On Tuesday, former President Donald Trump’s legal team filed an emergency request with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking them to return seized documents to an appointed special master to review for privilege exceptions.
A lower court had allowed the Justice Department to continue accessing more than 100 of the seized documents in their criminal investigation against Trump. If the Supreme Court decides to block that decision, as requested by Trump, then the documents will be returned to the special master for privilege review.
Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court to intervene in the litigation over sensitive documents that the FBI seized from his Florida estate, saying that an appeals court had lacked jurisdiction to remove them from a special master’s review. https://t.co/87YcyRPrOw
— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 5, 2022
The documents were taken when the FBI raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida to search for documents illegally taken from the White House.
As the case ensued, Trump’s legal team successfully argued that a special master should be appointed to review the seized records for any items that might be covered by executive privilege or other exceptions. A special master, who was recommended by Trump and approved by prosecutors, then took possession of the documents.
The records turned over to the special master included more than 100 documents being used by the Justice Department in their criminal investigation of Trump.
On Sept. 21, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that decision, allowing prosecutors to continue using the documents to pursue their criminal investigation, without a review from the special master first.
In Tuesday’s Supreme Court filing, Trump’s legal team called the Justice Department’s lawsuit an attempt “to criminalize a document management dispute and now vehemently objects to a transparent process that provides much-needed oversight.”
In an interview given after the filing with the Supreme Court, Trump echoed the sentiments of his lawyers.
“It’s a weaponization by the DOJ,” Trump said. “And I think it’s just something that has to stop.”
“So we fight that battle, I think we’re doing very well in that battle,” he added. “And I think the public agrees with us because you know better than anybody, my poll numbers are higher now than they ever were.”
Trump also stressed during the interview that he felt he was being treated much differently than his political predecessors when they left the White House.