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Trump urges appeals court to continue protecting Justice Department records

Washington- Former President Donald Trump’s legal team on Tuesday urged a federal appeals court to reject a Department of Justice request to allow investigators to regain access to a tranche of approximately 100 class-marked documents seized from his Florida estate, claiming the government has “criminalized a document dispute” and opposes a “transparent process that simply provides a much-needed oversight.”

“This investigation of the 45th President of the United States is unprecedented and misguided,” James Trusty and Christopher Kise, Trump’s lawyers, wrote in their response. “In what is essentially a document storage dispute that has spiraled out of control, the administration improperly seeks to criminalize the 45th president’s possession of his own presidential and personal records.”

In his 40-page presentationTrump’s attorneys told the 11th Circuit US Court of Appeals that the FBI’s seizure of documents from Trump’s South Florida home, Mar-a-Lago, presents “extraordinary circumstances.” that warrant review by a neutral third party,” and said the Justice Department has not proven that the documents on which its appeals court application is based are classified.

“Ultimately, any brief delay in the criminal investigation will not irreparably damage the government,” Trusty and Kise wrote. “The court order does not prevent the government from conducting a criminal investigation, it simply delays the investigation for a short period while a neutral third party reviews the documents in question.”

A detailed list of properties An FBI report released this month shows that federal agents seized 33 items, boxes or containers from a storage room and from Trump’s office desks containing 103 documents marked “confidential,” “secret” or “top secret” during the FBI operation of August 1. 8 search in South Florida property.

Last Friday, the Justice Department turned to the 11th Circuit after US District Judge Aileen Cannon rejected your request to restore access to the tranche of classified marked files that were among the material seized. Cannon barred the Justice Department from using the documents in its ongoing criminal investigation into Trump’s handling of sensitive government records, pending a review by an outside arbitrator known as special teacher.

In their filing with the 11th Circuit asking the court to suspend Cannon’s order to keep the subset of sensitive records from investigators, federal prosecutors argued that the decision “harms” their criminal investigation and “irreparably harms the government by prohibiting critical steps in an ongoing process. criminal investigation and unnecessarily convincing disclosure of highly sensitive records,” including to Trump attorneys.

By blocking the review and use of the records for investigative purposes, the ruling “hampers the government’s efforts to protect the nation’s security,” Justice Department lawyers wrote in their 29-page filing.

In addition to keeping her order in place preventing federal investigators from using the confidential documents, Cannon, a Trump appointee to the federal court, also appointed Judge Raymond Dearie to serve as a special teacher. Dearie is tasked with combing through the approximately 11,000 documents recovered by the FBI from a storage room and Trump’s Mar-a-Lago office for personal items and records, as well as material that may potentially be subject to executive privilege or attorney-client.

Dearie, a longtime federal district court judge in Brooklyn, is set to meet with Justice Department attorneys and Trump’s legal team on Tuesday afternoon, asking the parties to file agenda items proposed in advance.

In a letter Monday, federal prosecutors He suggested the conference focused on the “precise mechanics” of how documents should be reviewed, aspects of the order appointing Dearie as a special teacher, and future reviews of progress.

in a separate letter According to Dearie, Trump’s lawyers pushed back Dearie’s proposed Oct. 7 deadline for the two sides to finish examining and labeling the documents seized at Mar-a-Lago. They too objected to a request Dearie urged Trump to release information about any potential release of confidential materials taken from his South Florida residence, arguing that doing so would require Trump to “fully and specifically disclose a defense on the merits of any subsequent prosecution without such a requirement being evident in the district court order.”

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