Two of the three judges had already expressed skepticism about a court’s intervention after the F.B.I. seized records from the ex-president’s home.
At a 40-minute hearing in Atlanta, the three-member panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit seemed to embrace the Justice Department’s position that a federal judge had acted improperly two months ago when she ordered an independent arbiter to review the documents taken from Mr. Trump’s Florida compound, Mar-a- Lago.
Through their questions, the panel expressed concern that Judge Aileen M. Cannon, who appointed the so-called special master, had acted without precedent by ordering a review of the seized material. The panel also suggested that Judge Cannon, who was appointed by Mr. Trump, had overstepped by inserting herself into the case and trying to bar the government from using the records in its investigation into whether Mr. Trump had illegally kept national security records at Mar-a-Lago and obstructed the government’s repeated efforts to retrieve them.