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SCOTUS rejects Trump special master request over Mar-a-Lago raid files

Former President of the United States Donald Trump at the "Rally to Protect Our Elections" hosted by Turning Point Action at Arizona Federal Theatre in Phoenix, Ariz., July 24, 2022. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
October 13, 2022 and

On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected former President Donald Trump’s request for a special master to review the allegedly classified documents seized during the FBI’s raid of his Mar-a-Lago home on Aug. 8.

The court issued a brief unsigned order denying the former president’s request. No explanation for the decision was provided and there was no noted dissent in the decision. The full decision reads:

(ORDER LIST: 598 U.S.)

The application to vacate the stay entered by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on September 21, 2022, presented to Justice Thomas and by him referred to the Court is denied.

The decision comes after Trump’s team argued that the special master who had been appointed to review the documents the FBI seized should be able to access the 103 documents bearing classified markings that federal agents recovered in August.

Those 103 documents with classified markings were among the approximately 11,000 documents the FBI seized in their August raid on Mar-a-Lago. Trump has insisted on several occasions that he had declassified all documents he took home with him after his presidency.

“Any limit on the comprehensive and transparent review of materials seized in the extraordinary raid of a president’s home erodes public confidence in our system of justice,” Trump’s team argued in an application filed with Justice Clarence Thomas, who is assigned to handle emergency matters from Florida.

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar, who handles civil litigation for the Department of Justice, argued that Trump “will suffer no harm at all from a temporary stay of the special master’s review” of the documents bearing classified markings.

The Supreme Court’s decision to reject Trump’s request came on the same day the U.S. House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol issued a subpoena for Trump to testify.