DOJ and Trump lawyers spar over special master in Mar-a-Lago case
A federal appeals court on Tuesday heard oral arguments in the ongoing dispute over the use of a special master to review the classified documents seized at former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence.
Driving the news: The Department of Justice has urged the Atlanta-based appeals court to terminate the special master requirement, saying it is hindering its investigation into Trump's handling of classified records.
- Sopan Joshi, assistant to U.S. Solicitor General, asked the court to reverse the "extraordinary judicial intrusion."
- Lawyers for Trump argued for the continued use of a special master. James Trusty, an attorney for Trump, said that the court should begin with a "broader premise."
- "There's not a situation in the history of this country where a sitting president authorized a raid of a presidential candidate's home," Trusty said.
The big picture: The hearing comes days after Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel to oversee the federal criminal investigation into Trump's handling of the documents.
- Judge Aileen Cannon in September sided with Trump in appointing a special master to review the seized items and "potentially privileged material subject to claims of attorney-client and/or executive privilege," per a court filing.
- Cannon appointed veteran Judge Raymond Dearie to sift through the documents seized at Mar-a-Lago.
- The oral arguments come on the same day that the Supreme Court rejected Trump's emergency application asking it to block a Democratic-led House committee from obtaining his tax returns.
What to watch: It is not yet clear when the court may offer a ruling on the special master issue, AP reports.
Go deeper: Trump's special master jam