DOJ appeals special master in Trump document case


FILE – An aerial view of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Fla., on Aug. 31, 2022. The Justice Department asked a federal appeals court on Friday, Oct. 14, to overturn a judge’s appointment of an independent arbiter to review documents seized during an FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

(NewsNation) — The U.S. Department of Justice is asking an appeals court to reverse a lower court’s appointment of a special master selected to review classified documents seized from the home of former President Donald Trump.

In a filing Friday, the DOJ argued the special master appointment was made in error, saying courts at the district level have “no general equitable authority to superintend federal criminal investigations,” stating such action is limited to “‘exceptional’ circumstances.”

“The uncontested record demonstrates that the search was conducted in full accordance with a judicially authorized warrant, and there has been no violation of Plaintiff’s (Trump’s) rights,” the filing reads.

The special master was assigned by the lower court last month to look over the documents seized from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home to see if any were protected under attorney-client privilege.

The filing is the latest development in the legal case surrounding the documents seized on Aug. 8. The special master debate has delayed the DOJ’s investigation into the documents seized more than two months ago.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal from the former president’s legal team over the special master’s ability to review 100 documents with classified markings.

Trump’s attorneys argued he declassified them while he was still president. The DOJ argued there was not evidence to support the contention that he has the authority they claim.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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