Bill Barr asks the Department of Justice to appeal the judge's special master ruling, calling it "seriously defective"

Former Attorney General William Barr criticized the appointment of a special master to analyze the records seized at former President Donald Trump's Florida home, calling the Florida federal judge's decision "wrong" and "seriously defective."

"The ruling is severely defective in a number of respects, and I believe the government should appeal it, said the former attorney general of former President Trump in an interview with Fox News on Tuesday. The appointment of a special master won't hold up, in my opinion."

Judge Aileen Cannon, who was appointed by Trump to the bench in 2020, wrote on Monday that she agreed with the president's legal team that the records seized by the FBI last month as part of the Justice Department's investigation into whether the former president improperly handled classified documents should be reviewed by a special master, an independent third party appointed by the court.

Federal investigators were also prohibited from using the records that had been seized in their inquiry until the special master review was finished by Cannon's order.

However, Barr, whom Trump referred to as "one of the most respected jurists in the country" when he nominated him to be attorney general in 2018, slammed the decision as "premature" and claimed Cannon "dodged[d]" the question at hand: whether the former president's potential claims of executive privilege can ever override the current president's decision to waive such a privilege.

In the interview, Barr stated, "I think the law here is quite clear that the Justice Department should be entitled to evaluate these papers.

Barr also referred to Trump's assertion that he was permitted to keep the seized documents at Mar-a-Lago because he had declassified them as "absolutely, totally false" when questioned about it.

In a statement released on Monday, the Justice Department—which Barr previously oversaw—said it is currently deciding how to proceed with the continuing legal action. Prosecutors argued that the appointment of a special master was "unnecessary" in prior court files and opposed it. The evidence recovered at Mar-a-Lago, according to prosecutors, belongs to the federal government rather than Trump and should be sent back to the National Archives.

This was not the first time Trump's former top law enforcement official had attacked the president. Barr stated, "I can't conceive of a reasonable reason why they should have been — could have been taken out of the government, away from the government, if they're classified," in a Friday interview that was also broadcast on Fox News. He also referred to Trump's defense of a special master as a "red herring."

Barr stated last week that it was "unusual for a president to take all this secret information and place them in a country club."

Following Barr's remarks on Friday, Trump referred to the former attorney general as "weak" and a "RINO," or a "Republican In Name Only," a moniker he routinely used to disparage Republicans who don't agree with him.

Barr, who served as attorney general under two Republican administrations, responded to Trump on Monday by calling him a "RINO" if they disagree with his claim that the election was rigged, according to Fox News.

Barr, who called Trump's unsupported claims of election fraud "bulls***" in recorded testimony before the House Select Committee looking into the Capitol attack, resigned before the events of January 6, but he had previously supported the former president during other contentious times of his administration.

Notably, he oversaw the conclusion of Mueller's investigation into Russian election meddling and issued a synopsis of Mueller's report before issuing his full conclusions. Barr's summary exonerated Trump and his campaign from charges of collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice, despite the fact that Mueller identified 10 "discrete acts" in which Trump may have interfered with the investigation. Mueller eventually deferred to the Justice Department on the matter of obstruction.

Barr stated on Tuesday that the main issue for the court to decide is whether or not "[Trump] can stop DOJ from analyzing the papers."

Barr answered, "I think the answer to that is obviously no".

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