An appeals court has blocked an independent review of documents seized in a raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence. For Trump, it means a major setback in the tangle surrounding documents in his home.
The decision allows the Justice Department to continue its investigation into Trump’s handling of thousands of documents – many of them classified – that left the Cabinet, CNN reports.
Trump previously succeeded in temporarily blocking investigators from reviewing the documents, indicating that an independent investigator would review them first. Trump argued that some of the documents belonged to him and should be removed from the investigation.
There is no special treatment
The Court of Appeal did not agree.
“The law is clear. We can’t create a rule that allows every single research subject to prevent a government investigation after the search is complete. We can’t make a rule that only allows former presidents to do that.”
Thanks to pro-Trump District Judge Eileen Cannon, Trump was able to pass the order for independent review. But according to the Court of Appeal, Cannon should not have been involved at all.
It is not yet clear if Trump’s lawyers will appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.
33 boxes of documents
In the August raid on Mar-a-Lago, Florida, which doubled as the members’ club, the FBI took 33 boxes of the materials. It contained more than 100 classified documents, including those related to nuclear weapons.
The Justice Department’s investigation concerned suspected illegal handling of government documents and violations of the Espionage Act.
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