DOJ Requests Expedited Appeal of Trump’s Special Master Appointment

The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a motion Friday to expedite its appeal of the appointment of a special master to review the documents it obtained from former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., last month.

The filing comes after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit sided with the Justice Department in ruling that U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon erred in failing to remove classified documents from the special master so the DOJ could continue its review.

The DOJ argues in the filing with the federal appeals court that expediting the appeal of the entire appointment of a special master would serve “judicial efficiency” because a ruling in the government’s favor could make further proceedings before the special master unnecessary.

The department also argues that expediting the appeal would serve the interests of justice because the special appointment of a master limits the government’s ability to “justify the strong public interest” in proceeding expeditiously with its criminal and national security investigation.

The DOJ’s proposed timeline would have it file an opening brief by Oct. 14, Trump respond by Nov. 4, and the department file a rebuttal by Nov. 11.

The 11th Circuit Court had originally set the initial deadline for the administration’s mandate to be Oct. 19, followed by Trump’s by Nov. 18. The DOJ then had to respond by December 9.

But the department notes that any extensions granted to either party could require the case to go into 2023.

DOJ’s motion argues that the appeal does not require analysis of an extensive factual record since the parties have already been largely briefed. It pointed to the ability of the court’s three-judge panel to deliver a decision on the classified documents within six days as evidence of the speed the process can take.

The motion also states that the government’s arguments about Cannon’s jurisdiction to appoint the special master and the legal viability of Trump’s privilege claim “substantially” overlap with its arguments regarding the classified documents. The DOJ therefore argues that not as much time is required for the parties to develop their positions.

Updated at 21:07

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