WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump wants to slow down the government’s appeal case over the appointment of a so-called special master to review thousands of documents seized from his Mar-a-Lago estate.

Trump’s lawyers on Monday urged the federal appeals court in Atlanta to deny the Justice Department’s request to expedite the case, arguing Trump’s team is already crunched for time dealing with the special master review and district court action. That includes going over the 11,000 documents, totaling about 200,000 pages, to determine if they’re protected by attorney-client or executive privilege and litigating any fights over those claims, they said.

Oral arguments shouldn’t take place until January at the earliest, Trump attorney Christopher Kise said in the filing.

“No good cause has been shown as to why President Trump should have significantly less time than the government and less time than that provided under the rules to prepare and brief his arguments before this court in this unprecedented case,” they said.

The Justice Department proposed wrapping up briefing by Nov. 11 and asked the court to set a date for arguments shortly after that. It argued that continuing to block investigators from using the seized materials goes against the public interest by delaying a crucial criminal and national security probe into whether Trump mishandled classified documents.

But Kise argued that rushing those arguments would give Trump’s team less time to prepare than the government had.


“The government, on the other hand, cannot possibly be prejudiced if this appeal is not expedited and President Trump is afforded the few extra days provided under the Rules to file his brief,” Kise said.

The Justice Department declined to comment.

The order appointing the special master temporarily bars the government investigators from using most of the 11,000 seized documents in the criminal investigation into whether government records were mishandled. The appeals court previously sided with the government in carving out roughly 100 documents with classified markings from the special master review.

Monday’s filing also criticized the Justice Department in a footnote.

“President Trump disagrees with and objects to the government’s distorted and argumentative presentation of facts concerning the unprecedented raid of his home, its conduct in these proceedings, and the procedural history of this case,” according to the filing.

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