The Justice Department asked a federal judge Thursday to halt part of her order that would allow a special master to screen documents seized from former President Donald Trump’s private club, Mar-a-Lago.
In filings in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the DOJ said it intends to appeal the order and asked Judge Aileen Cannon to allow prosecutors to further review and use classified records found at Mar-a-Lago in a criminal probe.
But the Justice Department also told Cannon that it did not believe her order barred federal investigators and intelligence agents from “briefing Congressional leaders with intelligence oversight responsibilities regarding the classified records that were recovered.”
“The government similarly does not understand the Order to restrict senior DOJ and FBI officials, who have supervisory responsibilities regarding the criminal investigation, from reviewing those records in preparation for such a briefing,” the Justice Department said.
Senate Intelligence Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., said the panel has requested, on a bipartisan basis, a damage assessment of any national security threat posed by the mishandling of this information.
Cannon issued a ruling Monday that temporarily ordered the DOJ to stop review of the documents for its criminal investigation, finding that its internal review for attorney-client privilege was inadequate. Cannon said the government could continue to review the documents to assess the damage the documents’ improper storage may have caused to national security.
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