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I am not so sure the Special Master ruling is all that good for Trump and the GOP.
By Curt_Anderson
September 6, 2022 2:15 pm
Category: Opinion

(5.0 from 1 vote)
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In the bit of cable news I watched there was much gnashing of teeth over the Mar-a-Lago classified documents decision. Judge Cannon apparently takes Trump's claims of Executive Privilege seriously. While I am not overly concerned, it is a clear example of our two justice systems: one justice system for the rich and another justice system for the rest of us. Every shoplifter, burglar and armed robber caught red-handed with the goods would love to have his day in court delayed by a special master's itemization of the stolen goods mixed with the miscreant's personal possessions.

That said, I am unconvinced that it's a get out of jail free card for Trump.

For starters, the DOJ may seek an appeal(s) which may negate all or part of Judge Cannon's decision. Now if the case goes all the way to the Supreme Court, bear in mind that SCOTUS has already ruled against Trump's claim of Executive Privilege.

Secondly, Judge Cannon ruled that the DOJ can't investigate the documents under scrutiny. But the DOJ already went through all the documents. They know each and every classified document in question (Trump's personal papers are irrelevant) that the FBI collected in their August search. Also the DOJ knows what Trump voluntarily surrendered last June and earlier. So what evidence is there to investigate? The DOJ has more than enough evidence to build their legal case against Trump. Everything has been photographed. They've probably checked for fingerprints.

Finally, the special master at worst delays matters; it doesn't end matters. Dragging things out is bad news for the Republican candidates. Prolonged reports about Trump's legal matters doesn't help their case. The non-Trumpies, the rational Republicans and independents sense the inequities of the justice system and how Trump abuses the system. Violating the Espionage Act et cetera is not popular with most voters. Undoubtedly Trump will continue to talk about how he is a victim. That's not what Republican candidates want to talk about.


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Comments on "I am not so sure the Special Master ruling is all that good for Trump and the GOP.":

  1. by HatetheSwamp on September 6, 2022 2:59 pm

    Interestingly, I opened this post at the very moment the tube was on and THE FIVE was discussing the ruling, including snippets from various MSNBC and CNN shows denouncing.

    Jesse mentioned that every???, progressive SwampMedia commentator praised to high heaven the judge who granted the Mar-a-Lago subpoena. Now, they're appalled that this judge offered fairness to Trump.

    Two of the panelists on THE FIVE are trained in the law, one's a lawyer the other a retired judge. They had varying takes.

    My guess is that you Swampcult progressives want this ruling to be bad only you hate Trump.




  2. by HatetheSwamp on September 6, 2022 3:26 pm

    "...The unhinged and at times personal attacks on Judge Cannon are disgraceful. There are good-faith arguments on both sides, but experts are lining up to denounce a judge for seeking to create an independent record on what was seized and what can be withheld." -Jonathan Turley

    Sounds about right.


  3. by islander on September 6, 2022 3:38 pm

    Marcy Wheeler gives a very good analysis of this. She presents Judge Cannon's arguments and then gives the other side.

    Well worth reading.
    emptywheel.net


  4. by HatetheSwamp on September 6, 2022 3:43 pm

    Finally, the special master at worst delays matters; it doesn't end matters.

    If that's true, why, do you suppose, so many progressives in the SwampMedia are pitchin hissies?

    From day one, a leading take on the right suggested that the invasion of Trump's home was little more than a pretext for a J6 Committee fishing expedition. If that's so, the Special Master may very well bring that to light.

    That'd splain why all the hissie pitchin.


  5. by islander on September 6, 2022 4:06 pm

    "Finally, the special master at worst delays matters; it doesn't end matters"

    Couldn't agree more with ya, curt. 🍻


  6. by Curt_Anderson on September 6, 2022 9:39 pm
    The following was reported (first by the NY Times, I believe) a couple of weeks ago:

    A sworn statement by Trump's attorney Christina Bobb made on June 3rd attested that all classified material had been returned and a "diligent search" had been conducted. Bobb signed the letter that all materials requested by the subpoena issued to Trump had been turned over to the Justice Department.


    As the August FBI search revealed, Bobb's sworn statement was false. That's bad news for Bobb and Trump. Somebody lied.

    A question occurs to me about this "diligent search" for classified material: Who did this search?

    If it was Bobb, another Trump lawyer or a legal assistant, they don't have clearance to peer at classified documents. I cannot imagine how anybody searching through Trump's hodge-podge of state secrets and personal paraphernalia could avoid looking at classified information. An ex-president (and probably a sitting president) cannot confer unilateral classified clearance status to somebody. If it were possible, Bill Clinton would have done it with Hillary over her emails.

