NBC News reports, In a major setback for Trump, an appeals court ends the special master’s review of seized Mar-a-Lago records:

A federal appeals court Thursday ruled that a judge’s order appointing a special master to review documents seized from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort should be dismissed.

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Read the full ruling here.

The ruling by a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit lifts earlier restrictions on the Justice Department’s examination of classified documents and other records and will allow investigators to proceed with the probe more quickly.

The panel said that U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon’s order in September to appoint an arbiter and prevent the government from using a trove of documents it retrieved from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort on Aug. 8 was incorrect. [How polite. They should have said “corrupt.”.]

“The law is clear. We cannot write a rule that allows any subject of a search warrant to block government investigations after the execution of the warrant,” the panel wrote. “Accordingly, we agree with the government that the district court improperly exercised equitable jurisdiction, and that dismissal of the entire proceeding is required.”

In September, Cannon named Raymond J. Dearie, a senior U.S. district judge for the Eastern District of New York, to review all of the materials seized.

CNN adds, Appeals court halts special master review of documents seized at Mar-a-Lago in major defeat for Trump:

In a major defeat for former President Donald Trump, a federal appeals court on Thursday halted a third-party review of documents seized from his Mar-a-Lago estate.

The ruling removes a major obstacle to the Justice Department’s investigation into the mishandling of government records from Trump’s time in the White House.

The three-judge panel of the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals reversed US District Judge Aileen Cannon’s order appointing a so-called special master to sort through thousands of documents found at Trump’s home to determine what should be off limits to investigators.

“The law is clear,” the appeals court wrote. “We cannot write a rule that allows any subject of a search warrant to block government investigations after the execution of the warrant. Nor can we write a rule that allows only former presidents to do so.”

The 11th Circuit said that either approach would be a “radical reordering of our caselaw limiting the federal courts’ involvement in criminal investigations” and that “both would violate bedrock separation-of-powers limitations.”

The opinion – which was issued jointly by the three-judge panel made up of [all three of the judges were appointed by Republican presidents, including two whom he personally selected] – dismantled Trump’s arguments for why a special master was necessary. The court said that only in extraordinary circumstances should courts intervene in Justice Department investigations that are still in their early stages, and that standard had not been met here.

“This restraint guards against needless judicial intrusion into the course of criminal investigations—a sphere of power committed to the executive branch,” the court write.

The ruling is a stinging rebuke of how Cannon inserted herself into the dispute. In addition to reversing the order, the appeals court is instructing her to dismiss the entire case.

The appeals court said that its new ruling will go into effect in seven days, unless a party in the case successfully seeks an order – known as a stay – pausing the ruling from going into effect while it is appealed.

The appeals court agreed that Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon did not have jurisdiction to hear Trump’s case, let alone issue a sweeping ruling forbidding federal authorities from using thousands of seized files in an ongoing criminal investigation pending the completion of a special master’s review. The 11th Circuit’s ruling voids the special master process in its entirely, relieving Senior U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie of his duties.

The path is now cleared for a quick DOJ indictment of Donald Trump for stealing classified documents when he was forced into exile at Mar-a-Lago after his failed coup d’état on January 6, 2021. It is now up to new Special Counsel Jack Smith (and Attorney General Merrick Garland).




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