WASHINGTON — The Justice Department on Friday asked an appeals court to dam a part of a federal judge’s decision to appoint an outdoor arbiter to review sensitive documents seized last month from former President Donald J. Trump’s residence in Florida, a ruling that has frozen the federal government’s access to the fabric.
In a 29-page filing, lawyers with the department didn’t ask the appeals court to stop the installation of the arbiter, called a special master, despite the fact that they called the lower court’s decision “unprecedented” and misguided. As a substitute, they asked the appeals court to let the F.B.I. immediately regain unfettered access to about 100 classified documents and never to submit those through the independent arbiter’s vetting process.
“Although the federal government believes the district court fundamentally erred in appointing a special master and granting injunctive relief, the federal government seeks to remain only the portions of the order causing essentially the most serious and immediate harm to the federal government and the general public,” wrote lawyers with the department’s national security division, describing their request as narrowly tailored.