Trump Asks Justices to Intervene in Classified Documents Case
WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump has asked the Supreme Court to review a ruling by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that allowed the Justice Department to continue to review documents marked as classified that were seized from Trump’s Florida residence last summer.
Arguing a federal judge did not abuse her discretion to appoint a special master in the case, Trump’s legal team asks the high court to vacate the 11th Circuit’s Sept. 21 stay order as regards the special master and allow him to continue to review all of the documents gathered at Mar-a-Lago before justice department investigators do.
In his 47-page petition to the court, Trump argues that the appellate court overstepped its authority in making the call.
“The 11th Circuit lacked jurisdiction to review the special master order, which authorized the review of all materials seized from President Trump’s residence, including approximately 103 documents the government contends bear classification markings,” the filing says.
Further, the filing argues that the stay compromised the integrity of “the well-established policy against piecemeal appellate review and ignored the District Court’s broad discretion without justification.”
In September, a three-judge panel for the 11th Circuit unanimously granted a request from the Justice Department to block one portion of a ruling by U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, who had appointed a special master to review more than 11,000 files seized from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in August.
The Justice Department had gone to the Atlanta-based appellate court with a narrow request, asking that only about 100 documents — all labeled with some kind of classified designation — be excluded from the special master’s review so that they could continue to be used in an ongoing criminal inquiry.
The 11th Circuit then stayed Cannon’s order “to the extent it enjoins the government’s use of the classified documents.”
In turning to the Supreme Court, Trump is seeking intervention from a group of justices who have repeatedly rejected the former president’s efforts to block disclosure of information about him and his businesses.
The emergency application was filed with Justice Clarence Thomas, the circuit justice who handles emergency matters from the 11th Circuit.
Thomas has the choice of ruling on it himself or referring it to the entire court.
The Justice Department declined to comment on the former president’s latest court filing.
This story was updated to include more detailed information from Donald Trump's petition to the Supreme Court. It has also been updated to note that the Justice Department declined to comment on the matter.