11th Circuit Says Trump And His Favorite Judges All Morons, Investigation May Proceed
Sometimes court rulings are just a delight to read. Such is the case with last night's ruling from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, smacking Donald Trump in the face and calling district court moron Judge Aileen Cannon an idiot.
Short version: Yes, the Department of Justice is allowed to use the documents it seized at Mar-a-Lago in its investigation into the closely guarded state secrets Trump stole from the White House, which happen to be the very documents we are talking about.
Obviously. Clearly. Come on, Aileen.
It turns out that classified documents are, by definition, not Donald Trump's property. Who knew? Also, they are not attorney-client privileged. We know we are getting into some legal weeds here, some very complicated topics. We're so far into legal Nerd Land that this stuff apparently flew straight across Aileen Cannon's head, bless her heart.
From the opinion:
“For our part, we cannot discern why [Trump] would have an individual interest in or need for any of the one-hundred documents with classification markings."
We can imagine some reasons. Treason reasons. But that's not "individual interest" the way the court is saying.
The court moreover notes that "Plaintiff [that's Trump!] has not even attempted to show that he has a need to know the information contained in the classified documents." Also has not shown that the real president Joe Biden has expressed a desire for Trump to know these state secrets.
And in re: Aileen Cannon's role in all this, the appeals court says she "abused her discretion" in
throwing up all these roadblocks on behalf of Donald Trump "exercising jurisdiction [...] as it concerns the classified documents."
So there's that.
It is funny that this happened the same day New York Attorney General Letitia James placed her foot in Trump's ass and started twisting it. It is also funny this came the same day Trump told Sean Hannity that all he has to do to declassify documents is close his eyes and hold his butt and say "HEEEEEEEEEINIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!" like he is on the potty and then BAM! declassified.
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Here is what this three-judge panel — two Trump judges and one Obama judge, and the ruling was per curiam, which is Latin for "Errbody up here says Aileen Cannon is an idiot" — thinks about any suggestions that Trump declassified documents by going "HEEEEEEEEEINIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!" like he is on the potty:
“Plaintiff suggests that he may have declassified these documents when he was President. But the record contains no evidence that any of these records were declassified. And before the special master, Plaintiff resisted providing any evidence that he had declassified any of these documents,” the panel wrote.
"Plaintiff resisted providing any evidence," pffffffft. What part of "HEEEEEEEEEINIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!" do these woke judges not understand?
“In any event, at least for these purposes, the declassification argument is a red herring because declassifying an official document would not change its content or render it personal.”
Oh weird, is that not how that works? These documents don't magically become Trump's property even if he thinks he declassified them? Who knew, besides every other president in American history?
These mean judges don't even take seriously Aileen Cannon's melodramatic assertion that Trump is exposed to injury here because of, as she earlier wrote, "the threat of future prosecution and the serious, often indelible stigma associated therewith." In other words, because it makes him feel stinky and embarrassed and people might think he is some kind of criminal because of the investigation. Well yes, the judges write, "No doubt the threat of prosecution can weigh heavily on the mind of someone under investigation." But alas, they cannot make a special exception for Trump's stinky and embarrassed feelings, for if they did so, they'd have to do so for every other suspect.
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As Wonkette has explained previously, the Trump team's whole gambit of demanding a Special Master to (they hope) slow down and muck up this process may not be going well for them, and not least because of their braindead assumption that Raymond Dearie, the federal judge who got the appointment, shared their paint-huffing delusions about the Justice Department after his involvement with the Carter Page FISA warrants. A good rule for MAGA types is to never assume a normal person shares your paint-huffing delusions.
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The government had argued that Cannon shouldn't have had the Special Master sifting through about 100 docs seized from Trump's underpants drawers with classification markings, and that the investigation shouldn't have to come to a stop while they wait. Cannon clearly is not a serious judge or legal brain — we are not sure, maybe she is one of the people who stands behind Trump at Trump rallies wearing a fanny pack and yelling "lock her up!" — and therefore she disagreed. The appeals court just responded "LOL."
The government also had to explain the admittedly very confusing concept that it didn't make sense for Cannon to say a risk assessment by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) — to find out how much national security damage Trump has done/is doing — could continue, but the FBI's criminal investigation must wait. The government had argued that ipso facto it's FBI people conducting that risk assessment, and that the risk assessment and the criminal investigation into the mishandling of state secrets are "inextricably intertwined." The appeals court agreed, saying "Hey dumbstupid. Hey you, yeah you, over there. This is you: DOY DOY DOY DOY DOY." (Not exact quote, but again remember, this is a per curiam ruling from TWO TRUMP JUDGES and one Obama judge.)
As we said, this ruling is a fun read. Even when it's just regurgitating words from Cannon's ruling, you can sense that they all have a certain look on their faces, like when they write that she appears to think that "Plaintiff might be able to assert executive privilege against the current President." Strong McKayla Maroney "are you fucking kidding me" face vibes there.
And toward the end, there's a really good and concise explanation of "Classified documents, how does THAT work?" Trump's lawyers and his favorite judges should write it on sticky notes and put it on their bathroom mirrors. Also, at the beginning, there's a really good and concise explanation of how many times Trump lied about "classified documents, GIVE IT." You should bookmark it, for idiots.
This fight is not over, as Trump can appeal this to the Supreme Court and very well may. And if that happens, oh golly. Clarence Thomas will have to ask Ginni Thomas what she thinks and Amy Coney Barrett will have to ask Jesus what He thinks and Samuel Alito will have to get a sworn affidavit that the Special Master isn't aborting any babies in the course of his work and yikes, what a shitshow.
But for now, it's a win, and Aileen Cannon is a very bad judge and the stay on her ruling IS GRANTED.
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