Trump v. United States, No. 22-13005-F (11th Cir.); Trump v. United States, No. 22-81294 (D. Fla.).
The United States seeks immediate appellate intervention in order to stay the order of the U.S. District Court in Florida which appointed a Special Master to review documents and things seized during an August 8, 2022 search of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence. The trial court ordered the United States to stop using the documents seized in the government’s ongoing criminal investigation, which includes investigation into whether the former president wrongfully retained national security materials.
The United States submits to the appellate court that the approximately 100 documents bearing ‘Classified’ markings are the very documents the government needs to build its case. The United States first made this argument to the trial court, which denied relief, but which directed the newly-appointed Special Master to prioritize review of the documents with ‘Classified’ markings. The court observed that the government had not established any urgency concerning these documents and that the court was not obliged to adopt unquestioningly the position of the United States.
The trial court has outlined a protocol for review of the documents seized which will permit both parties to view the documents, determine which ought to be considered privileged, and submit their recommendations or disagreements to the Special Master. The Special Master will in turn make recommendations to the trial court, which will, if need be, conduct review de novo.
The former president as plaintiff is expected to pay for all of the Special Master proceedings, which must be concluded by November 30, 2022.
The newly appointed Special Master, a retired federal judge, has scheduled an initial conference with counsel on September 20th, and has invited submission of agendas not later than September 19th.