Trump filed an emergency request with the court on Tuesday, arguing that the 11th Circuit Court didn’t have the authority to reverse a restraining order barring the DOJ from reviewing a trove of classified documents Trump allegedly retained unlawfully after his departure from the presidency.
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Trump-appointed Judge Aileen Cannon last month appointed a “special master” to review the seized documents for any privilege issues, but the 11th Circuit Court ruled that the Justice Department could proceed with its review of about 100 of those documents. Trump’s legal team is arguing that the 11th Circuit Court didn’t have the power to do this, and that all of the seized documents should first be reviewed by the special master. “This application seeks to vacate only that portion of the Eleventh Circuit’s Stay Order limiting the scope of the Special Master’s review of the documents bearing classification markings,” the filing reads.
The appointment of Judge Raymond Dearie as special master came at a cost to Trump’s litigation strategy. On his first day adjudicating the role, Dearie dumped cold water on the former president’s public claims that he had managed to declassify the documents before leaving office. “If the government gives me prima facia evidence that they are classified documents, and you don’t advance any claim of declassification, I’m left with a prima facia case of classified documents,” Dearie said, “and as far as I’m concerned, that’s the end of it.”
Trump would go on to claim on Fox News that he could declassify documents just by thinking about them.
It’s unclear if the Supreme Court will take up the issue. The court is currently dominated by conservative justices, three of which Trump appointed over the course of his four years in office, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will indulge the former president.
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