Former President Donald Trump’s legal team has elevated its legal battle to the Supreme Court, requesting that Justice Clarence Thomas, who has jurisdiction over the 11th Circuit, vacate the stay by the court that allowed the Justice Department to continue its review of classified documents seized during the FBI’s unprecedented raid of Mar-a-Lago.
U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon issued an injunction against the DOJ’s use of the 100 documents purportedly marked as classified to be used for investigative purposes.
The 11th Circuit overturned Cannon’s order and prevented court-appointed Special Master Raymond Dearie from reviewing those materials. The panel had limited Dearie’s review to only the non-classified documents seized from Mar-a-Lago.
But Trump’s legal team on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to intervene.
JUDGE OVERRULES SPECIAL MASTER ORDER FOR TRUMP TO GIVE ‘FINAL’ OBJECTIONS ON FBI SEARCH INVENTORY
“The unprecedented circumstances presented by this case—an investigation of the Forty-Fifth President of the United States by the administration of his political rival and successor—compelled the District Court to acknowledge the significant need for enhanced vigilance and to order the appointment of a Special Master to ensure fairness, transparency, and maintenance of the public trust,” the filing states.
“That appointment order is simply not appealable on an interlocutory basis and was never before the Eleventh Circuit. Nonetheless, the Eleventh Circuit granted a stay of the Special Master Order, effectively compromising the integrity of the well-established policy against piecemeal appellate review and ignoring the District Court’s broad discretion without justification,” the filing continues.
Trump’s legal team added that this “unwarranted stay should be vacated as it impairs substantially the ongoing, time-sensitive work of the Special Master.”
“Moreover, any limit on the comprehensive and transparent review of materials seized in the extraordinary raid of a President’s home erodes public confidence in our system of justice,” the filing continued.
SPECIAL MASTER TAPS RETIRED JUDGE WITH ‘TOP SECRET’ CLEARANCE TO AID IN REVIEW OF SEIZED MAR-A-LAGO RECORDS
The Justice Department declined to comment on Trump’s appeal to the Supreme Court.
The Justice Department last week, in its 11th Circuit filing, is working to appeal Cannon’s decision to appoint a special master altogether, arguing that it is unable to examine records taken from Trump’s Florida estate that may constitute as evidence of crimes.
“The government is thus unable to examine records that were commingled with materials bearing classification markings, including records that may shed light on, for example, how the materials bearing classification markings were transferred to Plaintiff’s residence, how they were stored, and who may have accessed them,” DOJ officials wrote in the appeal. “The records not marked as classified may also constitute evidence of potential violations…”
DOJ officials also stated in the filing that an expedited appeal “if successful” would allow the government to “more quickly resume its full investigation without restraints on its review and use of evidence seized pursuant to a lawful search warrant.”
Trump has denied that any of the materials in his possession at Mar-a-Lago were classified.
TRUMP-PICKED SPECIAL MASTER CANDIDATE SIGNED CARTER PAGE WARRANT BEFORE FBI MISCONDUCT DISCOVERED
At this point, Special Master Raymond Dearie is tasked with reviewing approximately 11,000 records seized by the FBI during its raid of Trump’s private residence. The special master and his team will review those records for executive privilege, attorney-client privilege and for personal records.
Dearie’s deadline to review the documents was extended to Dec. 16. The original deadline was Nov. 30.
Dearie has scheduled a status conference for Oct. 6.
Fox News’ Shannon Bream, Bill Mears and David Spunt contributed to this report.