Trump Says FBI Has Never Proven Documents Are Classified

( )- Former President Donald Trump was dealt a blow last week when the 11 Circuit Court of Appeals granted the Department of Justice’s request to be allowed to examine the classified documents seized during the August 8 raid on Mar-a-Lago.

During the raid, the FBI seized thousands of files, of which 103 were marked classified, including 54 labeled “secret” and 18 labeled “top secret.”

James Trusty, the attorney for the former president, argued that Trump may have declassified the files before he left office. He also claimed that simply being marked with classifications isn’t proof that the documents in question are classified.

Earlier in September, Judge Aileen Cannon had approved Trump’s request to appoint a special master to review the seized documents. Cannon prevented the Department of Justice from examining the alleged classified documents and ordered them to be turned over to the special master.

But last Wednesday, a 3-judge panel from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted Cannon’s order preventing the DOJ from examining the classified documents. Two of the judges were Trump appointees and one was appointed by Obama.

With the appeals court ruling, the government will no longer have to hand over the 103 classified documents to the special master, Brooklyn federal judge Raymond Dearie.

In its ruling, the panel wrote that the former president didn’t even try to establish that “he has a need to know the information contained in the classified documents.” The judges wrote that Trump couldn’t establish that the current administration had “waived the requirements for these documents.”

In response to Trump’s argument that he might have declassified the files while in office, the panel said that the record contained no such evidence that any declassification took place.

Trump had also argued that he may be harmed by the release of sensitive information. But the judges said allowing the Justice Department to retain the documents didn’t indicate the documents would be released. They argued that Trump would not be damaged by the disclosure of privileged information since he never “asserted attorney-client privilege over any of the classified documents.”