Doj Appeals Special Master Ruling Classified Documents Not Trump’s “Personal Record”

The hundreds of classified government records taken from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort last month aren’t his “personal records,” the Justice Department argued in a court filing Thursday as it appealed a judge’s verdict on the matter.

Justice will appeal U.S. A special master will review documents obtained during the search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, according to a Thursday notification. The Justice Department will appeal to the 11th Circuit.

The department also requested for a partial stay of Cannon’s order while the appeal is underway, stating “the government and the public are irrevocably wounded when a national security inquiry is halted.”

Parts of Cannon’s ruling would “cause the most immediate and serious harms to the government and the public,” the government wrote. The injunction might “impede efforts to identify any more classified records that are not being properly stored,” the government added.

“The classified records are Executive Branch property over which Plaintiff has no property right,” the Justice Department concluded.

Trump appointee Cannon, 41, granted Trump’s request for a special master Monday. Her verdict was heavily criticized, especially because she gave a special master control over papers covered by attorney-client privilege and Trump’s executive privilege claims.

The Justice Department said the secret materials found from Mar-a-Lago belonged to the U.S.

The government wrote that classification marking shows the documents are government information, not the plaintiff’s personal records. “The government’s review of those records does not raise any plausible attorney-client privilege claims because they do not contain Plaintiff’s private attorney communications. And for several reasons, no potential assertion of executive privilege could justify restricting the Executive Branch’s review and use of the classified records at issue here.”

Trump “does not and cannot claim that he owns or has any possessory interest in classified documents, that he has any right to have such government records returned to him, or that he can advance any viable attorney-client privilege claims relating to such records,” DOJ stated.

The FBI executed a search order at Mar-a-Lago last month and found more than 11,000 pages of official records, according to the Justice Department. They also identified hundreds of papers with classified markings, contradicting a Trump lawyer’s assertion that the former president no longer had classified materials after turning over 38 in June in answer to a grand jury subpoena. Trump gave the National Archives boxes of secret information earlier this year.

The government asserted that the Trump campaign “concealed and deleted” secret information before the FBI’s August search.

Doj Appeals Special Master Ruling Classified Documents Not Trump's "Personal Record"
Doj Appeals Special Master Ruling Classified Documents Not Trump’s “Personal Record”

A federal magistrate court found probable cause to search Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort for criminal evidence. DOJ stated in a court statement last week that the FBI identified more than 100 sensitive records Trump wasn’t permitted to have and 11,000 federal documents that belonged in the National Archives.

The Justice Department stated Thursday that nothing in the law suggests a former president may effectively establish executive privilege to preclude the Executive Branch from reviewing and using its own documents.

“A stay would simply allow the government to continue to study and use the same documents in its ongoing criminal investigation,” the agency stated.

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