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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

DOJ continues Mar-a-Lago investigation despite attempts to stall

By Jordan Liu | Staff Writer

TOP SECRET The Justice Department filed a search warrant on Trump’s Mar-a-lago estate and found highly classified documents.

On Sept. 21, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals granted the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) appeal allowing them to continue their investigation of confidential government documents found at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. This decision stopped Trump’s attempt to postpone the investigation.

   The investigation was previously stalled by U.S. district Judge Aileen Cannon’s ruling for a special master (third-party attorney) to review the documents. Trump’s legal team argued in their statement that getting an independent party to review the files was necessary because they were unable to “trust the self-restraint of currently unchecked investigators.”

   In their appeal, the DOJ asked the court to allow them to examine the classified documents that “indisputably belong to the government” and let the special master review the rest. 

   The 11th Circuit judges agreed with the DOJ and wrote that the order for a special master could impose “real and significant harm on the United States and the public” in their decision. They also challenged Trump’s claims that he declassified the government files when he took them from the White House. 

   “In any event, at least for these purposes, the declassification argument is a red herring because declassifying an official document would not change its content or render it personal,” wrote the panel of judges in their decision. “So even if we assumed that Plaintiff did declassify some or all of the documents, that would not explain why he has a personal interest in them.”

   Although the DOJ will now be allowed to continue its investigation, the special master who had previously been chosen will still examine the remaining documents. Federal district judge Raymond Dearie, nominated by Trump, has begun court hearings with Trump’s legal team and federal attorneys.  

   Dearie and Trump’s attorney James Trusty had a disagreement in court when Trusty asked to see the confiscated documents. He and the rest of Trump’s legal team claim that the DOJ is interfering with their right to see the government documents.

   “It’s kind of astounding to hear the government say the president’s lawyers don’t have a need to know,” Trusty said during the hearing on Sept. 20, reported Politico. “I believe we have a need to know, absolutely.” 

   In response to Trusty’s statement, Dearie asked for Trump’s team to get security clearance to prove they have the right to view the classified documents. 

   “Let’s not belittle the fact that we are dealing with at least potentially legitimately classified information. The government has a very strong obligation, as do all of us, to see to it that that information doesn’t get in the wrong hands,” said Dearie, according to Politico.

    The approval of the appeal and special master court hearings are the latest developments in the ongoing investigation of the documents discovered at Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 8, when agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raided Trump’s Florida estate to search for missing government documents.

   According to CNN, FBI agents uncovered over 10,000 documents at Mar-a-Lago, 100 of which were classified government documents that were taken with Trump when he left office. Among them were 18 documents marked as top secret, the highest level of classification.

   Julie Edelstein, a lawyer in the Justice Department, told the press that some of the documents “are so sensitive that even members of the team that is investigating possible offenses here have not yet been provided the clearances to see these documents.”

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DOJ continues Mar-a-Lago investigation despite attempts to stall