Former US President Donald Trump has asked the Supreme Court to overturn a federal appeals court decision that allowed the Justice Department to unblock the investigation of classified documents seized from the Mar-a-Lago search, his Florida mansion. .
The Supreme Court has nine members and a conservative majority of six to three. In addition, three of the justices were appointed by Trump himself during his presidency. It is enough that four judges support accepting a case for it to be admitted for processing. Despite this, on previous occasions the Supreme Court has made decisions against Trump’s interests.
None of them, however, in a case of such importance. The early appeal to the Supreme Court marks an escalation in the court battle over the confidential documents he took from the White House and irregularly kept at Mar-a-Lago. In the new brief, Trump’s lawyers maintain that he took the documents to his mansion when he was president and that once there, he had the power to decide that they were no longer confidential. Trump has maintained in an interview on the conservative Fox a few weeks ago that he could declassify them “just by thinking about it.”
Trump’s lawyers point out in their appeal that the independent expert, a retired judge, should be allowed to examine those papers with classification marks. They argue that the court lacked the power to stay that review and thus allow the Justice Department to continue reviewing the papers.
The appealed decision
The court had decided to provisionally suspend the review by the expert and allow the Prosecutor’s Office to continue investigating. “We grant the suspension pending appeal. The district court’s order is stayed to the extent that it prohibits the Government’s use of the classified documents and requires the Government to submit the classified documents to the special expert for review.
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And they added: “We cannot discern why the plaintiff [Trump] would have an individual interest or need for any of the 100 documents with classification marks. The classified documents are marked to show that they are classified, for example, with their classification level, ”says the 29-page judicial decision, before the allegations of the former president’s lawyers. “Plaintiff has not even attempted to show that he has a need to know the information contained in the classified documents.”
The judges dismantled one of Trump’s defense maneuvers, which he has assured on his social network that he had declassified all the documents, while his lawyers have not openly argued that in court, because it can turn against him. The crime is not in stealing or retaining classified documents, but documents that may affect national security.
The court was blunt: “The plaintiff suggests that he could have declassified these documents when he was president. But the file contains no evidence that any of these records were declassified. And before the special judge, the plaintiff refused to provide any evidence that he had declassified any of these documents,” the judges wrote. “In any event, at least for these purposes the declassification argument is a red herring because declassification of an official document would not change its content or make it personal,” he added.
Now, Trump asks the Supreme Court to take action on the matter. Any decision in this regard will be controversial. The task is added to the list of high-profile cases that the Supreme already has for this judicial course. The conservative-majority Supreme Court deals with decisive cases on race, religion, equality, electoral rules and the environment that may represent a new twist in the turn to the right decisively undertaken last year.
Supreme Court justices have rejected Trump’s requests on recent occasions. In January, they denied his request to withhold documentation from the White House related to the January 6, 2021, assault on Capitol Hill. In 2020, while he was still president, he was also told that he could not excuse himself from office for denying the documents about his finances against an investigation carried out in New York.
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