DOJ To Trump Warrant Judge: But What If You Actually Followed The Law? That Would Be Cool, Too, Huh?
What the hell is going on in Florida with that Mar-a-Lago case, you are wondering. Is the Justice Department really going to let that batshit Special Master order from that Federalist Society loon stand? And what does that do to the ongoing investigation?
It's cool, baby, we got you!
In fact, the DOJ is not going to let the Special Master order go unchallenged — or at least not entirely. Last night it filed a notice of its intent to appeal US District Judge Aileen Cannon's order appointing a Special Master to sort through the items seized from Donald Trump on August 8, pulling out not just records that implicate attorney-client privilege, but anything which might be subject to executive privilege, too, as well as all personal property. Judge Cannon's only concession was to allow the Intelligence Community to continue its assessment of the fallout from having highly classified documents stored in Trump's pool locker.
As we have mentioned, that is all fucking crazy. The DOJ's taint team already filtered out attorney-client privileged documents; Trump can't assert executive privilege over the objections of the sitting president and against an executive branch agency in the midst of a criminal investigation; and the personal items are evidence of the improper storage of classified documents.
So after it noticed the appeal last night, DOJ prosecutors filed a motion for partial stay of Judge Cannon's wacko order "to the extent the Order (1) enjoins the further review and use for criminal investigative purposes of records bearing classification markings that were recovered pursuant to a court-authorized search warrant and (2) requires the government to disclose those classified records to a special master for review."
In plain English, they want to be able to continue their investigation at least as it pertains to the classified documents. And they weren't shy about telling the judge that her order is shit, and so is her legal reasoning. Because even if Trump's executive privilege claims were valid — and they very clearly are not — he could never claim an ownership interest in classified documents, the very possession of which outside government facilities is a crime. There is simply no universe in which he could ever get any of that shit back from a Special Master, because it is by definition the property of the US government.
"Plaintiff does not and could not assert that he owns or has any possessory interest in classified records; that he has any right to have those government records returned to him; or that he can advance any plausible claims of attorney-client privilege as to such records that would bar the government from reviewing or using them," they write.
And furthermore, the FBI is part of the Intelligence Community, so it's simply impossible to wall it off from the investigation into what the hell Trump was doing with some foreign ally's nuclear secrets. Because that is not how national security goes, you ditz. (The ditz part is implied. Loudly.)
The Intelligence Community’s review and assessment cannot be readily segregated from the Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) and Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (“FBI”) activities in connection with the ongoing criminal investigation, and uncertainty regarding the bounds of the Court’s order and its implications for the activities of the FBI has caused the Intelligence Community, in consultation with DOJ, to pause temporarily this critically important work.
Attached to the motion for stay was an affidavit from Alan Kohler Jr., the assistant director of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division, attesting that the FBI kinda has to be a part of any national security assessment seeing as the CIA doesn't do domestic work. You ditz.
The parties were already supposed to hand in homework today explaining their positions on the identity and remit of the Special Master. So immediately after the government filed its motion, Judge Cannon told Trump's legal team to add a paragraph or two to "consider Defendant's position as to the approximately 100 documents discussed in the Motion for Partial Stay." In light of the quality of the legal work produced by Team Trump when they weren't on an abbreviated time schedule, we can only speculate on what kind of insane shit they're going to lob at the federal docket. But considering Judge Cannon did them a solid and filled in all the blanks for them last time — and by blanks we mean legal arguments — it may not matter what they wind up vomiting out.
And speaking of vomiting out shit, let's check in and see how the former president is handling all this.
So now the FBI & Biden Department of 'Justice' leakers are going to spend Millions of Dollars, & vast amounts of Time & Energy, to appeal the Order on the 'Raid of Mar-a-Lago Document Hoax,' by a brilliant and courageous Judge whose words of wisdom rang true throughout our Nation, instead of fighting the record setting corruption and crime that is taking place right before their very eyes. They SPIED on my Campaign, lied to FISA COURT, told Facebook 'quiet,' preside over worst CRIME WAVE ever!!
Cry harder, asshole.
Anyway! Long story short? The government may wind up appealing the rest of the Special Master order, but they don't actually care as much about that part. They were always going to give back the personal property and attorney-client privileged stuff. And the subset of seized documents that could plausibly be covered by executive privilege is pretty small, assuming you don't wind up with someone crazy like Sidney Powell as Special Master ruling that everything Trump ever touched is magically privileged — as well as looking at documents you really wouldn't want Sidney Powell to see. The government doesn't want to hand its classified documents over to the court or a Special Master, but they're probably better off just biting the bullet and going through the review than wasting time on an appeal to the famously conservative Eleventh Circuit.
And PS, it won't be Sidney Powell. She doesn't have the requisite security clearance, and anyway she'll be lucky if she can practice law at all after the Texas Bar gets through with her.
[Trump v. United States, Docket via Court Listener]
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.