Trump asks Supreme Court to intervene in review of documents seized in Mar-a-Lago search

US Materials 5 October 2022 05:58 (UTC +04:00)
Trump asks Supreme Court to intervene in review of documents seized in Mar-a-Lago search

Former US President Donald Trump is asking the Supreme Court to intervene and annul a ruling that allowed the Justice Department access to documents recovered from Mar-a-Lago that were marked as classified, Trend reports citing CBS News.

The former president's application is addressed to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, whose purview includes the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which made the earlier ruling.

The former president's team filed the emergency request with the Supreme Court on Tuesday, arguing the special master, or independent arbiter, appointed by the district judge to screen documents for attorney-client or executive privilege should be allowed to review records marked as classified.

Last month, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit agreed to put a hold on the lower court's order to keep records with classified markings off limits to the Justice Department's investigation, pending the review by the independent special master. The appeals court allowed the Justice Department to resume using those documents in its investigation and said that it did not have to turn them over to the special master.

Trump's attorneys argued in Tuesday's filing that "this unwarranted stay should be vacated as it impairs substantially the ongoing, time-sensitive work of the Special Master."

Trump's attorneys are seeking relief through the Supreme Court's "shadow docket," meaning it would not go through the Court's regular process of briefing, oral arguments and opinions. The Court will issue a written order, which may or may not explain the reasoning behind the decision or reveal how the justices voted, though they may note their dissents.

While Trump was in the White House, his administration made 41 requests for emergency relief through the shadow docket, more times than the Bush and Obama administrations, according to analysis by a law professor at the University of Texas.

Trump last week said on Fox News that he had "declassified everything," and presidents can do so just by "thinking about it."

On Tuesday, in a statement separate from the filing, Trump bashed the National Archives and Records Administration, the agency responsible for storing and handling records of past presidents.

"How can Americans trust a system like this? There is no security at NARA. I want my documents back!" Trump wrote.

Trump pursued a legal battle after the FBI executed a search warrant on his private residence at Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 8 and seized approximately 100 documents that were marked as classified. The former president filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department on Aug. 22, requesting a special master be appointed to review the seized records.

On Sept. 5, a Trump-nominated federal judge in Florida approved Trump's request to appoint a special master. Ten days later, Judge Aileen Cannon, appointed U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie to serve as the independent arbiter or special master. Cannon rejected federal prosecutors' request to allow investigators to regain access to the approximately 100 documents marked as classified. On Sept. 21, the three-judge panel on the 11th Circuit allowed the Justice Department to allow investigators to have access to the documents again.

The Supreme Court began its new term Monday, after seating its newest associate justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson.