(NEW YORK) — In another twist in the case against former President Donald Trump, who has been accused of keeping classified government material at his Mar-a-Lago estate, a panel of judges on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday gave the Justice Department the OK to continue their investigation into the documents.
The panel also said the Justice Department no longer has to submit those materials to special master Raymond Dearie for his review.
ABC News contributor and former federal prosecutor Kan Nawaday spoke with ABC News Live Prime to discuss the significance of the court order.
ABC NEWS LIVE: This feels significant.
KAN NAWADAY: It is significant, but in my mind not surprising. What was really significant was the fact that the district court judge enjoined the DOJ from using documents in an ongoing criminal investigation. It’s basically following the law. So they’re basically doing frankly what the district court should have done below.
ABC NEWS LIVE: What does this mean now as far as the special master is appointed? It seems like that’s a moot point now.
NAWADAY: It is with respect to the classified documents. That whole special master thing with classified documents, that was a frolic and a detour.
ABC NEWS LIVE: At this point do you expect Trump’s team will appeal this decision?
NAWADAY: I think they will. I think they have shown they will litigate every point at every stage and take every opportunity they can.
I can see them trying to get an en banc hearing, meaning all of the judges in the 11th Circuit to decide on this. So I think they’re going to fight.
ABC NEWS LIVE: It seems the special master seems a little skeptical. They’re saying it feels like Trump’s lawyers are not providing enough significant or any documentation to suggest that Trump needed or declassified these documents.
NAWADAY: Exactly. They never did. They never did it before the district court, which is why everyone was surprised. Why is the district court having a special master to look into this? The special master said the same thing: ‘Wait, there’s no evidence that there was any declassification or any need.’ And now the 11th Circuit has found the same thing.
ABC NEWS LIVE: And let’s talk about Ginni Thomas, also a new development here. [She’s] the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. She’s now agreeing to voluntarily talk to the Jan. 6 committee.
NAWADAY: I think that is significant. She’s not making the Jan. 6 committee subpoena her. And we’ll see maybe one day what her testimony is. I think down the line, the fact that she is testifying, and is potentially a fact witness may have implications for Justice Thomas with respect for any case that ever goes up to the Supreme Court that may involve the testimony of his wife.
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