Executive Branch

Justice Department Files Reply to Trump’s Opposition to Government’s Motion for Partial Stay of Cannon Ruling

Katherine Pompilio
Tuesday, September 13, 2022, 7:15 PM

The Justice Department argued that Trump has neither categorized the records found at Mar-a-Lago as personal records, nor has he officially claimed or provided evidence that the documents were declassified.

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On Sept. 13, the Justice Department filed a reply in the ongoing litigation over the government's motion for partial stay of U.S District Judge Aileen Cannon's Sept. 5 order, which had granted former President Trump’s request for a special master and had further enjoined the government from reviewing and using materials seized from Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence for "investigative purposes." In its motion, the government had requested that Cannon stay her order only as it relates to seized documents that are marked as classified. (Trump filed his response to the government's motion only yesterday.)

In its reply, the Justice Department argued that Trump cannot plausibly establish a property interest in the classified documents, as would be necessary for the court to exercise equitable jurisdiction. It further argued that Trump cannot plausibly assert either attorney-client or executive privilege over the classified documents. Finally, it argued that without a stay, the government and the public would suffer irreparable harm, whereas Trump had failed to prove that he would suffer any cognizable harm at all.

You can read the filing here or below:

Katherine Pompilio is an associate editor of Lawfare. She holds a B.A. with honors in political science from Skidmore College.

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