- Trump’s lawyers contend the investigation is ‘unprecedented and misguided.’
- Justice Department lawyers have argued Trump has no plausible claim to the documents.
- The special master, U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie, aims to complete his review by Dec. 16.
Donald Trump’s lawyers argued Thursday that he could suffer irreparable harm if a special master doesn’t review the documents seized at Mar-a-Lago and urged a federal appeals court to uphold the review.
“This investigation of President Trump by the administration of his political rival is both unprecedented and misguided,” his lawyers James Trusty and Christopher Kise argued. “In what at its core is a document dispute that has spiraled out of control, the Government wrongfully seeks to criminalize the possession by the 45th President of his own Presidential and personal records.”
Trump had won approval in U.S. District Court of the special master to review 11,000 records, more than 100 of which were classified.
The Justice Department seized the records as part of a criminal investigation, but could potentially be blocked from using them because they are personal or fall under executive privilege. Trump has dropped previous potential claims of attorney-client privilege.
The appeals court hasn’t scheduled oral arguments in the case yet.
The Justice Department appealed to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals the order from U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon appointing the special master, U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie, as “unwarranted.”
Trump has “no plausible claim of executive privilege as to any of the seized materials” and had not demonstrated that provisions to screen out documents that might involve attorney-client communications were “inadequate,” government lawyers argued.
A three-judge panel of the appeals court previously ruled the Justice Department could continue its investigation and not submit the 100 classified documents for Dearie’s review. Trump appealed, but the Supreme Court refused to intervene.
Dearie is scheduled to complete his review by Dec. 16, but the legal wrangling over his appointment continues. He is reviewing documents seized Aug. 8 at Mar-a-Lago, where FBI agents were looking for evidence of violations of the Espionage Act or obstruction of justice.