DOJ can resume criminal probe of classified documents from Mar-a-Lago, appeals court says

DOJ can resume criminal probe of classified documents from Mar-a-Lago, appeals court says

DOJ can resume criminal probe of classified documents from Mar-a-Lago, appeals court says

The Justice Department’s investigation into whether former President Donald Trump kept sensitive government records at his home in Florida in an illegal way has been put on hold by a recent court decision, but it has now begun again.

On Wednesday, a federal appeals court in Atlanta said that the Justice Department could continue to look at about 100 classified documents that were found on August 8 when the FBI searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property. A federal judge chose an impartial reviewer, called a “special master,” to look at the information that had been seized earlier this month. The Justice Department was told it couldn’t use the records and had to give them to the special master.

Jordan Strauss, a former federal prosecutor who now works for the risk and technology firm Kroll, says that the decision by the appeals court means that the criminal investigation and a separate assessment by the intelligence community of the risk of keeping the documents at Mar-a-Lago can now continue. The decision also means that the newly appointed special master, Judge Raymond Dearie, can only decide if the non-classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago are protected by executive privilege or the attorney-client privilege.

Strauss says, “In terms of what it means for the FBI, it means that the FBI will be able to keep doing what it usually does, which is to assess the damage to national security, and that prosecutors can keep trying to use at least the classified papers.” During its search, the FBI took about 11,000 papers and 1,800 other things out of Trump’s home in Florida. There are 100 documents with the highest classification levels, and several of them are among them. The FBI is looking into at least three possible federal crimes that Trump may have committed by keeping the documents. These include obstruction of justice and illegally keeping national security information. This is just one of many investigations that have been done on the former president. On Wednesday, the top prosecutor for the state of New York filed a civil complaint against Trump and his three children for “persistent and repeated commercial fraud.”

The Justice Department and a local prosecutor in the southern state of Georgia are each looking into whether Trump and his allies tried to change the results of the 2020 presidential election. Trump has said that the investigations are being done for political reasons. It is not clear if the investigation into how Trump handled classified documents will lead to him or any of his advisers being charged. “The decision cuts down the time we have to wait. But it shouldn’t change how the investigation goes, “Strauss had said. After that investigation is done, the Justice Department will probably follow the facts wherever they lead and decide whether or not to charge someone with a felony. Even though the information’s subjects haven’t been made public, the Justice Department says that some of it is so sensitive that not all of its own investigators have been given access to it Still, Trump’s legal team was able to convince Aileen Cannon, a federal judge in Florida’s Southern District, to stop the Justice Department from getting access to them until the special master’s investigation was over.


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