Trump goes to Supreme Court over Mar-a-Lago search and seizure of documents


Former President Donald Trump has asked the Supreme Court to intervene in the dispute over FBI-marked classified materials seized from his Mar-a-Lago estate this summer.

His emergency request to the Supreme Court is the latest example of the former president trying to implicate judges in investigations that embroil him, at a time when the high court’s legitimacy in politically explosive cases is under intense scrutiny

Trump is specifically asking the court to ensure that the more than 100 documents marked as classified are part of the special master’s review. The request, if granted, could strengthen the former president’s attempt to challenge the search in court and return the documents to him.

Trump’s emergency request to the Supreme Court comes after the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the Justice Department, saying the department’s criminal investigation into the documents marked as classified could continue. The investigation’s use of the records had been put on hold by a Florida district judge, who granted a request by Trump for a third-party review of materials obtained in the search for Mar-a – Lake

The appeal puts the political spotlight back on the Supreme Court.

Earlier this year, he asked judges to block the release of his White House documents to congressional investigators of the US Capitol attacks. The high court rejected the petition.

The Supreme Court, with its current conservative majority, is already seen by the American public as partisan after a series of controversial rulings this year, including the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and will likely make the Mar-a-Lago quest even more of an issue in the upcoming midterm elections for Congress.

Trump appointed three of the current justices: Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.

Also, the judge who hears emergency Supreme Court petitions out of Florida is conservative Clarence Thomas, though he’s almost guaranteed to refer the petition to the full court for consideration.

Thomas’ wife, conservative activist Ginni Thomas, promoted efforts to nullify the 2020 presidential election and has testified before the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol. 2021

CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig said the appeal is intended to delay the Justice Department’s investigation into the former president, if possible.

“This is part of the delay strategy,” Honig said on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper,” noting that Trump lost in the appeals court. “So either he accepts that loss and those documents don’t go to the special master and go straight to the DOJ, or the only recourse he has left is to try to get the Supreme Court to take it, and that’s the course he’s taking now.”

Honig said it’s a “close call” if the court takes the case.

“The Supreme Court typically likes to stay out of messy political disputes,” Honig said. “On the other hand, when it comes to unique and novel questions of constitutional law, separation of powers, issues like executive privilege and document classification, that’s why the Supreme Court exists: to judge these disputes of ‘high level. between branches involving a kind of basic constitutional principles.’

Trump is not asking the high court to restore the control that Judge Aileen Cannon, a U.S. district judge he appointed in 2020, placed on the Justice Department’s investigation into access to documents marked classified.

But Trump wants those documents to be included in what the special master is reviewing, after the appeals court exempted them from the special master process.

In the new filing, Trump’s lawyers said that “any limits on the comprehensive and transparent review of materials seized in the extraordinary raid on a president’s home erodes public confidence in our justice system.”

They also rejected claims by the Justice Department that including the documents in the special master review would pose national security risks.

“The government argued on appeal, without explanation, that showing the allegedly classified documents to Judge Dearie would harm national security,” Trump’s lawyers said, referring to Chief Judge Raymond Dearie, who has been appointed special master in the dispute Trump’s team said that position “cannot be reconciled” with the DOJ saying it may want to show those same documents to a grand jury or witnesses during interviews.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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