A federal appeals court on Wednesday granted the Justice Department’s request to expedite its appeal for the appointment of a special master to examine documents seized by the FBI at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in August. ​

The decision by the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ​represents a setback to the 45th president, whose legal team asked the court on Monday to hold off hearing oral arguments in the case until January at the earliest. ​

The Justice Department ​asked the court on Sept. 30 to speed up its appeal of the special master appointment by US District Judge Aileen Cannon, claiming her order was hindering the agency’s ability to comb through the thousands of documents seized on Aug. 8 at Trump’s Florida home and slowing down its investigation. 

A picture of Aileen Mercedes Cannon testifying on her nomination to Be United States District Judge For The Southern District Of Florida in Washington, DC.
The Justice Department claimed the special master appointment by US District Judge Aileen Cannon slowed down the investigation at Trump’s Florida home.
US Senate Television via CNP / S
A picture of the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Atlanta-based 11th Circuit Court of Appeals granted the Justice Department’s request to expedite its appeal for a special master.
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11

Because of Cannon’s order, the Justice Department was prohibited from examining around 11,000 non-classified documents from Mar-a-Lago that were found stored alongside other presidential records marked classified.

The appeals court previously allowed investigators to continue examining the classified documents, a ruling Trump appealed to the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

A picture of Donald Trump at a rally in Michigan.
Because of Cannon’s order, the Justice Department was prohibited from examining around 11,000 non-classified documents from Mar-a-Lago.

A picture of Trump's Mar-A-Lago estate in Florida.
An aerial view of Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago estate in Florida.

Countless of documents were seized by the FBI at Donald Trump's Mar-A-Lago estate.
Countless of documents were seized by the FBI at Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago estate.

The Justice Department said the off-limit documents “may shed light” on how the records got to Mar-a-Lago and who may have accessed them. 

The appeals court also moved up the schedule in order to receive all briefs by Nov. 17 and disallowed any extensions. 

Cannon has given the special master, Brooklyn federal judge Raymond Dearie, until Dec. 16 to finish his review of the documents to determine whether they are covered by attorney-client privilege, executive privilege, or other protections.



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