A search that stemmed from an investigation into whether Trump and his associates improperly obtained and retained classified government documents led to the discovery of a number of classified documents. Trump’s attorneys then sought a special master to review about 100 documents and rule out documents that could be subject to attorney-client privilege or executive privilege. District Court Judge Eileen M. Cannon agreed with the request and barred the materials from use by criminal investigators until the review was complete. The Justice Department has challenged some of Cannon’s decisions and asked the Atlanta-based US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit to vacate her decision.
Amicus Brief is urging the Court of Appeals to dismiss the appeal. “Given Biden’s track record and his rhetoric of demonizing those who disagree with him, the court [the Justice Department] It could abuse its powers to punish President Donald Trump,” said a statement led by Paxton’s office.
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The Utah Attorney General’s Office confirmed the state participated in the court hearing but declined to comment further. Representatives for other attorneys general did not respond to requests for comment.
Justice Department officials were not immediately reachable late Tuesday.
Amicus briefs are documents filed by parties not directly involved in a legal battle to inform the judge of additional relevant information. But what was filed by the Attorney General reads more like a political document than a legal outline, legal experts say.
Attorneys General of Texas, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Louisiana, South Carolina, Utah and West Virginia have ruled out the core legal issues Trump is fighting. You didn’t elaborate on the problem. According to executive privilege legal expert John Yu, who reviewed the brief at the request of The Washington Post, it was in fact classified.
The term “executive privilege” was mentioned only once in the application, and the text provided no new information to help determine whether government documents found in Trump’s possession were classified. No. This privilege is typically exercised to protect executive branch communications from Congress and the courts, and not from agencies of the executive branch itself, such as the Department of Justice.
Instead, Republican officials are listing various grievances against the Biden administration. Some of them don’t seem directly related to the case, such as immigration law enforcement and the response to the coronavirus pandemic. They argue that the administration’s “questionable behavior” in policymaking and litigation means courts should treat DOJ appeals with caution.
The officials who signed the brief were “really good lawyers,” said Yu, who worked for the Justice Department in the George W. Bush administration. But the brief is a political document and “does not address any of the issues at stake,” he said.
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Paxton has previously used his office to intervene in courts for Trump and other right-wing purposes. In 2020, Texas sued Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania over the 2020 presidential election in a long-shot attempt to overturn Joe Biden’s victory. The Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit.
The outline is “Of course it’s a political stunt,” said John D. Michaels, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles who studies presidential power. “Officials are playing with their state’s fierce MAGA bases,” he said.
Paxton’s office was not immediately reachable for comment late Tuesday.
Perry Stein and Devlin Barrett contributed to this report.