WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday granted the Justice Department's request to expedite its appeal of a lower court order appointing a special master to review records the FBI seized from former President Donald Trump's Florida estate.
The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit to fast-track the government's appeal represents a setback for Trump, who had opposed the request.
Last week, the Justice Department had asked the 11th Circuit to address concerns it still has with U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon's appointment of Senior Judge Raymond Dearie, who is tasked with reviewing more than 11,000 records the FBI found inside Mar-a-Lago in order to weed out anything that may be privileged.
Cannon's order blocks the Justice Department from relying on those records for its ongoing criminal investigation until Dearie's review is complete.
In its filing, the Justice Department said this prohibition is hampering its probe, and that it needs to be able to examine non-classified records that may have been stored in close proximity to classified ones.
Those non-classified records, the department said, "may shed light" on how the documents were transferred to or stored at the Mar-a-Lago estate, and who might have accessed them.
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; additional reporting by Ismail Shakil and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Rosalba O'Brien)
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