The US Justice Department on Friday moved to expedite its appeal of an order appointing a special master to review all of the records the FBI seized from former President Donald Trump's Florida estate.
In a court filing late on Friday, the Justice Department said its inability to access the non-classified documents held at Trump's estate is still hampering significant aspects of its investigation on the retention of government records at the Florida property that pertain to the classified records.
The Justice Department is asking the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to order all papers be filed in the case by Nov. 11, and hold any necessary hearing in the case as soon as that briefing is completed.
Trump's lawyers are opposing the request, the government said. The former president's attorneys did not immediately return a request for comment.
The Justice Department said an expedited schedule may allow the government, if it wins the appeal, “to more quickly resume its full investigation without restraints on its review and use of evidence seized pursuant to a lawful search warrant.”
The government attorneys added that, if the Atlanta-based appeals court rules in the Justice Department's favor, it would end the litigation over materials seized in the search as well as the outside review of those documents.
That review, being conducted by special master Senior U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie, is currently set to end by Dec. 16.
The appeals court earlier this month sided with the Justice Department in lifting parts of the ruling from U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon that had prevented the department from relying on classified materials taken in the search as part of its investigation, such as bringing up the sensitive records' contents in witness interviews or presenting charges to a grand jury.
The 11th Circuit also blocked Dearie from accessing the classified records as part of his proceedings.
Cannon on Sept. 5 granted Trump’s request for that third-party review of the seized documents, over the objections of the Justice Department. That process has already been delayed, as Trump and the government have not yet been able to secure a contract with an outside vendor to host the documents as part of the review.
Cannon on Thursday also rejected Dearie’s instruction that Trump verify the list of documents taken from the property, after the former president's lawyers argued that requirement was outside the scope of the special master’s authority.
Trump has claimed without evidence that FBI agents planted evidence as they searched his resort on Aug. 8, but his attorneys have not repeated the same allegations in court.
Trump ally foreign-agent trial under Mar-a-Lago cloudTom Barrack emerged during Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign as the genial face of outreach to the business community and moderate Republicans. In a ... World News
US: Republicans spend millions on TV ads for midterms, but why doesn’t Trump?Fundraising groups tied to Republican Party leaders are sharply increasing spending on campaign ads to help the party win control of Congress in the ... World News
US court says Trump criminal probe can resume classified records reviewThe US Justice Department can resume reviewing classified records seized by the FBI from former President Donald Trump's Florida home pending appeal, ... World News