Justice Department formally appeals appointment of special master in Mar-a-Lago documents case


The Justice Department officially appealed the appointment of the special master, who is overseeing the review of documents seized from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, in a brief filed with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday.

The federal appeals court granted the department’s request last month to block certain aspects of an order from the lower court Judge Aileen Cannon. This appeal contests the entire order from Cannon, who granted Trump’s request to designate a third party to review the documents seized from his Florida estate.

The special master – Raymond Dearie, a senior federal judge based in Brooklyn – has already started the process for the review of about 11,000 documents taken from Mar-a-Lago in August. If the department is ultimately successful in its appeal, the special master could be ordered to halt the review process.

This appeals process, however, will take at least several weeks. While a federal judge did grant the department’s request to expedite the appeal, Trump’s legal team still has until November 10 to file a response, and the 11th Circuit will not schedule oral arguments until after the department files a subsequent reply on November 17.

As it stands now, the special master’s review must be complete by December 16, a timeline set into motion by Cannon, a Trump appointee.

After the 11th Circuit stepped in last month to allow the Justice Department access to about 100 of the documents marked classified, Trump filed an emergency request asking the Supreme Court to intervene in that dispute. On Thursday, the high court refused his request.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

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