The Appeals court in Atlanta is allowing the DoJ to continue their investigation of portions of the Mar-a-Lago documents tranche. Now do the Boxminster and Stirling, VA golf resorts and Trump Tower.
WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court on Wednesday restored the Justice Department’s access to documents with classified markings that had been seized last month from former President Donald J. Trump’s Florida residence, handing a victory to federal investigators in their efforts to examine Mr. Trump’s hoarding of sensitive government records.
In a strongly worded 29-page decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit blocked part of an order by a federal judge that had temporarily barred the department from using the classified materials in its inquiry into whether Mr. Trump illegally retained national defense documents and obstructed the government’s repeated efforts to recover them.
The Justice Department “argues that the district court likely erred in exercising its jurisdiction to enjoin the United States’ use of the classified records in its criminal investigation and to require the United States to submit the marked classified documents to a special master for review,” a three-judge panel wrote. “We agree.”
The panel consisted of two Trump appointees — Judges Britt Grant and Andrew L. Brasher — and Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum, an Obama appointee.
The dispute emerged after Judge Aileen M. Cannon, also an appointee of Mr. Trump, installed an outside arbiter, known as a special master, to filter the more than 11,000 documents seized in the search for any that are potentially privileged. She also barred criminal investigators from using the materials until the review was completed, and she rejected the Justice Department’s request to exempt about 100 records marked as classified from that process.
In its initial filing to the appeals court, the department accepted the special master’s review of all the documents except those bearing classification markings, narrowly tailoring its request in hopes of restoring quick access to the material at the heart of its investigation. Prosecutors argued that Judge Cannon’s temporary ban on letting them use the classified materials would hinder a separate intelligence community assessment of the risks that Mr. Trump’s hoarding of the records had on national security.
The decision by the appeals court was a striking repudiation of Mr. Trump’s attempts to claim in public, but not in court, that he had declassified the sensitive records at issue.
Two of the three judges in this panel were appointed by Donald Trump:
Judge Robin Rosenbaum (appointed by Obama)
Judge Britt Grant (appointed by Trump)
Judge Andrew Brasher (appointed by Trump)
"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"
"Plaintiff has not even attempted to show that he has a need to know the information contained in the classified documents. Nor has he established that the current administration has waived that requirement for these documents."
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