Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida
Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, FloridaTNS/ABACA via Reuters Connect

A three-judge appeals court panel on Wednesday granted the Department of Justice’s request to continue its review of classified documents seized in an FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s home in Florida, The Hill reported.

The judges, two of whom were appointed by Trump and the third by former President Barack Obama, also indicated in their opinion that there appeared to be no evidence that Trump declassified the documents while he was still President and that his legal team “resisted” in providing any evidence that he did so using official channels.

The panel questioned why Trump would “have an individual interest in or need for any of the one-hundred documents with classification markings.”

“Plaintiff has not even attempted to show that he has a need to know the information contained in the classified documents. Nor has he established that the current administration has waived that requirement for these documents,” they wrote in the opinion.

FBI agents recovered over a hundred classified documents and dozens of empty folders marked classified during the August 8 search of Mar-a-Lago, according to unsealed records.

The Washington Post reported that a document describing a foreign government’s military defenses, including its nuclear capabilities, was found by FBI agents during the search of Trump’s home.

Last Thursday, Brooklyn-based federal judge Raymond Dearie was selected to serve as an independent arbiter to review the materials seized in the Mar-a-Lago search.

Dearie was put forward as a possible candidate for the special master role by Trump. The Justice Department also endorsed Dearie’s appointment. The appellate judges in their opinion on Wednesday allowed the review by Dearie.

US District Judge Aileen Cannon last week had temporarily barred Justice Department investigators from using the documents in an investigation that is weighing whether to bring criminal charges against the former President that involve possible violations of the Espionage Act as well as other federal statutes.

DOJ on Friday asked the court for access to classified documents seized last month from Mar-a-Lago, appealing a lower court ruling that has barred prosecutors from using those materials while investigating Trump’s handling of government records.