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New judicial blow to Donald Trump for Mar-a-Lago newspapers | International

“The law is clear” and the court was forceful. The judges overturned a Florida judge’s decision to appoint an independent expert and blocked a Justice Department investigation into documents, many of them classified, seized during a search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago (Palm) mansion. Beach, Florida). The decision to cancel the expert’s review of the documents is a new judicial setback for Donald Trump. In principle, the sentence paves the way for investigations, even if the former president still has the possibility of going to the Supreme Court.

One of Trump’s usual tactics is to try to delay and hinder the investigation with constant judicial appeals. Thanks to one of those resources, a Florida federal judge, Aileen M. Cannon, appointed by Trump himself shortly before his firing, ordered the Justice Department and the FBI to stop their investigative work with all documents found in the register while a special expert examined them. The aim was to verify whether they could affect lawyer-client professional secrecy (which protects professional secrecy in the suspect’s relations with his lawyers) or executive secrecy (which allows the executive branch to withhold information on pending actions to another power, such as the legislature or the judiciary), even if Trump no longer holds public office.

The same Atlanta appeals court that handed down the sentence on Thursday had already provisionally suspended last September the blocking of the investigation into documents classified as confidential or secret that the FBI had seized at the beginning of August in the chancellery of Mar-a -The needle. Now he has ruled on the merits of the matter, with a sentence that leaves Judge Cannon in a bad position: “The law is clear. We cannot establish a rule that allows any object of a search warrant to block a government investigation after the warrant has been executed. Nor can we enact a rule that only allows former presidents to do that,” he said. at the end of its 21-page resolution.

Furthermore, the court indicated that the judge did not have the jurisdiction to issue its resolution, which it justified with the extraordinary fact that a search is carried out in the home of a former president. The judges dedicate a corrective to it: “It is certainly extraordinary that a judicial order is executed in the residence of a former president, but not in a way that affects our legal analysis or that otherwise gives license to the judiciary to interfere in an investigation in progress”, point out the three judges, two of whom were also appointed by Trump himself. “Creating a special exception here would challenge our nation’s founding principle that our law applies ‘to all, regardless of number, wealth or rank,'” they add.

The former president has already filed an appeal with the Cassation for the precautionary measure that has unblocked the investigations in relation to the secret acts. The Supreme Court has nine members and a conservative majority of six to three. Additionally, three of the justices were appointed by Trump himself during his presidency. In a brief unjustified ruling published in October, the Supreme Court simply declared Trump’s appeal inadmissible. Probably, he felt that, in the event of a precautionary measure, it was not the time to act.

Now, however, what is foreseeable is that Trump will resort to the new decision again, in one of the most politically charged cases involving the former president and candidate for the 2024 presidential election. Despite its composition, the Supreme Court has on previous occasions also pronounced decisions against Trump’s interests, though none in a case of such importance.

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The former president is being investigated on possible charges of obstruction of justice, malicious concealment, theft or mutilation of public records, and violation of the Espionage Act, reportedly for intentional retention of national security documents, according to the contents of the search warrant. These are offenses that can result in fines or prison sentences.

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