The Biden administration on Tuesday urged the Supreme Court to steer clear of a legal fight over classified documents seized during an FBI search of former President Donald Trump's Florida estate.
The high court is weighing an emergency appeal from Trump asking it to overturn a lower court ruling and permit an independent arbiter, or special master, to review the roughly 100 documents with classified markings that were taken in the Aug. 8 search of Mar-a-Lago.
The Justice Department said in a 32-page filing that Trump's claim has no merit, noting the case involves “extraordinarily sensitive government records.”
A three-judge panel from the Atlanta-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit last month limited the special master’s review to the much larger tranche of non-classified documents. The judges, including two Trump appointees, sided with the Justice Department, which had argued there was no legal basis for the special master to conduct his own review of the classified records.
But Trump’s lawyers said in their application to the Supreme Court that it was essential for the special master to have access to the classified records to “determine whether documents bearing classification markings are in fact classified, and regardless of classification, whether those records are personal records or Presidential records.”
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