DOJ now asking appeals court to shut down special master review of Mar-a-Lago docs

The Justice Department which fiercely opposed the appointment of an independent third party to review documents seized during the FBI raid of former President Donald J. Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago is now seeking to reverse a judge’s ruling that allowed a special master.

On Friday, the DOJ filed a motion with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals asking that it shut down Raymond Dearie’s review of the documents confiscated during the August storming of the scenic, South Florida resort while Trump was away, an unprecedented move by the Biden administration against its top political adversary.

In the 67-page filing, the department claimed that federal Judge Aileen Cannon “erred” in ordering the special master review which has complicated the government’s efforts to pursue its case against Trump, one that will almost certainly end with the ex-POTUS being indicted and tried in a hostile D.C. court, something which his enemies have been clamoring for.

“The Court should now reverse the order in its entirety for multiple independent reasons,” the filing said, blasting Cannon’s ruling that allowed Dearie to be named “unprecedented.”

The DOJ claims that Judge Cannon “erred in ordering a special-master review for claims of executive and attorney-client privilege and enjoining the government’s use of the seized records in the meantime. Plaintiff has no basis to assert executive privilege to preclude review of Executive Branch documents by ‘the very Executive Branch in whose name the privilege is invoked,’” the filing reads.

Attorney General Merrick Garland’s legal pit bulls also claim that Trump’s legal team has failed to provide evidence that the documents were improperly seized or that there is any need for him to get them back.

“The uncontested record demonstrates that the search was conducted in full accordance with a judicially authorized warrant, and there has been no violation of Plaintiff’s rights—let alone a ‘callous disregard’ for them. Plaintiff has failed to meet his burden in establishing any need for the seized records—indeed, a substantial number of them are not even his—or in establishing any irreparable injury in their absence,” according to the filing.

The Justice Department is clearly counting on the appeals court to come down on its side after it already delivered a favorable ruling last month when it overruled Judge Cannon by allowing full access to the materials purloined from Mar-a-Lago, specifically around 100 pages of documents bearing classification markings.

“For our part, we cannot discern why Plaintiff would have an individual interest in or need for any of the one-hundred documents with classification markings,” the 3 judge panel wrote in its 29-page ruling. They are “owned by, produced by or for, or . . . under the control of the United States Government.”

On Thursday, Trump was dealt a blow in his efforts to forestall the government’s case against him when the Supreme Court declined his emergency request to intervene by reversing a part of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling.

“The application to vacate the stay entered by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on September 21, 2022, presented to Justice Thomas and by him referred the court is denied,” the SCOTUS wrote in a brief ruling that offered no explanation.

The former president’s legal team has until November 10 to respond.

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Chris Donaldson


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