The decision to remove an impediment could delay the investigation of the archives for weeks.
A federal appeals court in the United States has lifted a judge’s ban on the Justice Department’s ability to use top-secret files seized from former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate, when they assess an ongoing criminal investigation into the archives at Mar a Lago.
The Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Court of Appeals has asked federal prosecutors to block the lower court’s decision, barring them from using classified documents in the investigation until an independent arbitrator. , known as a special masterchecked the materials to remove anything that could be considered privileged.
The appeals court also said it would agree to partially reverse an order requiring the government to hand over classified records for special master’s review.
“We conclude that the United States would be irreparably harmed from the district court’s restrictions on access to this limited – and potentially important – set of documents, as well as the court that the United States must submit classified records to the special superintendent. review,” the three-judge panel wrote.
The court noted that Trump presented no evidence that he had declassified sensitive records.
It also dismissed the possibility that Trump may have a “personal interest or need for” about 100 documents marked as classified.
The three judges making the decision were Robin Rosenbaum, an appointee of former Democratic President Barack Obama, and Britt Grant and Andrew Brasher, both Trump appointees.
The ruling brought a landslide victory for the Department of Justice, paving the way for investigators to continue looking at the documents as they consider whether to bring criminal charges for the deletion of top-secret records against Mar- a-Lago after Trump lost the presidential election or not and left the White House.
The decision to remove the detention removes an obstacle that could delay the investigation for weeks.
Trump’s lawyers are likely to ask the Supreme Court, which has a conservative 6-3 majority consisting of three judges appointed by the former president, to intervene in the matter.
A spokesman for the Justice Department was not immediately available for comment. Trump’s lawyers could not be immediately reached for comment.
Although the appeals court insisted its ruling was narrow in scope, it nevertheless appeared to strongly rebuke Judge Aileen Cannon, who initially agree with the freezeand many of Trump’s legal arguments.
“[Trump] did not even attempt to show that he had a need to know the information contained in the classified documents,” the judges wrote. “He also did not confirm that the current administration has waived that request for these documents.”