Trump Urges Judge to Stick With Special Master Ruling Former President Donald Trump (Getty Images)
By Charlie McCarthy | Monday, 12 September 2022 11:28 AM EDT
Former President Donald Trump on Monday encouraged a federal judge to stick with her order that blocked the Justice Department from continuing its criminal investigation surrounding the government documents seized at Mar-a-Lago.
The DOJ on Thursday filed a notice with the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals saying it was contesting U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon's decision to name an independent arbiter (special master) to review records taken by the FBI agents from Trump's Florida home during an Aug. 8 raid.
Trump on Monday urged Cannon to keep her order in place, Politico reported.
"In what at its core is a document storage dispute that has spiraled out of control, the Government wrongfully seeks to criminalize the possession by the 45th President of his own Presidential and personal records," Trump's attorneys wrote in a 21-page filing.
The DOJ insists Cannon's directive harms national security.
Trump's lawyers disagree, saying in the new filing that prosecutors are overstating the national-security concerns and that "there is no indication any purported 'classified records' were disclosed to anyone," The Washington Post reported.
Federal prosecutors also asked Cannon to withhold her ruling that the FBI not use the more than 100 classified documents seized in the search until they are reviewed by an outside legal expert.
The DOJ asked Cannon to exempt the classified documents from review by the outside expert, saying that requiring such a review would unnecessarily complicate the national security issues, Post reported.
On Friday, the DOJ and Trump's attorneys said they were divided over whether classified records seized by the FBI should be reviewed by a special master, and they each put forth a separate list of candidates for the job.
Both sides proposed different sets of possible candidates for the special master job, and added they intended to inform the court about their views on the other side's candidate list by Monday.
The DOJ previously said FBI agents who raided Mar-a-Lago removed 11 sets of classified documents, including some marked as top secret.
Trump and allies insist the former president had declassified White House documents that were brought to Florida.
Reuters contributed to this story.