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Mar-a-Lago: DOJ may continue criminal investigation of classified documents, appeals court says



CNN

One federal appeals court is allowing the Justice Department to continue to review documents marked as classified seized from former President Donald Trump’s home and Mar-a-Lago resort.

The emergency intervention raises a trial judge’s order on documents that have impeded the work of federal investigators into the document and is a strong criticism of the Trump team’s effort to address the issue. exported without proof that the document was somehow declassified.

The master’s special review of a subset of about 100 filings, which had allowed Trump’s legal team to view them, has now been partially halted. Special Master, Judge Raymond Deariecan continue his work reviewing the rest of the documents seized from Mar-a-Lago, to make sure the records belong to Trump, or he can assert that they are confidential and not used by investigators. use.

“It is clear that the public is very concerned about ensuring that the storage of classified records does not result in ‘particularly serious damage to national security,’ said the three-judge panel from the Court of Appeals. United States Judge No. 11 mentioned. “Determining that would necessarily include reviewing the documents, determining who had access to them and when, and deciding which source or method (if any) was compromised.”

During the course of the litigation, Trump’s attorneys ask vague questions on whether the materials are in fact classified. But they have not flatly asserted in court that the former President declassified them, even as Trump himself has claimed outside of court that he did.

Wednesday night, the appeals court panel called out Trump’s legal team.

“Plaintiff alleges that he may have declassified these documents while he was President,” the court wrote. “But the file has no evidence that any of these records have been declassified. And before the special master, Plaintiff has resisted providing any evidence that he has declassified any of these documents.”

Trump’s lawyers also tried not to make any specific disclosures about whether the documents had been declassified while the special director-general initially reviewed the documents.

“The filings’ classification marks confirm that they are government records, and that responsible officials have previously determined that their unauthorized disclosure would cause damage – including ‘damage’. particularly serious harm’ – to the security of the Nation,” prosecutors told Circuit 11 during the filing Tuesday night.

The Justice Department has requested 11th Street intervention in the Mar-a-Lago document dispute after Trump successfully sued to appoint a special employer – an independent attorney – to review. about 11,000 documents the FBI obtained during the search. Trump’s house.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, the Florida judge who gave Trump the tender for review, previously denied the Justice Department’s request that she halt parts of the order that apply to 100 identified documents is classified.

There was no criminal statute that the FBI invoked when it obtained a warrant to search Mar-a-Lago based on the documents being classified, the DOJ argued.

In seeking to restart a criminal investigation into the documents, the Justice Department argued that Cannon’s order was preventing investigators from taking steps to assess and mitigate national security risks due to the way in which the documents were filed. handle documents.

Cannon said that a national security review of the documents conducted by the intelligence community could be conducted. However, the Justice Department argued that assessment could not be separated from the criminal investigation.

Round 11 countered Trump’s arguments that he might be interested in classified records that could keep them from federal crime investigators.

Trump “has no proprietary interest in the documents in question, so he is not perceivable harmed if the United States examines documents he does not own or has no personal interest in.” core. Second, we found Plaintiff’s insistence that he would be harmed by a criminal investigation,” they wrote.

“Due to the nature of the classified documents in question here and based on the records, we have no reason to expect that U.S. use of these records poses a risk of disclosure to the United States. Plaintiff’s privileged information period,” they wrote.

This story has been updated with additional details.

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