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U.S. Supreme Court Denies Trump’s Request For Special Master To Review Classified Records

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On the same day that the January 6 Select Committee unanimously voted to subpoena former President Trump to testify, the U.S. Supreme Court has denied Trump’s request to allow the special master appointed to review the classified document seized from his Florida residence at Mar-A-Lago in early August.

The 11th U.S. Circuit of Appeals recently handed down a ruling that barred the special master from examining more than 100 classified records while allowing him to review more than 11,000 seized government documents.

The appeals court had stated that a subset of classified records could only be reviewed by the Department of Justice.

Trump’s attorneys had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn that decision. 

Trump’s lawyers had argued that the appeals court’s ruling “impairs substantially the ongoing, time-sensitive work of the special master,” and that “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.”

The DOJ had urged the Supreme Court to deny Trump’s appeal.

In a court filing, U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar argued that Trump has “no plausible claims” to the classified records.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s order stated, “The application to vacate the stay entered by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on September 21, 2022, presented to Justice [Clarence] Thomas and by him referred to the Court is denied.” There were no dissents.

The DOJ is investigating Trump for removing the records from the White House when he left office in January 2021 and for possible obstruction of justice.

Following the August raid, Trump’s lawyers asked U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon to appoint a special master to review the seized documents that could be exempt from use in the DOJ criminal probe arguing that they are protected by attorney-client or executive privilege.

Cannon named Brooklyn, New York, federal Judge Raymond Dearie to serve as special master.

Dearie is examining the non-classified records seized during the raid.

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