Supreme Court Rejects Donald Trump’s Appeal On Classified Mar-A-Lago Docs

by | Oct 13, 2022 | Politics

The Supreme Court denied former President Donald Trump’s petition asking it to allow an outside expert to review classified documents that were among the materials taken from the White House after his tenure. The documents were seized by the FBI following a search of the former president’s home at Mar-a-Lago.The court’s rejection of Trump’s petition came in a short notice stating that his request for the court to override an appeals court decision that separated the classified documents from other materials seized by the FBI was denied. There were no noted dissents.AdvertisementTrump’s petition to the court was a last-ditch legal effort aimed at keeping the more than 100 classified documents he took after leaving office and withheld from the National Archives from being used in any potential prosecution related to their removal to Mar-a-Lago.The FBI searched Trump’s for classified documents and other materials he was believed to be withholding from the National Archives and seized 11,000 documents, 103 of which held classification markings, on Aug. 8. It is against the law to remove and retain (and withhold) classified documents without proper authorization. This is even true for former presidents.Following the seizure of the documents, Trump claimed political persecution, suggested he had declassified the documents “by thinking about it” and demanded the government return them to him immediately.He then sued in federal district court to prevent prosecutors from using the documents in their investigation while asking for the appointment of an outside expert, known as a special master, to review all of the documents for executive or attorney-client privilege for exclusion in the investigation.AdvertisementTrump’s case was taken up by district court judge Aileen Cannon, whom he appointed in 2020. In what was called a “deeply problematic” decision that gave “special considerations to the former president,” Cannon sided with Trump and forbid the Justice Department from using any documents, including the classified documents, in its investigations and appointed a special master to review all of the documents for executive or attorney-client privilege.The government appealed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, where a three-judge panel made up of two judges appointed by Trump and one by former President Barack Obama overrode parts of Cannon’s decision. The appeals court panel allowed the Justice Department to resume using the seized classified documents in its investigation into the former president for obstruction of justice and violations of the Presidential Records Act, prohibited the special master from reviewing those classified documents and ordered that the full appeals court hear the case to overturn Cannon’s decision to appoint a special master on an expedited basis.In response, Trump filed his petition with the Supreme Court on Oct. 4 demanding that the court vacate the appeals court panel’s decision to forbid the special master from reviewing the 103 classified documents.The case now rests with the special master, Judge Raymond Dearie, and the 11th Circuit of Appeals as it reviews Cannon’s decision to appoint a special master at all. …

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