Appeals court agrees to expedite Justice Department appeal of order appointing outside arbitrator in Trump documents dispute

Washington- A federal appeals court in Atlanta has agreed to expedite the Justice Department’s appeal of a lower court order appointment of an external lawyer to review the documents seized by the FBI at the Florida residence of former President Donald Trump.

The United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit granted federal prosecutors’ request to shorten the time for the Justice Department and Trump’s lawyers to file briefs in the dispute. The former president opposed the request, arguing in a Monday 11th Circuit filing that he would be harmed if the appeal was expedited.

According to the court’s schedule, federal prosecutors must file their initial brief by Oct. 14, and Trump’s team has until Nov. 10 to submit its response. If the Department of Justice wishes to respond, it has until November 17 to do so. No extension will be allowed, the court said. Previously, the court’s schedule called for federal prosecutors to file their initial brief by Oct. 19, Trump’s attorneys to respond by Nov. 18, and the government to file its response by Dec. 9.

Federal prosecutors had suggested a slightly shorter deadline than that set by the court. Under their proposed timeline, Trump’s team would have had until Nov. 4 to respond to the Justice Department’s opening brief, and prosecutors would have had until Nov. 11 to respond. Lawyers for the Department of Justice asked the court to schedule the pleadings “as soon as possible”.

Ohio Senate candidate JD Vance speaks in Ohio
Former US President Donald Trump speaks at the Covelli Center in Youngstown, Ohio on September 17, 2022.

YOUNGSTOWN, OH – SEPTEMBER 17: Former US President Donald Trump speaks at the Covelli Center in Youngstown, Ohio on September 17, 2022. He hosted a rally in support of Ohio Senate candidate JD Vance, a Republican, who is running against U.S. Representative Tim


The one-page order by Judge Adalberto Jordan, who sits on the 11th Circuit, also noted that after consultation with the Chief Circuit Judge, the appeal will be assigned to a “special merits panel of the Classified Appeals Log.” ” randomly selected by the clerk. of the court. The panel will decide when to hear closing arguments, in which lawyers for Trump and the Justice Department will face off to present their case.

In their filing opposing the faster review, Trump’s lawyers argued that “the extraordinary circumstances presented here – an investigation of the 45th president by the administration of his political rival – would preclude any rush to judgement”.

“No good reason has been demonstrated as to why President Trump should have significantly less time than the government and less time than the rules provide to prepare and present his case before this court in this unprecedented case,” Trump’s legal team wrote Monday.

They also asked the court to hold oral arguments in January 2023 at the earliest.

But the government argued for an expedited appeal because there is no need “to analyze a detailed factual record,” he wrote in his 11th Circuit request on Friday.

Prosecutors said there were two issues they wanted to consider: 1) whether U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon was wrong in finding she had the authority to grant Trump’s request for a special master; and 2) whether Cannon erred in prohibiting the government from reviewing or using the documents seized at Mar-a-Lago in its criminal investigation.

The Justice Department argues in part that the lower court does not have the power to obstruct the investigation of a criminal proceeding, that is, its investigation into whether Trump mishandled the government records taken away. with him from the White House to Mar-a-Lago at the end of his presidency.

Trump sued the Justice Department in August after investigators executed a search warrant at his Florida residence earlier that month, seizing dozens of boxes containing about 11,000 documents, including about 100 with marks classified as SECRET and TOP SECRET. Along with the trial, Trump’s legal team asked Cannon to appoint a special master to review the documents seized for any privileged material and prevent investigators from using the documents in their investigation pending that review.

Cannon acceded to Trump’s demands despite opposition from the Justice Department, appointing Judge Raymond Deariewho sits in the United States District Court in Brooklyn, as Special Master and arrest the FBI to use the documents in their investigation. The Ministry of Justice appealed this decision and got a staysuccessfully convincing a panel of three 11th Circuit judges to unanimously agree that the 103 documents with classified marks seized at Mar-a-Lago should be used in the pending criminal case even as the special main examination was beginning.

trump tuesday asked the Supreme Court to intervene and allow the special master to examine sensitive files. The former president, however, did not ask the High Court to stop federal investigators from using the document bearing classification marks in their ongoing criminal investigation.

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