Justice Dept. says expert witness should not have been authorized to review Mar-a-Lago documents

The U.S. Department of Justice has defended Friday that the authorization for an independent special expert to review documents taken during the raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago mansion “should never have occurred.”

The Justice portfolio has called on the 11th Court of Appeals in Atlanta to overturn U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon’s decision to appoint an expert witness to review 13,000 files seized from the Florida property by the FBI during its appeal to the court, the ‘Los Angeles Times’ reports.

The Justice representative argued in his filing that Cannon should not even have considered appointing a special master because Trump did not meet the requirement to do so, namely that the government would have shown a “callous disregard” for his rights by executing the court-authorized search. Although the judge based her decision on the fact that the former president did meet the rest of the requirements.

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The court has agreed to expedite consideration of the case and has given the Republican politician’s lawyers until November 10 to file their response.

In the filing, the Department has asserted that the seized documents are “the very objects” of an “ongoing criminal investigation, so “the court should reverse the district court’s injunction and terminate the special master’s review.”

The appeals court already granted the department’s request to withhold nearly 100 classified documents from the special master’s review and vacated Cannon’s order preventing the department from using those records as part of its investigation during the review, the same media outlet reports.

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The U.S. Supreme Court last Thursday rejected Trump’s request to intervene in the dispute over the propriety of having an independent expert analyze the seized documents. The rejection of his claim was significant since this court is of a conservative majority (6-3) and is composed of up to three judges that he himself appointed.

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