Washington, U.S. | Xinhua | Former U.S. President Donald Trump has requested that the Supreme Court get involved in his conflict with the Department of Justice (DOJ) over classified documents that were removed from his Florida home by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
In a filing of around 300 pages submitted on Tuesday, Trump’s lawyers asked the highest court in the nation to block an earlier ruling by a lower court that enabled the DOJ to continue using classified documents in the department’s case against the former president.
The case revolves around whether Trump broke federal laws regarding the custody of government documents.
U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Florida Aileen Cannon had earlier ruled that an unbiased third party, or “special master,” be appointed to examine thousands of documents to determine whether the records were under the jurisdiction of “attorney-client privilege.”
Attorney-client privilege is a rule that allows communications between lawyers and their clients to be private.
Trump’s lawyers continue to label the dispute with the DOJ as an argument over White House documents.
“In what at its core is a document storage dispute that has spiraled out of control, the government wrongfully seeks to criminalize the possession by the 45th President of his own presidential and personal records,” the former president’s attorneys wrote.
Trump has accused the FBI of searching Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, for political purposes, while claiming that some of the documents were protected by attorney-client privilege and executive privilege.
The DOJ had argued Trump did not have the authority to claim executive privilege from his time in the White House since he is no longer in office.
A preliminary triage of the documents taken from Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 8 by the FBI was said to have found 184 unique documents bearing classification markings, including 67 marked as “CONFIDENTIAL,” 92 marked as “SECRET,” and 25 marked as “TOP SECRET,” according to a redacted affidavit.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing and claimed all the seized documents were declassified.