    I also cannot imagine Trump sorting through all the classified documents personally. If he did his own document search, apparently he lied to Bobb about there being nothing else to return. Also if he did the search, why didn't he sign a sworn statement attesting to the diligent search himself?

    As far as I know, the DOJ is not enjoined from prosecuting attorney Bobb for making a false statement under oath to the DOJ. If she is charged, she could wind up testifying against Trump to save her own skin.


  7. by Donna on September 7, 2022 1:01 am

    From Barr's latest anti-Trump broadside raises political stakes of Mar-a-Lago search drama (CNN):

    On Tuesday, Barr took aim at a decision by Trump-appointed Judge Aileen Cannon to grant Trump's request for a "special master" to vet for executive and legal privilege issues the material taken from his home in last month's FBI search.

    "The opinion, I think, was wrong, and I think the government should appeal it. It's deeply flawed in a number of ways," Barr said on Fox on Tuesday.

    Barr's criticism added to that of many legal experts over the quality and potential consequences of Cannon's legal opinion.

    After last week calling Trump's demand for a "special master" a "red herring," Barr on Tuesday argued that the fundamentals of the case against Trump and those around him in Florida were already set.

    "The government has very strong evidence of what it really needs to determine whether charges are appropriate -- which is government documents were taken, classified information was taken and not handled appropriately," Barr told Fox.

    "And there's some evidence to suggest that they were deceived and none of that really relates to the content of documents. It relates to the fact that there were documents there, and the fact that they were classified and the fact that they were subpoenaed and never delivered."


    [...]

    Many legal scholars have noted that [Judge Aileen Cannon's] reasoning that Trump, as an ex-president, is at greater risk of reputational harm than regular Americans appeared to create a whole new category of citizenship under the law. It also provided a potential opening for defense lawyers in any unrelated case to argue that defendants should therefore have the right to a special master -- a situation that could considerably clog up the criminal justice system.

    For that reason, it might be incumbent on the DOJ to appeal, even though such a move could condemn the Mar-a-Lago case to a long sequence of court challenges that could take months and further delay the investigation.

    Ryan Goodman, a professor at NYU Law, told CNN's Erin Burnett on Tuesday evening that the department should make an urgent appeal to at least release the injunction on its use of material taken from Trump's home.

    But Goodman, like Barr, acknowledged the danger that mounting legal challenges could end up in prolonged litigation. That would suit Trump fine since it would push the case deeper into a 2024 campaign in which he's likely to be a candidate, which would further enable his effort to condemn the investigation as politically motivated.

    cnn.com


  8. by HatetheSwamp on September 7, 2022 3:28 am

    Wow!

    Donna!

    You've seen the light!

    As Rush used to say when a lib finally saw reason, "Welcome aboard!"

    Since Barr wrote his book, "One damn thing after another," I've been referring to him as, "pb GOP, Bill Barr."

    Donna. YOU DA BOMB!!!!! Whoa. You can see reason. And, I'd lost hope for you!

    Oh. Oops. Nah, I see.

    You're only praising Barr because his view of the legal ruling feeds your Trump derangement. It's just that same old hate!

    Nuts. Too bad.

    For just that briefest of moments, pb thought you'd come into the light.

    Sheeeeeeeeeeeesh!

    Bahahahahahahahahaha hoohoohoohoohoohoo
    heeheeheeheeheehee hahahahahahahahaha
    heeheeheeheeheehee hoohoohoohoohoohoohoo heeheeheeheeheehee hahahahahahahahaha, ahhhhhhhhhhh!

    Baha.



  9. by Donna on September 7, 2022 9:19 am

    So you think it's weird that I'm in agreement with someone I've criticized?

    Okay.


  10. by Curt_Anderson on September 7, 2022 10:34 am
    Donna, don't you know the HTS rule of citations regarding Trump?

    1. You must not cite a source that criticizes or denigrates Trump if it is by a source that has been critical of Trump in the past, for example the New York Times.
    2. Nor should you cite a source that criticizes or denigrates Trump if it is by a source that has been supportive of Trump in the past, for example Bill Barr.


  11. by HatetheSwamp on September 7, 2022 12:59 pm

    So you think it's weird that I'm in agreement with someone I've criticized?

    No, Donna. Barr agrees with YOU. That's the point. Anyone who opposes Trump, for any reason, agrees with you.


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