According to a report from the Guardian, advisers to Donald Trump are beginning to panic that the Department of Justice's investigation into top secret documents that were illegally whisked away to his Mar-a-Lago resort is moving much faster than they had hoped.
This past week saw special master Raymond Dearie put the former president and his legal team on the spot over Trump's claims that he declassified the documents, as well as his assertions that the FBI "planted" evidence against him.
As the Guardian's Hugo Lowell wrote, a decision by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals was also a damaging blow to the Trump team's attempts to stall the DOJ.
That has them panicking.
"The 29-page decision amounted to a sharp rebuke of the rulings by US district court judge Aileen Cannon, who is overseeing the case in Florida, but it also brought an end to Trump’s attempt to slow down the investigation that his advisers feared was moving perilously fast," the report states before adding, "Being allowed to examine the roughly 100 documents marked classified means justice department investigators can now resume the investigation into the most serious lines of inquiry – the willful retention of national defense information and obstruction – with the primary evidence itself."
With the ruling saying Trump's lawyers won't be able to review the documents themselves, Lowell suggests that is making them even more apprehensive.
"Trump’s goal in requesting a special master was multi-pronged from the start, according to sources familiar with the matter, and the principal – though publicly unstated – aim was to apply the brakes on the criminal investigation, after the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago took Trump’s lawyers by surprise," he wrote. "A second major aim, the sources said, was to use the special master motion as a vehicle to get more insight into what documents the FBI retrieved from the property because they were initially in the dark about the extent of Trump’s, as well as their own, potential exposure."
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