DOJ asks court to expedite appeal of special master review in Mar-a-Lago case


The Justice Department has asked the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals to speed up its timetable for weighing the department’s appeal of a judge’s order requiring a special master to review classified documents from Mar-a-Lago.

In the expedited request filed Friday, the DOJ proposed a briefing schedule that would conclude written briefings by Nov. 11, while also asking the appeals court to schedule a hearing as early as possible. Under the current schedule for the appeal, the final written brief is due about a month later, and oral arguments are not yet scheduled.

“Expediting the appeal would serve the interests of justice because the portions of the district court’s injunctions that have not been stayed limit the government’s ability to justify the strong public interest in proceeding expeditiously with the criminal and national security investigation underlying these cases,” the DOJ wrote in the filing.

The DOJ noted in the filing how quickly the emergency proceedings moved as it successfully attempted to exempt documents marked as classified from the review. The department pointed to part of the 11th Circuit opinion granting the cutoff that Judge Aileen Cannon, the Trump appointee who ordered the special master, acted beyond her authority in granting the request for third-party review.

“Although the panel’s decision specifically relates to the documents that bear classification marks, its reasoning probably applies more broadly,” the DOJ said.

The department wrote to the court that an expedited briefing and argument schedule could allow its investigators to resume its full investigation if they are successful in the appeal.

Thus, the government, the DOJ wrote in the suit, “is unable to examine records that were commingled with classified materials, including records that might shed light on, for example, how the classified materials were transferred to plaintiff’s residence, how they were stored and who may have access to them.”

Former President Donald Trump, for his part, opposes the request to speed things up.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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