Former President Donald Trump is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in the legal battle over government documents the FBI seized from his Mar-a-Lago estate, a Tuesday filing shows.
Trump’s legal team asked Justice Clarence Thomas to issue an emergency order authorizing the special master’s authority to review over 100 documents seized from Mar-a-Lago with classified markings.
The request was directed to Justice Thomas because he oversees the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled last month that special master Raymond Dearie cannot review the documents that were marked classified.
The 11th Circuit also ruled that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) can continue using the documents in its investigation while the special master conducts his review. However, Trump’s filing on Tuesday does not seem to dispute that portion of the 11th Circuit’s decision.
“For our part, we cannot discern why Plaintiff would have an individual interest in or need for any of the one-hundred documents with classification markings,” the 11th Circuit three-judge panel wrote.
The 11th Circuit also questioned Trump’s claims that he declassified the documents in question.
“But the record contains no evidence that any of these records were declassified. And before the special master, Plaintiff resisted providing any evidence that he had declassified any of these documents,” the 11th Circuit added.
However, Trump’s legal team urged Justice Thomas to grant their request in the name of transparency and restoring public confidence in the nation’s justice system.
“Any limit on the comprehensive and transparent review of materials seized in the extraordinary raid of a President’s home erodes public confidence in our system of justice,” Trump’s attorneys wrote in the 37-page filing.
Trump’s attorneys also echoed their previous filings that characterized the records dispute as more of a “document management dispute” than a criminal case.
“In sum, the Government has attempted to criminalize a document management dispute and now vehemently objects to a transparent process that provides much-needed oversight,” Trump’s attorneys added.
They also claimed the 11th circuit court of appeals was incorrect in allowing the DOJ to appeal a procedural aspect of the case.
Trump’s legal team wrote:
Nonetheless, the Eleventh Circuit granted a stay of the Special Master Order, effectively compromising the integrity of the well-established policy against piecemeal appellate review and ignoring the District Court’s broad discretion without justification. This unwarranted stay should be vacated as it impairs substantially the ongoing, time-sensitive work of the Special Master.
The Supreme Court is expected to resolve this issue within weeks, as Trump’s request was filed on the Court’s emergency docket.
Justice Thomas requested a response from DOJ attorneys by October 11.