WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has asked an independent arbitrator to review documents seized during an FBI search.
The complaint is the latest salvo in weeks over the scope of duties of the arbitrator, also known as a special master. He was ordered by a judge last month to review thousands of records seized in the Aug. 8 search at Mar-a-Lago and remove anything from the investigation that is protected by claims of legal privilege.
The special master’s process has led to delays in the Justice Department’s investigation into the home’s storage of classified documents. But when the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a temporary stay on the department’s ability to use classified documents seized as part of its criminal investigation.
This move allowed an original aspect of the investigation to be restarted and greatly reduced the possibility that the special master’s process could seriously affect the investigation. But the department’s lawyers returned to court on Friday to ask that the entire special master’s review be stopped, saying the judge who made the appointment had no reason to do so and that Trump had no right to independently review or challenge the seized records. . privilege on them.
“Plaintiff has no meritorious claim of executive privilege with respect to any of the seized materials and no meritorious claim of client-client privilege with respect to the seized government records, including all records containing classified information,” the department’s brief states.
“Accordingly,” they added, “the special master’s review process is unwarranted.”