A federal appeals judge expressed skepticism about the appointment of a special master to review the documents seized from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.
The Department of Justice has been attempting to nullify the appointment of the special master, and a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta had to listen to the DOJ’s argument during the Tuesday hearing.
The DOJ is attempting to expedite its access to more than 22,000 documents that it cannot investigate while the special master reviews them.
However, Trump’s attorney’s arguing that the appointment of the special counsel appointment is maintained was met with some resistance from the judges.
Two of the three judges are Trump appointees — Judge Andrew Brasher and Judge Britt Grant.
During the hearing, one of the judges asked, “What are we doing here?”
Trump’s attorney James Trusty was also corrected by a judge when he used the term “raid” to refer to the search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.
Trusty had to apologize after a judge noted that referring to the search of Trump’s home as an execution of a search warrant was a more accurate term.
A third judge, George W. Bush-appointed Chief Judge William Pryor, also queried what made Trump’s request about a special counsel any different from that of other criminal defendants, a question Trusty struggled to answer.
Pryor expressed that everything in Trump’s case was standard, except for the case involving a former President.
He noted that the appointment of a special master could create a “precedent… that would allow any target of a federal investigation” to approach a district court” interfering with an executive branch’s investigation.
In response, Trusty claimed the appointment of a special master wasn’t “special treatment,” describing the events as a “situation where a political rival has been subjected to a search warrant.”