Supreme Court denies Trump bid to void ruling in Mar-a-Lago raid documents case

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  • The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected former President Donald Trump’s request to vacate a lower appeals court’s decision in a case related to FBI raids and the seizure of documents from his Florida residence last month.
  • Trump asked the Supreme Court to allow a so-called special master to review more than 100 classified documents that the FBI had among more than 11,000 government records seized at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach. were found at his home by agents.
  • The request came after the 11th US Circuit of Appeals blocked a watchdog appointed by a federal judge from examining classified documents.
  • The appeals court said a subset of records can only be reviewed by the Justice Department, which is criminally investigating Trump.

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The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a request by former President Donald Trump to allow a so-called special master to review classified government documents that were seized from his Florida residence during an FBI raid in August.

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Trump recently asked the court to overturn the 11th US Circuit of Appeals, which barred the special master from investigating more than 100 classified records that were seized at the Mar-a-Lago club in Palm This was as part of a comprehensive review of more than 11,000 government documents. Beach.

The appeals court said a subset of classified records can only be reviewed by the Justice Department, which is criminally investigating Trump for deleting government documents when he stepped down in January 2021.

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Trump’s lawyers told the Supreme Court last week in a filing to the Supreme Court that the appeals court’s decision “substantially affects the ongoing, time-sensitive work of the Special Master,” which was ordered by a federal judge to examine all seized documents. to be withheld from the DOJ for use in its investigation to see whether any should be

Those lawyers also argued that “any limit to a comprehensive and transparent review of the materials confiscated in the extraordinary raid of the President’s home undermines public confidence in our justice system.”

The DOJ urged the Supreme Court to dismiss Trump’s appeal.

In a court filing on Tuesday, US Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogger argued that Trump has “no plausible claim” to the classified records.

The Supreme Court in its order on Thursday said, “The application to vacate the adjournment filed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on September 21, 2022, is presented to Justice. [Clarence] Thomas and his refusal to refer the court.” There was no disagreement by any of the Supreme Court judges mentioned in the order.

Thomas oversaw emergency appeals from the 11th Circuit.

Trump’s appeal to the Supreme Court was on a relatively narrow issue and was not expected to affect any final decision by the DOJ on whether to file criminal charges against him or others.

Even if he had won, the DOJ would have been able to continue its review of the classified documents, and almost certainly would have been able to use them in investigations. The DOJ has said a review is necessary to determine whether there may be other documents that were not uncovered in the raid.

However, the former Republican president has a decades-long track record of using the legal system and appeals process to take out criminal, civil and government investigations.

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And the person who appointed three of the nine sitting Supreme Court justices might expect a favorable decision.

The DOJ is investigating Trump for removing records from the White House after he stepped down in January 2021 and fled his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida. By law, such documents belong to the federal government and must be handed over to the National Archives and Records Administration.

The DOJ is also investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice in the case.

NARA learned last year that Trump may have government records, and eventually recovered 15 boxes of documents from Mar-a-Lago earlier this year. After discovering that some of the documents were classified, NARA referred the issue to the DOJ, which opened a criminal investigation.

Prior to the August 8 raid at Mar-a-Lago, which found thousands of government documents, Trump’s lawyers claimed that a search of the club did not yield any records as requested by the DOJ.

Following the raid, Trump asked U.S. District Judge Ellen Cannon to appoint a special master to review confiscated material for documents that could be exempt from use in criminal investigations because they were attorney-client or executive privileged. are protected by.

Shortly after Cannon, Brooklyn, New York, federal judge Raymond Deary was named to serve in that role.

Diary is continuing to examine the unclassified records seized in the raid.

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