Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes threw his support behind former President Donald Trump’s legal fight with the Department of Justice on Tuesday over classified documents seized from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida.
Reyes, and 10 other attorneys general, signed on to a friend of the court brief filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, arguing the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals should block the Biden administration from using the materials as part of an investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents until the court-appointed special master reviews them, according to a copy of the brief obtained by Politico senior legal affairs reporter Kyle Cheney.
Attorneys general from Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Louisiana, South Carolina and West Virginia also joined Paxton’s filing. Several of those states supported Texas’ baseless lawsuit seeking to throw out the 2020 election results in a handful of states Trump lost.
Tuesday’s legal filing suggested the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago was motivated, in part, by political considerations, referring to the “unprecedented nine-hour search” of Trump’s residence and the “extraordinary circumstance of a presidential administration ransacking the home of its one-time — and possibly future — political rival.”
The filing goes on to allege that the coalition of states have been frequent opponents of the Biden administration in court, highlighting what they claim is misconduct by the federal government in those cases.
“The administration’s conduct in connection with this case is of a piece with the gamesmanship and other questionable conduct that have become the hallmarks of its litigating, policy-making, and public relations efforts. At a minimum, this Court should view the Administration’s assertions of good faith, neutrality, and objectivity through jaundiced eyes,” they argued.
A federal judge agreed with Trump’s request to approve an independent special review of the documents taken during the early-August search. The Justice Department is appealing part of that ruling to regain access to highly classified materials in Trump’s possession.
Reyes has become a staunch ally of Trump. He traveled to Wyoming for a speaking slot during Trump’s rally in Casper in May. Trump has reportedly urged Reyes to launch a bid for U.S. Senate in 2024, possibly challenging Sen. Mitt Romney for the GOP nomination in two years.
Reyes’ office declined to comment about the brief.