Washington, Sep 9 (IANS) The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has appealed a ruling to appoint a special master to review documents FBI agents seized from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence on August 8.
The DOJ also asked District Judge Aileen Cannon to pause her order blocking federal prosecutors from further reviewing documents marked classified that were seized from the estate in Palm Beach, Florida, reports Xinhua news agency.
‘Without a stay, the government and public also will suffer irreparable harm from the undue delay to the criminal investigation,’ the DOJ wrote in a filing on Thursday.
‘Any delay poses significant concerns in the context of an investigation into the mishandling of classified records.’
Cannon had said on Monday that the court ‘authorizes the appointment of a special master to review the seized property for personal items and documents and potentially privileged material subject to claims of attorney-client and/or executive privilege’.
The judge also required the DOJ and Trump’s attorneys to submit a joint filing by Friday that includes a proposed special master candidate list.
Trump has accused the FBI of searching his Mar-a-Lago residence for political purposes, while claiming that some of the documents were protected by attorney-client privilege and executive privilege.
The DOJ had previously argued Trump did not have the authority to claim executive privilege from his time in the White House since he is no longer in office.
A preliminary triage of the documents taken from Mar-a-Lago by the FBI was said to have found 184 unique documents bearing classification markings, including 67 marked as ‘CONFIDENTIAL’, 92 ‘SECRET’, and 25 ‘TOP SECRET’, according to a redacted affidavit.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing and claimed all the seized documents were declassified.
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