WASHINGTON – Former President Donald Trump filed an emergency appeal at the Supreme Court on Tuesday, asking the justices to review part of an appeals court order dealing with classified documents seized at his Florida estate in early August.
The appeal came days after a three-judge panel of the Atlanta-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit said investigators could retain the classified documents and review them as part of a criminal investigation. The documents, the appeals court reasoned, belong to the government, not Trump.
Despite nominating three associate justices during his time in the White House – Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett – Trump’s record at the Supreme Court has been spotty, at best. The high court repeatedly brushed aside pro-Trump efforts to challenge the results of the 2020 election, for instance.
Appeals:Court grants DOJ investigative access to Trump classified documents
District:Judge approves special master to review documents from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago
The litigation stems from an Aug. 8 FBI search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, which came as part of a federal investigation into allegations he took classified documents from the White House when he left office. A district court prohibited authorities from reviewing 11,000 documents and appointed a special master to assess whether Trump could keep some of the papers out of the government’s hands.
The appeals court blocked a narrow but critical part of that decision, ruling that criminal investigators could continue to review – and would not have to turn over to the special master – about 100 documents that were marked as classified.
Two of the three appeals court judges were nominated by Trump. The third was nominated by former President Barack Obama. The decision was unanimous.
Because the case is filed on the Supreme Court’s emergency docket, the justices could resolve the dispute relatively quickly – potentially within a matter of days.