Former President Donald Trump’s emergency filing with the United States Supreme Court was countered by the Department of Justice Tuesday and, while they assert “he will suffer no harm,” the court’s decision on a special master could come within days.
Last week, the president’s legal team had sought the high court’s intervention on a ruling by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals that permitted the DOJ’s continued use of the documents seized from Trump’s Florida home at Mar-a-Lago. On Tuesday, U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar submitted the Justice Department’s response maintaining that there are national security concerns.
”As this Court has emphasized, courts should be cautious before ‘insisting upon an examination’ of records whose disclosure would jeopardize national security ‘even by the judge alone, in chambers,” the filing read, citing a previous case.
— Amy Howe (@AHoweBlogger) October 11, 2022
Furthermore, Prelogar insisted, “Indeed, because applicant has no plausible claims of ownership of or privilege in the documents bearing classification markings … he will suffer no harm at all from a temporary stay of the special master’s review of those materials while the government’s appeal proceeds.”
A week prior, Trump’s attorneys had filed in part regarding the circuit court’s stay on the special master, “This unwarranted stay should be vacated as it impairs substantially the ongoing, time-sensitive work of the Special Master. Moreover, any limit on the comprehensive and transparent review of materials seized in the extraordinary raid of a President’s home erodes public confidence in our system of justice.”
‘I want my documents back!’ Trump turns to Supreme Court over Mar-a-Lago raid, slams National Archives https://t.co/nA1YgFwpxr
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) October 5, 2022
However, Prelogar contended that Trump’s team further contradicted the claim of “irreparable injury” as they had sought a deferral of oral arguments until some time in 2023. “And applicant further undermined any claim that he is suffering irreparable injury from the stay by opposing the government’s motion to expedite the underlying appeal and urging that oral argument be deferred until ‘January 2023 or later.’”
The filing went on to conclude, “Applicant’s failure to establish any risk of irreparable injury provides yet another independently sufficient reason to deny his request to disturb the modest partial stay entered by the court of appeals,” and insisted that Trump’s application be denied.
CNN Supreme Court analyst Steve Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law surmised, “Even in the unlikely event that the Court sides with Trump this time, all that means is that Judge [Raymond] Dearie,” the appointed special master, “gets to look at more of the files that were seized. It would have no impact on whatever the Department of Justice is doing with those materials.”
Five of the justices must concur as they consider whether the lower court’s decision was erroneous and if indeed “irreparable harm” would be caused by a denial of the stay.
Trump himself had called out the National Archives and Records Administration for their alleged irresponsibility with record handling as he demanded a return of his documents.
“NARA lost a whole hard drive full of HIGHLY SENSITIVE information from the Clinton White House—more than 100,000 Social Security numbers and addresses, Secret Service and White House operating procedures (EXTREMELY SENSITIVE!), political records, and who knows what else,” Trump wrote on Truth Social.
“They left the hard drive in an unsecured location, and didn’t realize it was gone for months—some say the data could have filled millions of books, and NARA admitted the material was ‘personally identifiable,’ impacting thousands of White House staffers, visitors, and even one of Al Gore’s daughters,” he continued.
“NARA actually had to offer a large ($50,000!) reward to try and get the information back,” Trump added before concluding, “What else have they ‘lost’? How can Americans trust a system like this? There is no security at NARA. I want my documents back!”
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