in the seizure of classified records

WASHINGTON, Oct 4 (Reuters) – Former President Donald Trump asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to intervene in his fight with the Justice Department as part of a criminal investigation into the handling of government records over classified documents seized from his Florida home.

Trump filed an emergency motion asking the justices to block part of a lower court ruling that prevented an independent arbitrator, known as a special master, from examining more than 100 documents included in the 11,000 records seized by FBI agents. Aug. 8 at Mar-a-Lago Estates in Palm Beach. read more

The Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Sept. 21 overturned a decision by U.S. District Judge Eileen Cannon, who had temporarily barred the special master from examining the classified documents, pending a special investigation. Withheld from investigators.

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Judge Clarence Thomas, who has been assigned to evaluate 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.

11th Circuit Special Master Judge Raymond Deary noted the importance of limiting access to classified information and blocked access to documents with classified markings.

In Tuesday’s filing, Trump’s lawyers said “Deary should have access to determine whether documents with classification markings are in fact classified, regardless of whether the records are personal records or presidential records.”

Trump’s lawyers added that the Justice Department has “attempted to criminalize a document management controversy and now vehemently opposes a transparent process that would provide much-needed oversight.”

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The court-authorized Mar-a-Lago search was conducted as part of a federal investigation into whether Trump, who left office in January 2021 after his failed 2020 re-election bid, illegally obtained documents from the White House and tried to block them. Study.

The investigation seeks to determine who had access to the classified materials, whether they were compromised and whether any were unaccounted for. At issue in the 11th Circuit ruling were documents with classified identities classified as Secret, Secret, or Top Secret.

Cannon, who led Trump’s lawsuit seeking to limit judicial access to the seized documents, barred review of all materials and named Deary to review the records, impeding the investigation.

On Sept. 15, Cannon, appointed to the bench by Trump, rejected a Justice Department request to partially lift his order on classified materials because it impedes the government’s effort to reduce potential national security risks from unauthorized disclosure.

The three-judge 11th Circuit panel includes two appointed by Trump and one appointed by former President Barack Obama.

Noting that the classified records belong to the US government, the 11th Circuit found that Trump had no “personal interest” in them and “did not even attempt to know the information contained in the classified documents.”

The 11th Circuit rejected any suggestion that Trump had classified the documents — as the former president said — saying there was “no evidence” of such action and the argument was a “red herring” because declassifying an official document does not change its content. Or make it private.”

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In Tuesday’s filing, Trump’s lawyers said he “has broad authority to declassify and access classified documents.” In an interview on Fox News last month, Trump again said he had declassified documents without evidence and that he had the authority to do so “even if he thought about it.”

The three statutes underlying the search warrant used by the FBI at Mar-a-Lago make it a crime to tamper with government records regardless of their classification status.

Cannon tasked Deary with reviewing all seized material, including classified material, to identify anything subject to attorney-client confidentiality or executive privilege — a legal doctrine that protects certain White House communications from disclosure.

The dossier investigation is one of several legal issues Trump is considering whether to run for president again in 2024. New York state’s attorney general filed a civil suit last month accusing Trump and his three adult children of financial fraud and misrepresentation. Family real estate company reports. The Trump Organization is also set to go on trial in New York state on felony tax fraud charges on October 24.

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Reporting by Andrew Chung and Nate Raymond in Washington; Additional reporting by Kanishka Singh; Editing by Will Dunham and Grant McCool

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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