DOJ appeals master’s special ruling in Trump Mar-a-Lago investigation

Cannon’s attempt to shut down the FBI’s investigation while allowing a parallel national security review of the seized documents was simply unworkable, Justice Department officials argued.

“[S]Such a bifurcation would make little sense even if it were feasible, given that the same senior DOJ and FBI officials are ultimately responsible for overseeing the criminal investigation and ensuring that the DOJ and the FBI coordinate appropriately with the [Intelligence Community] on his classification review and assessment,” Bratt added.

In fact, prosecutors said the intelligence community completely halted its review of seized documents — including an assessment to determine whether they, or sources and methods, had been compromised — due to “uncertainty.” surrounding Cannon’s decision.

Underscoring its case for collaboration between the intelligence and law enforcement elements of the investigation, the DOJ argued there was an urgent need for the FBI to be allowed to help investigate dozens of empty files found at Mar-a-Lago with classification marks to determine what they once were. held and whether their contents “may have been lost or compromised”.

While Trump has argued that he should be able to assert executive privilege over most or all of the documents seized from his Florida home, the Justice Department says such claims are clearly insufficient when classified information is in question.

“Even if a former president might, under certain circumstances, be able to assert executive privilege against the executive’s examination and use of his own documents, such a claim would fail with respect to documents classified in Cause here,” Bratt wrote.

In its filing, the Justice Department asks Cannon to exclude all documents bearing classification marks from any special principal examination while the government appeals its decision to the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta. .

The filing is the latest in a week-long legal drama after the FBI seized Mar-a-Lago’s records. And it underscores the cautious path the Justice Department is trying to follow as it pursues a criminal investigation that has not only entangled the former president but, thanks to Cannon’s order, raised deep questions about the separation. powers.

The Justice Department’s move appears to be aimed at streamlining its legal case in case it has to seek emergency assistance from the 11th Circuit, which leans heavily in favor of Republican appointees. Six of the court’s 11 active judges were appointed by Trump.

Focusing the dispute on national security secrets could sideline more thorny arguments about the outer limits of former presidents’ executive privilege, as conservative judges who favor broad executive power in the military sphere may be reluctant to intrude on authority of the current President in this area.

Prosecutors said that if Cannon does not act by September 15 to grant the requested stay to allow the use of documents marked as classified, the government plans to ask the appeals court to do so.

The Department of Justice file is accompanied by a sworn statement by Alan E. Kohler, Jr., Deputy Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division, emphasizing the FBI’s key role in the intelligence community and its necessary involvement in any review of seized documents, for criminal and national security.

Prosecutors also said the department failed to interpret Cannon’s decision to bar senior Justice Department, FBI, and intelligence community officials “from informing congressional leaders with oversight responsibilities of the information regarding classified records that have been recovered”.

Prosecutors aren’t seeking immediate relief from the part of Cannon’s order that called for an outside expert — or “special master” — to review unclassified records for material that may be subject to privilege claims. The government has indicated that its stay request will also not preclude aspects of the judge’s decision that could give the yet-to-be-appointed outside expert a role in separating presidential records from personal records. or other documents seized by the FBI during the August 8 search, except those bearing classification marks like “Top Secret.”

Prosecutors also offered some concessions to Trump in the filing, saying the government planned to give its lawyers copies of “all unclassified documents recovered during the search, both personal records and government records.” The Justice Department also pledged to return a subset of “the plaintiff’s personal items that have not been mixed with classified documents and therefore likely have diminished probative value.”

If granted, the prosecution’s request to exclude classified information from outside review could increase the number of potential candidates for a special master’s degree, as such an alien would no longer need to have a security clearance of high level. Cannon granted Trump’s request for a special master over the objection of prosecutors who warned that the move would delay and complicate their investigation of potential crimes such as unlawful withholding of classified information, theft of government documents and obstruction of justice.

The order from Cannon, a Trump appointee, contained an unusual provision that the Justice Department and FBI would halt their use of the records while the two sides tried to reach an agreement on who would serve as special petty officer and how. this person would manage a review of seized files for information potentially subject to solicitor-client, professional secrecy, or other protections.

Prosecutors and Trump’s attorneys face a Friday deadline to give Cannon a detailed outline of how the special lead exam will work and who could be selected for the job.
The Department of Justice file is accompanied by a sworn statement by Alan E. Kohler, Jr., Deputy Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division, emphasizing the FBI’s key role in the intelligence community and its necessary involvement in any review of seized documents, for criminal and national security.

Prosecutors also said the department failed to interpret Cannon’s decision to bar senior Justice Department, FBI, and intelligence community officials “from informing congressional leaders with oversight responsibilities of the information regarding classified records that have been recovered”.

Prosecutors aren’t seeking immediate relief from the part of Cannon’s order that called for an outside expert — or “special master” — to review unclassified records for material that could be subject to indictment. privilege claims. The government has indicated that its stay request will also not preclude aspects of the judge’s decision that could give the yet-to-be-appointed outside expert a role in separating presidential records from personal records. or other documents seized by the FBI during the August 8 search, except those bearing classification marks like “Top Secret.”

Prosecutors also offered some concessions to Trump in the filing, saying the government planned to give its lawyers copies of “all unclassified documents recovered during the search, both personal records and government records.” The Justice Department also pledged to return a subset of “the plaintiff’s personal items that have not been mixed with classified documents and therefore likely have diminished probative value.”

If granted, the prosecution’s request to exclude classified information from outside review could increase the number of potential candidates for a special master’s degree, as such an alien would no longer need to have a security clearance of high level. Cannon granted Trump’s request for a special master over the objection of prosecutors who warned that the move would delay and complicate their investigation of potential crimes such as unlawful withholding of classified information, theft of government documents and obstruction of justice.

The order from Cannon, a Trump appointee, contained an unusual provision that the Justice Department and FBI would halt their use of the records while the two sides tried to reach an agreement on who would serve as special petty officer and how. this person would manage a review of seized files for information potentially subject to solicitor-client, professional secrecy, or other protections.

Prosecutors and Trump’s attorneys face a Friday deadline to give Cannon a detailed outline of how the special lead exam will work and who could be selected for the job.


Politico

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