The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) has had its first win in the investigation of former President Donald Trump and possible mishandling of classified records after he left the White House. This is after a panel of appeals court judges has agreed for the DOJ to examine the classified documents taken from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
Last month, the FBI raided Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida where they found thousands of documents of varying classification levels. They also found 103 marked as classified, 54 labeled secret, and 18 top secrets. Trump has insisted that he did not mishandle any material and that all the material had already been declassified.
He has also called the FBI’s actions a “witch hunt”.
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday granted the DOJ’s request which would stop the order previously made by a district judge which stopped them from looking through the recovered documents.
According to the district judge’s decision, a third-party examiner would be called to look through all of the documents. The panel was composed of two Trump-appointed judges and one Obama-appointed judge.
This ruling will allow the DOJ to go through the documents without having to hand over the classified marked documents to the “special master” appointed to the case.
This ruling is significant as it marks a win for the Justice Department which has so far faced many legal setbacks. Previously Aileen Cannon, a Trump-appointed district judge in Florida had approved the request for a special master which had been placed by Trump.
The special master would be Raymond Dearie, a veteran district judge. Dearie was a United States district judge for the Eastern District of New York. As part of the task Dearie would have needed to go through all of the material including those marked as secret and top secret.