A US court overturned a special master's appointment to review Trump's records

The decision marked a decisive defeat as the judges argued that the request should never have been granted in the first place

A federal appeals court on Thursday halted a special review of documents seized from Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago property, clearing the way for the justice department to regain access to all of the material for use in the criminal investigation surrounding the case. ex president.

The US appeals court's decision for the 11th circuit marked a decisive defeat for Trump in a decision that said a lower court judge should never have granted his request for an independent arbitrator in the first place and was unlikely to be overturned in court. appeal event.

"The law is clear," the appeals court wrote in a 23-page opinion. “We cannot write rules allowing any subject of a search warrant to block a government investigation after the execution of the warrant. We also can't write rules that only allow former presidents to do it."

The ruling removed the lower court judge's order, allowing federal prosecutors to use declassified documents — in addition to documents marked classified they previously got back in previous appeals — in a criminal investigation examining Trump's mishandling of national security material.

Trump can only appeal to the US Supreme Court, according to local rules on the 11th circuit, although it is not yet clear whether he will do so. The former president has lost numerous cases before the supreme court, most recently including whether Congress could gain access to his tax returns.

In a statement, a Trump spokesman said: "The decision does not address the merits of a clear demonstration of the impropriety of the unprecedented, illegal and unprovoked attack at Mar-a-Lago. President Donald J Trump will continue to fight the Justice Department armed.'”

The decision handed down by the 11th circuit is not surprising given the level of skepticism expressed by a three-judge panel led by chief appellate judge William Pryor about the legality of the extraordinary injunction against the department during last week's oral arguments.

Trump requested the appointment of a special master to examine documents seized from Mar-a-Lago - including 103 that had classified markings - shortly after the FBI searched the resort on the grounds that some of the material could be subject to potential privilege protection.

The request was granted by US judge Aileen Cannon, Trump's appointee, who paid extraordinary tribute to Trump because of his status as a former president and ruled that he met the elements of the four-part Richey test used to determine whether to intervene in criminal cases. investigation.

But the 11th circuit ruled that Cannon should not appoint a special master, writing that he had no authority to prevent the department from using the seized material - a move also without legal precedent.

The only instance in which a U.S. district court may withhold an executive branch criminal investigation, the 11th circuit wrote, is if there are multiple extraordinary circumstances that meet the four-part Richey test to justify the intervention.

Trump failed to meet any of the four tests under Richey, notably the first test on whether he suffered a "callous disregard" of his constitutional rights as a result of the FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago, the most heavily ruled by the 11th circuit. important by Richey standards.

Cannon himself had found that Trump did not meet the threshold of "callous abandon" but intervened after deciding he had met the other test. But the 11th circuit categorically disagrees.

Trump failed to meet the second "ownership interest" test in seized materials because he could not articulate which documents he needed, the 11th circuit said, and Trump failed to meet the third test of whether he would be permanently harmed if the materials did not. returned.

"The plaintiff's job is to show why he or she needed the document, not why the government didn't," the 11th circuit wrote.

Trump also failed to meet the fourth test of whether he could seek recourse other than judicial intervention, the 11th circuit wrote, rejecting his argument that he needed a court order because some of the material seized may be outside the scope of a search warrant.

“The status of the document as private or as president does not change the government's authority to confiscate it based on a warrant supported by probable causes. The Department of Justice has the documents because they were seized with a search warrant,” the three-judge panel wrote.

Throughout the ruling, the 11th circuit repeatedly stressed that US district courts should intervene in criminal investigations even before charges are filed only if there are some exceptional circumstances given the separation of powers between the judicial and executive branches.

Trump's lawyers had suggested in court that it was Trump's status as a former president that made the case unique, but the 11th circuit disagreed with that argument, saying there was no such precedent and would not create a new precedent for former presidents to receive special treatment. This article was written by EDUKASI CAMPUS. 

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