WASHINGTON, Sept 16 (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Thursday refused to allow the Justice Department to review documents – many of them classified – seized from the Florida home of former President Donald Trump in a search of the August.
Federal Judge Aileen Cannon also appointed District Judge Raymond Dearie to decide on the confidentiality of documents seized by the FBI, and whether they can be turned over to federal investigators.
The Justice Department had indicated its intention to appeal the decision if Judge Cannon were to deny their motion. He had also sought to prevent Raymond Dearie from examining the approximately 100 classified documents included in the 11,000 files collected during the search.
“The court finds that accepting the government’s findings on these important and contentious issues without a neutral third party conducting further review would be inappropriate,” wrote Aileen Cannon.
Neither a Justice Department spokesperson nor Donald Trump’s attorneys immediately responded to a request for comment.
Aileen Cannon said she would instruct Raymond Dearie to review classified documents as a matter of priority, adding that she had requested that his review be completed by November 30.
The search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home by the FBI was part of an investigation into documents the former US president allegedly illegally took with him out of the White House at the time of his the end of his mandate, in January 2021.
(Report Sarah N. Lynch and Jacqueline Thomsen; French version Camille Raynaud)