Miami – The United States Department of Justice appealed this Thursday the decision of a federal judge in favor of the appointment of an independent expert to supervise the documents seized by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI, in English) during the registration of the Florida home of former President Donald Trump.
Through a brief sent to federal judge Aileen Cannon, the Department of Justice announced its intention to appeal the decision of this magistrate, who on Monday accepted Trump’s request for an independent expert to supervise the documents withdrawn during the search in Mar-a-Lago, his home in Palm Beach, on August 8.
Judge Cannon, of the Southern District of Florida, ordered that the expert, yet to be appointed, be in charge of reviewing the seized assets, managing the claims of privilege invoked in this regard, making recommendations and evaluating the claims for the return of assets.RELATED
The Department of Justice had previously indicated that the appointment of this expert was unnecessary, since a team had selected the documents that could be covered by the attorney-client privilege, and that said figure would delay the criminal investigation carried out by the government.
“The Court’s order would irreparably harm the government and the public by unnecessarily requiring the government to share highly classified materials with a special master” (expert), the US Attorney’s Office said in Thursday’s brief.
The decision of the magistrate has as a consequence that the Department of Justice stopped the review of the seized documents, of which more than a hundred are classified, according to the US Attorney’s Office.
However, it allowed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to continue the evaluation of the possible risk to national security that constitutes the removal from government custody of classified documents, some related to government and intelligence secrets branded as “top secret” .
Cannon had given until this Friday for the United States Attorney’s Office and Trump’s legal team to present a joint list of candidates for “special teacher”, as this independent expert is called, and a proposal on their duties and limitations.
The notice of appeal filed today by the Department of Justice, asking Judge Cannon to suspend the part in which she is prevented from reviewing the documents, will now be heard by a Georgia-based court.
Shortly after the judge’s decision was known on Monday, the former president indicated that the judiciary and the investigative police (FBI) “are being pushed to do the wrong thing by many sinister external sources.”
“Until they show impartiality, wisdom, justice and courage, our country can never return or recover. It will be reduced to being a Third World nation!” he added.
Trump’s defense attorneys argued last Thursday at a hearing in South Florida that the appointment of the independent expert would provide “confidence” to the investigation into the official documents that the former president kept in his Palm Beach mansion.
The FBI search of Mar-a-Lago found classified and secret documents that the former Republican president allegedly took with him when he left the White House in January 2021.
There were also 90 empty folders labeled “classified” and “return to staff secretary/military assistant,” according to the registry’s inventory, which was released last week.