DOJ partially appeals Trump raid ruling, seeks to keep investigating disputed classified memos

DOJ wants FBI to immediately regain access to about 100 classified documents and not submit them to special master.

Updated: September 17, 2022 - 2:35am

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The Biden Justice Department asked a federal appeals court Friday to put on hold part of a judge's order appointing a special master to review documents the FBI seized from Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate.

The department asked the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to permit the FBI to immediately regain access to about 100 classified documents and not to submit those through the special master's review.

It did not, however, ask the court to reverse the independent arbiter's appointment.

"Although the government believes the district court fundamentally erred in appointing a special master and granting injunctive relief, the government seeks to stay only the portions of the order causing the most serious and immediate harm to the government and the public," the 29-page filing said.  

Earlier this month, Trump won a significant victory when a federal judge ordered a special master to review evidence seized by the FBI during its raid of the former president's Florida estate last month.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon said she would not accept the DOJ's representations about which documents were privileged and which were classified, saying the dispute needed to be reviewed by the master.

"The court's order hamstrings that investigation and places the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) under a Damoclean threat of contempt should the court later disagree with how investigators disaggregated their previously integrated criminal-investigative and national-security activities," DOJ's appeal said.