U.S. Appellate Judgment Concerning Special Masters

The Justice Department is appealing a judge’s decision to appoint an independent arbitrator to investigate records seized by the FBI from former President Donald Trump’s home in Florida.

U.S. District Court Judge Eileen Cannon on Monday granted the Trump team’s request for a so-called special master, investigating thousands of records the Justice Department obtained from Mar-a-Lago during the Aug. 8 raid. Temporarily stopped using it for that purpose.

The order could have the effect of slowing the pace of an investigation into the presence of classified documents on Florida property.

The Justice Department, which had vehemently opposed such an appointment, said it filed a notice of appeal on Thursday and is challenging the ruling to the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Appointed by Trump, Mr. Cannon said a special master, not yet appointed, would scrutinize Mar-a-Lago records and segregate records that could be protected by attorney-client privilege or executive privilege. He said he was responsible.

The Department of Justice is investigating the illegal retention of defense information in Mar-a-Lago and attempts to obstruct the investigation. It’s not clear if Trump or anyone else will be indicted.

Both sides were instructed to submit their proposed names for special masters by Friday.

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