DOJ asks judge to expedite special review appeal in Mar-a-Lago case


The Justice Department has asked the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to speed up its timetable for the department’s appeal of a court order requiring a special master to examine classified Mar-a-Lago documents.

In an expedited motion filed Friday, the DOJ proposed a briefing schedule that would include written briefs by Nov. 11, and asked the appeals court to schedule a hearing as soon as possible. According to the current schedule of the appeal, the final written statement is due about a month later, and oral arguments have not yet been scheduled.

“Expediting the appeal would serve the interests of justice because the portions of the district court’s order that have not been vacated limit the government’s ability to vindicate a compelling public interest in expeditiously proceeding with the criminal and national security investigations underlying these proceedings.” DOJ wrote on file.

The DOJ noted in the filing how quickly it pursued emergency litigation when it sought to exempt classified documents from review. The department said part of the 11th Circuit’s opinion was that Judge Aileen Cannon, the Trump appointee who ordered the special master, acted outside her authority in granting the third-party review request.

“While the panel’s decision relates specifically to documents with classification marks, its reasoning arguably applies more broadly,” the DOJ said.

The department wrote to the judge that an expedited briefing and argument schedule could allow its investigators, if successful on appeal, to restart the entire investigation.

The government, the DOJ wrote in the document, “thus cannot review records that were intermingled with the classified materials, including records that might shed light on, for example, how the classified materials were transferred to plaintiff’s headquarters, how they were stored, and who can access them.”

For his part, former President Donald Trump is opposing the request to speed things up.

This story is breaking and will be updated.