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The 11th Circuit Moves Staggeringly Fast On DOJ Motion To Lift Classified Docs Injunction


Just yesterday, this site published an article that addressed DOJ’s Motion to the 11th Circuit to lift the stay on the criminal investigation of the Mar-a-Lago files pending the larger appeal. I wrote that the speed with which the 11th Circuit acted might inform the parties and the public as to whether the 11th Circuit sees the stay as “wrong” or “dangerous.” The circuit court has wide latitude with which it could schedule such matters, and simple logic says that the sooner the 11th Circuit reacts, the more “concern” it likely has. The court appears concerned. It ordered Trump’s attorneys to respond to DOJ’s Friday night filing by noon on Tuesday.

It would be difficult to conceive of a shorter period to respond. This scheduling order likely caught Trump’s attorneys by surprise. A reasonable expectation might have been a week to respond. Five days? They have been given a little over three days. The 11th Circuit panel believes this is important enough that it wants this decided as soon as possible, perhaps late this week.

This site wasn’t alone in seeing the quick response as a good indication that the court wants this injunction lifted:

And for that, we should be thankful. After all, as DOJ wrote in its original motion:

The [district] court’s order hamstrings that investigation and places the FBI and Department of Justice … under a Damoclean threat of contempt. It also irreparably harms the government by enjoining critical steps of an ongoing criminal investigation and needlessly compelling disclosure of highly sensitive records, including to [Trump’s] counsel.

The “Damoclean threat of contempt” has been covered on PoliticusUSA as well. Judge Cannon’s order allowed for a national security review but no criminal investigation (based on the documents found at Mar-a-Lago). The reviews overlap, almost by definition, and the government’s attorneys are right to say that they’re hamstrung by the inability to discern what concerns “national security” and what is a “criminal investigation.” One doesn’t need a law degree to see that a national security breach might constitute a crime itself.

Thankfully, if the 11th Circuit panel wants a response from Trump by noon on Tuesday. It might issue an order without oral argument, temporarily lifting the stay until the court can hear the entirety of the appeal. That order could come as soon as this week. It would seem that the panel wants to address it near immediately.



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