President Donald Trump made a request on Tuesday for the U.S. Supreme Court to get involved in his litigation with Joe Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ) involving the documents seized from his Florida residence by the FBI.
The emergency request asks the high court to block part of an order issued by the federal Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit that prevents the special master appointed by U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon from reviewing a group of over 100 documents with classification markings contained in the more than 11,000 records seized from Mar-a-Lago on August 8.
The application in the first instance will go to Justice Thomas, who has responsibility for the 11th Circuit, but it is likely he will refer it to the full court for consideration.https://t.co/xsJoBzZsl0
— Legal Insurrection (@LegInsurrection) October 5, 2022
Judge Cannon previously ordered the DOJ to temporarily cease all review of the seized documents while the special master’s examination went forward. Trump sought the appointment of the special master as an independent court officer to determine whether any of the documents contained privileged information and should be returned to him.
Tuesday’s Supreme Court application includes allegations by Trump’s legal team that the DOJ has “attempted to criminalize a document management dispute and now vehemently objects to a transparent process that provides much-needed oversight.”
The FBI search and seizure raid of Mar-a-Lago was approved by a different federal judge in Florida as part of an investigation into whether Trump violated any federal laws by wrongfully possessing documents taken from the White House when he was leaving office.
The 11th Circuit Court became involved when the DOJ asked for appellate review of parts of Judge Cannon’s rulings regarding the work of the special master. She rejected a request last month from the DOJ that she modify her order blocking their access to records on national security grounds.
Trump’s papers filed with the Supreme Court specifically ask the justices to permit the special master’s review of the documents with classification markings to go forward. As things stand currently, the 11th Circuit Court’s order prevents the special master from accessing the records but permits the DOJ to go forward with its investigation into alleged criminal acts by the former president.
Trump wants the Supreme Court to reinstate Judge Cannon’s order, which would compel the DOJ to turn over the marked documents to the special master. His lawyers wrote that “any limit on the comprehensive and transparent review of materials seized in the extraordinary raid of a president’s home erodes public confidence in our system of justice.”
The request was assigned to Justice Clarence Thomas, who covers emergency appeals brought from the 11th Circuit’s jurisdiction. Justice Thomas could issue an order on his own or could refer it to the full court, which is usually what occurs in high-profile cases. As things stand, the DOJ has until October 11 to file a response to the Trump application with the high court.