Judge Cannon Revises Ruling Allowing DOJ’s Mar-a-Lago Probe To Proceed
An appeals court panel rejected Trump-nominated U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon‘s ruling and allowed the Justice Department to move forward in its investigation into the classified documents recovered from Mar-a-Lago last month.
Cannon had placed a temporary hold on some of the classified documents, preventing the government from using around 100 of them in their criminal probe.
“Plaintiff has not even attempted to show that he has a need to know the information contained in the classified documents,” the panel wrote in their Wednesday opinion. “Nor has he established that the current administration has waived that requirement for these documents.”
Concern over national security was a hovering issue for the panel, which included an Obama-appointed judge and two Trump-appointed judges. They unanimously agreed that it was “self-evident” and in the public interest to allow the Justice Department to look into whether or not Trump mishandled White House documents.
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The panel also responded to Cannon’s argument that allowing more eyes on the documents could create a larger opportunity for leaks.
“Permitting the United States to retain the documents does not suggest that they will be released; indeed, a purpose of the United States’s efforts in investigating the recovered classified documents is to limit unauthorized disclosure of the information they contain,” the decision read. “Not only that, but any authorized official who makes an improper disclosure risks her own criminal liability.”
Former President Donald Trump claimed that he was able to obtain the documents because he declassified the sensitive information, but earlier this week, the special master in the investigation said that Trump’s legal team failed to prove that the documents were declassified.
Trump’s lawyers argued that they plan to use the declassification argument if Trump is indicted and that they shouldn’t be required to outline their plan to provide evidence prematurely.
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