NEW YORK POST - Samuel Chamberlain - OCT 4, 2022
Former President Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court Tuesday to step into his dispute with the Justice Department over classified records removed in August from his Mar-a-Lago resort by the FBI.
In a nearly 300-page filing, the 45th president’s attorneys asked the justices to stay an earlier ruling by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals that allowed the Justice Department to continue using classified documents in the criminal investigation of whether Trump violated federal law relating to custody of government records.
Florida US District Judge Aileen Cannon had ordered the appointment of a neutral third party, known as a special master, to review the thousands of documents and determine whether they were covered by attorney-client privilege, executive privilege, or other protections. The appeals court’s order removed the more than 100 classified documents from the special master’s review pile.
In their application to the high court, the 45th president’s attorneys argued that it was essential for the special master to have access to the classified records to “determine whether documents bearing classification markings are in fact classified, and regardless of classification, whether those records are personal records or Presidential records.”
“Since President Trump had absolute authority over classification decisions during his Presidency, the current status of any disputed document cannot possibly be determined solely by reference to the markings on that document,” the application states.
The document adds that without the special master review, “the unchallenged views of the current Justice Department would supersede the established authority of the Chief Executive.”
Last month, the appeals court ruled that federal prosecutors could resume handling the documents after they claimed the hold hindered its ongoing probe of Trump.
The feds successfully argued the government shouldn’t have to wait for the special master, Brooklyn federal court Judge Raymond Dearie — a longtime prosecutor — to finish his review of the case ahead of a deadline set by Cannon for later this fall.
Trump’s legal team had argued that Dearie was needed to separate files that were subject to attorney-client privilege or executive privilege because federal prosecutors were biased.
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