A federal appeals court on Wednesday granted the Justice Department’s request to expedite its appeal for the appointment of a special master to examine documents seized by the FBI at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in August.
The decision by the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit Court of Appeals represents a setback to the 45th president, whose legal team asked the court on Monday to hold off hearing oral arguments in the case until January at the earliest.
The Justice Department asked the court on Sept. 30 to speed up its appeal of the special master appointment by US District Judge Aileen Cannon, claiming her order was hindering the agency’s ability to comb through the thousands of documents seized on Aug. 8 at Trump’s Florida home and slowing down its investigation.
Because of Cannon’s order, the Justice Department was prohibited from examining around 11,000 non-classified documents from Mar-a-Lago that were found stored alongside other presidential records marked classified.
The appeals court previously allowed investigators to continue examining the classified documents, a ruling Trump appealed to the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
The Justice Department said the off-limit documents “may shed light” on how the records got to Mar-a-Lago and who may have accessed them.
The appeals court also moved up the schedule in order to receive all briefs by Nov. 17 and disallowed any extensions.
Cannon has given the special master, Brooklyn federal judge Raymond Dearie, until Dec. 16 to finish his review of the documents to determine whether they are covered by attorney-client privilege, executive privilege, or other protections.