Trump lawyers claim classified documents seized from Mar-a-Lago may be privileged because they contain handwritten notes

Former US President Donald Trump.

Trump’s lawyers said classified Mar-a-Lago documents could be privileged because they contain his handwritten notes.
Trump is backing up an order preventing DOJ from reviewing classified records seized from his home.
A “special master” appointed to review those records held an initial hearing Tuesday.

The Justice Department has not minced words in its appeal for access to classified materials seized from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. Without the ability to review those records, it argued, the “government and the public would suffer irreparable harm.”

But on Tuesday, Trump’s lawyers suggested that those concerns — and clear classification markings — may not be enough to overcome the power of the former president’s pen, or Sharpie.

“The fact the documents contain classification markings does not necessarily negate privilege claims,” Trump’s lawyers said in a new filing with the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. They went on to note that according to court documents, some of the classified records seized from Mar-a-Lago “allegedly contain what appear to be President Trump’s handwritten notes.”

“Those notes could certainly contain privileged information; further supporting the need for an independent, third-party review of these documents,” they added.

Tuesday’s filing came in response to the Justice Department’s appeal of a court order temporarily halting its review of about 11,000 documents seized from Mar-a-Lago, including more than 100 that were marked classified.

Judge Aileen Cannon refused last week to stay her ruling and appointed Raymond Dearie, a former chief judge of the federal court in Brooklyn, to serve as special master — an outside arbiter who reviews materials and sifts out any that could be covered under attorney-client or executive privilege.

The Justice Department, in appealing Cannon’s order, said it “impedes the government’s efforts to protect the nation’s security.” But lawyers for the former president said …read more

Source:: Businessinsider

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