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DOJ Appeals Ruling on Special Master in Mar-a-Lago Papers Case

The Justice Department is challenging the appointment of a special master to review thousands of documents seized during last month's search of former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago beach club, a ruling that has limited the criminal investigation into the Trump team's handling of classified government records, USA Today reports.

The appeal comes after U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon authorized the appointment of a third party to identify records that may relate to privileged attorney-client communications that should be shielded from investigators. The government also asked that Cannon suspend at least part of the ruling barring the use of the classified documents seized during the Aug. 8 search in the continuing investigation, pending the appeal.


DOJ officials argued that the "government and the public would suffer irreparable harm absent a stay."

The new court filing argues that Trump cannot assert any claim to the classified documents and that any assertions that they might be privileged communications between attorney and client did not apply. "Although this Court suggested that (Trump) might be able to assert executive privilege as to some of the seized records, Supreme Court precedent makes clear that any possible assertion of privilege that (Trump) might attempt to make over the classified records would be overcome by the government’s 'demonstrated, specific need' for that evidence." The DOJ filing declared that, "There is no valid purpose to be served by a special master’s review of classified materials, compelled disclosure of those materials to a special master is itself an irreparable harm." Trump railed at the Justice filing, claiming the appeal would cost millions of dollars.

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