OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Jenna Ellis, who served as legal advisor and counsel for former President Donald Trump, noticed something disturbing in the decision by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to allow the FBI access to over 100 disputed documents.
The decision by the three judges, two of whom were appointed by former President Trump and one who was appointed by former President Obama, was made on Wednesday, CNN reported.
The emergency intervention upends a trial judge’s order over those documents that had blocked federal investigators’ work on the documents, and is a strong rebuke of the Trump team’s attempt to suggest without evidence that materials were somehow declassified. Trump’s options to block the criminal investigation are now dimming with one of his only remaining possibilities being an emergency request to the Supreme Court.
The ruling was issued by a three-judge panel of the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals — two of whom were nominated by Trump.
A special master’s review of that subset of about 100 records, which would’ve allowed Trump’s legal team to see them, is now partially stopped. The special master, Judge Raymond Dearie, is able to continue his work reviewing the rest of the material seized from Mar-a-Lago, to make sure records belonging to Trump or that he may be able to claim are confidential aren’t used by investigators.
“It is self-evident that the public has a strong interest in ensuring that the storage of the classified records did not result in ‘exceptionally grave damage to the national security,’” the judges said. “Ascertaining that necessarily involves reviewing the documents, determining who had access to them and when, and deciding which (if any) sources or methods are compromised.”
“For our part, we cannot discern why the Plaintiff would have an individual interest in or need for any of the one hundred documents with classification markings,” the court said.
But what Ellis found was disturbing.
“Huge revelation from the 11th Circuit’s opinion tonight: FBI seized over 1800 ‘other items’ that were not documents. Yet the DOJ maintains that Trump has no ‘possessory interest’ or 4th Amendment claim here?” she said, followed by clown emojis.
Huge revelation from the 11th Circuit’s opinion tonight: FBI seized over 1800 “other items” that were not documents.
Yet the DOJ maintains that Trump has no “possessory interest” or 4th Amendment claim here?
— Jenna Ellis 🍊🦅 (@JennaEllisEsq) September 21, 2022
“When the FBI executed the search warrant, it seized thirty-three items of evidence (mostly boxes) containing approximately 11,000 documents and 1,800 other items,” the court said.
The special master overseeing the records dispute between former President Donald Trump and the Department of Justice does not want to see classified records.
“Let’s not belittle the fact that we are dealing with at least potentially legitimately classified information. The government has a very strong obligation, as all of us, to see it to that information doesn’t get in the wrong hands,” said U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie during a federal court hearing.
“It’s not just a matter, it seems to me, of being cleared. It is a matter of need to know. And if you need to know, you will know,” said Judge Dearie. “That’s the way I see it. If I can make my judgments without—I don’t want to see the material—it’s presumably sensitive material. If I can make my recommendation to Judge Cannon, right or wrong, without exposing myself or you to that material, I will do it. On the other hand, if I can’t, we have to take another alternative.”
Dearie’s comments came during the first hearing held since U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee, selected him to serve as the special master.
“I believe we have a need to know, absolutely,” James Trusty, one of Trump’s attorneys, told Dearie during the hearing.
“The U.S. government says it took 103 documents marked classified from Mar-a-Lago in August, along with over 11,000 non-classified documents. The government is trying to shield the documents from Trump’s lawyers and Dearie, while Trump’s team says it wants to see the papers,” the Epoch Times further reported.