Solicitor General Asks Justices to Stay Out of Mar-a-Lago Docs Case 

October 11, 2022 by Dan McCue
Solicitor General Asks Justices to Stay Out of Mar-a-Lago Docs Case 

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to reject former President Donald Trump’s request to allow the special master reviewing documents seized from Mar-a-Lago access to those labeled or otherwise marked classified.

In a 34-page filing, Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar said in court papers that Trump would suffer “no harm at all” if the documents are temporarily withheld from the special master while the government’s appeal proceeds.

Prelogar went on to note Trump has “undermined any claim that he is suffering irreparable injury from the stay by opposing the government’s motion to expedite the underlying appeal and urging that oral argument be deferred until ‘January 2023 or later.’”

On the matter of Trump’s purported ownership stake in the documents, including his repeated claims of attorney-client privilege and executive privilege, Prelogar said Trump has made “no plausible claims.”


Whatever the court decides in weighing Trump’s relatively narrow request, it will not affect the Justice Department’s access to the same documents in its criminal investigation. 

Prelogar said the case only arose because of an “unusual — indeed unprecedented — order” that was issued by U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon in response to Trump’s lawsuit filed after the government search of his Mar-a-Lago residence in early August. 

During that search, investigators identified more than 100 classified documents among the more than 11,000 records they seized from the home.


Cannon, a Trump-appointee, prevented the government from using the documents as part of a criminal investigation, and appointed the special master to review them.

On Sept. 21, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals barred the special master, Judge Raymond Dearie, from reviewing the documents.

Trump then appealed to Justice Clarence Thomas, who handles emergency appeals from the 11th Circuit, seeking to keep the Justice Department from using the documents in its criminal investigation until after the special master’s review is completed.

Trump’s lawyers want the special master assigned in the case to review the more than 100 documents marked classified — which, if allowed, could open the door to Trump’s team reviewing the records and arguing they should be off-limits to prosecutors in a criminal case.

The full court could act on the matter at any time. It would take five justices to agree to grant Trump’s request.

The Justice Department’s main argument is that the appeals court was correct, and they said the Trump legal team was wrong to argue the Supreme Court should take the case.


“Indeed, the most that [Trump]  could possibly establish about appellate jurisdiction in this case is that it presents a ‘difficult’ question,” and that, Prelogar wrote, is not enough, “since the difficulty of a question is inversely proportional to the likelihood that a given answer will be clearly erroneous.”

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and @DanMcCue

A+
a-

In The News

Health

Voting

Law

November 28, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
Supreme Court Leans Toward Limiting Public Corruption Prosecutions

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court heard a case Monday in which a victory for the defendant would make it... Read More

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court heard a case Monday in which a victory for the defendant would make it harder to prosecute public corruption cases when one of the accused is a private citizen. Statements by the justices during the hearing indicated they believed Justice... Read More

November 19, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
Theranos Founder Sentenced to 11 Years for Fraud With Blood Testing Technology

SAN JOSE, Calif. — A judge in San Jose, California, on Friday sentenced former Theranos, Inc., Chief Executive Elizabeth Holmes... Read More

SAN JOSE, Calif. — A judge in San Jose, California, on Friday sentenced former Theranos, Inc., Chief Executive Elizabeth Holmes to more than 11 years in prison for defrauding investors with phony blood-testing technology. "I regret my failings with every cell of my body," a tearful... Read More

November 18, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
DC Sues Washington Commanders Again Claiming Season Ticket Holders Cheated

WASHINGTON — The District of Columbia’s attorney general sued the Washington Commanders football team Thursday for allegedly keeping refundable deposits... Read More

WASHINGTON — The District of Columbia’s attorney general sued the Washington Commanders football team Thursday for allegedly keeping refundable deposits that were supposed to be returned to season ticket holders. The lawsuit says the team violated Washington, D.C.’s, consumer protection laws. D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine... Read More

Same-Sex Marriage Faces Senate Test With GOP Votes Uncertain

WASHINGTON (AP) — Staring down the prospect of divided government in the next Congress, Senate Democrats are moving forward with legislation this... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — Staring down the prospect of divided government in the next Congress, Senate Democrats are moving forward with legislation this week to protect same sex and interracial marriages. It’s a vote that’s “as personal as it gets,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said. Schumer is holding... Read More

November 16, 2022
by Dan McCue
House Poised to Limit Use of NDAs in Workplace Harassment, Assault Cases

WASHINGTON — The House is expected to vote Wednesday on a bill that would limited the use of nondisclosure agreements... Read More

WASHINGTON — The House is expected to vote Wednesday on a bill that would limited the use of nondisclosure agreements to silence victims of workplace sexual assault and harassment. In a party line, 215 to 208 vote on Tuesday, members voted in favor  of a resolution... Read More

November 14, 2022
by Dan McCue
Google Agrees to $391.5M Settlement Over Location Tracking Practices

WASHINGTON — Google has agreed to pay $391.5 million to settle claims it misled consumers into believing they opted out... Read More

WASHINGTON — Google has agreed to pay $391.5 million to settle claims it misled consumers into believing they opted out of location tracking when in reality a separate setting in their Web and App activity continued to collect that data. In all, 40 attorneys general participated... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top