A federal appeals court panel on Wednesday granted the Justice Department’s request to resume reviewing classified documents that seized from former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence for its ongoing criminal investigation.
The big picture: The ruling is a win for the Department of Justice after a federal judge temporarily blocked investigators from examining Trump’s storage of the sensitive government records, which the DOJ argued would hinder its investigation.
What they’re saying: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit said in its ruling granting a partial stay that Trump “has not even attempted to show that he has a need to know the information contained in the classified documents.”
- “Nor has he established that the current administration has waived that requirement for these documents,” wrote the Trump-appointed Judges Britt Grant and Andrew Brasher and the Obama-appointed Judge Robin Rosenbaum.
- The judges noted that Trump suggested he may have declassified documents while he was president, but there’s no record of that and he didn’t provide any evidence to prove that before the special master.
Driving the news: U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon denied the DOJ’s request to exclude the classified papers that the FBI seized from Trump’s Florida home when she appointed former New York federal judge Raymond Dearie as special master to overseeing a review of the documents.
- The appeals court judges noted in their ruling that the DOJ argued that the district court “likely erred in exercising its jurisdiction to enjoin the United States’s use of the classified records in its criminal investigation and to require the United States to submit the marked classified documents to a special master for review.”
- “We agree,” they added.
The other side: Trump’s legal team had argued in a filing Tuesday that the Department of Justice had not successfully proved that the documents “it claims are classified are, in fact, classified and their segregation is inviolable.”
- A day before that, Trump’s team had opposed a request by the special master reviewing the documents to make disclosures about the declassification of documents found at his Florida residence.
- Representatives for Trump did not immediately respond to Axios’ request for comment.
Editor’s note: This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.