Former President Donald Trump’s motion to allow Special Master Raymond Dearie to access and review approximately 100 classified documents that were seized by the FBI in its August raid of his Florida estate has been denied by the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court issued a brief ruling, reading, “The application to vacate the stay entered by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on September 21, 2022, presented to Justice Thomas and by him referred to the Court is denied.”
Last week, Trump’s attorneys pushed the former president’s legal battle to the Supreme Court, specifically requesting that Justice Clarence Thomas, who holds jurisdiction over the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, vacate the stay that gave the DOJ access to classified records taken from Mar-a-Lago rather than Dearie who was appointed to the case by U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon.
Cannon issued the injunction against the DOJ’s use of the 100 documents purportedly marked as classified to be used for investigative purposes. The 11th Circuit overturned Cannon’s order, preventing Dearie from reviewing those materials. They limited Dearie’s review to only the non-classified documents seized from the estate and also questioned why he had been appointed to the case at all.
The Supreme Court’s order comes after the Justice Department asked earlier this week that they deny Trump’s request to block the DOJ from continuing its review of the classified documents.
Trump’s legal team asked the Supreme Court to intervene, but the Justice Department in a filing on Tuesday argued that the court of appeals “correctly held that it had appellate jurisdiction to review and stay the portion of the September 5 order that requires the government to turn over the documents bearing classification markings for special-master review.”
The Justice Department argued that even if there were “some doubt on that score,” Trump “certainly cannot establish the clear error required to justify the relief he seeks — particularly because he does not acknowledge, much less attempt to rebut, the court of appeals’ conclusion that the district court’s order was a serious and unwarranted intrusion on the Executive Branch’s authority to control the use and distribution of extraordinarily sensitive government records.”
“The application should be denied,” the Justice Department concluded in its filing.
Trump’s legal team, in their initial filing to the Supreme Court, argued that “the unprecedented circumstances presented by this case—an investigation of the Forty-Fifth President of the United States by the administration of his political rival and successor—compelled the District Court to acknowledge the significant need for enhanced vigilance and to order the appointment of a Special Master to ensure fairness, transparency, and maintenance of the public trust.”
“That appointment order is simply not appealable on an interlocutory basis and was never before the Eleventh Circuit. Nonetheless, the Eleventh Circuit granted a stay of the Special Master Order, effectively compromising the integrity of the well-established policy against piecemeal appellate review and ignoring the District Court’s broad discretion without justification,” the filing continues.
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