The United States Court Of Appeals Rejects Trump's Request For A "Special Master" In The Document Case

Joseph Godwin

A "special master" investigation of records taken from Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate has come to an end, according to a US appeals court.

The US Department of Justice, which is investigating whether Mr. Trump took sensitive information with him when he left the White House, benefits from the decision.

An impartial attorney is known as the "special master" makes the determination of which documents fall under the executive or attorney-client privilege.

The documents can now be fully examined by investigators.

A three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit US Courts of Appeal in Atlanta rendered the decision on Thursday after the Department of Justice appealed a judgment from September that had granted Mr. Trump's request for the special master review.

There was no "judiciary license to interfere in an ongoing investigation" the appeals court ruled in its decision.

According to the court: "The law is clear. We cannot write a rule that allows any subject of a search warrant to block government investigations after the execution of the warrant. Nor can we write a rule that allows only former presidents to do so."

The Department of Justice's investigation into Mr. Trump's handling of secret documents would have been delayed by a special master review since the agency was not permitted to see or use the materials until it was finished.

The special master for his case was appointed to be 78-year-old New York judge Raymond Dearie, who was first nominated by Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1986.

Whether Mr. Trump and his attorneys will file an appeal against Thursday's decision is unknown.

Mr. Trump is under investigation for allegedly taking highly sensitive government documents with him after leaving the White House to his private Florida residence in Mar-a-Lago.

The authorities say these documents should have been handed over to the National Archives - as required of US presidents upon leaving office.

In January, the FBI confiscated 15 boxes of White House papers that contained "highly classified reports" some of which were "intermixed with other records" and Mr. Trump's "handwritten notes" according to officials. In August, they also took 20 more boxes.

The Department of Justice claimed that Mr. Trump stole 11 sets of secret documents from the White House in all.

The former president vigorously disputed any misconduct, asserting that as president, he had declassified all the relevant documents and that they were safely stored at his Mar-a-Lago residence.

When Mr. Trump's attorneys asked for a special master, they claimed that some of the documents were exempt from disclosure because of the attorney-client privilege, which is a US law that protects the confidentiality of legal counsel.

Reference:

BBC News, (2022 December 2nd). "Us Appeals Court Denies Trump 'special Master' Request In Documents Case": A US appeals court has ended a "special master" review of documents seized from Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-63829125

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