Trump Lawyers Lob Flaming Bag Of Dog Sh*t At Federal Court In Warrant Fight

A mere two weeks after an FBI search warrant was executed at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump's legal team has finally lurched into action. And all it took was some vigorous prodding by Fox News's Laura Ingraham!

"Politics cannot be allowed to impact the administration of justice," the "Motion for Judicial Oversight and Additional Relief" begins, before demanding special treatment as a former president, a kingmaker in the midterms, and the presumptive Republican nominee in 2024. This last is bolstered by some bizarro polls, in which the lawyers tout both Trump's dominance in the GOP primary and his supposed lead over President Joe Biden. But no politics, please!

The motion goes on to excoriate the Justice Department for executing a judicially approved search warrant to retrieve items which are lawfully the property of the US government, calling it "a shockingly aggressive move — and with no understanding of the distress that it would cause most Americans." Which is bullshit, and also wholly irrelevant to the propriety of the warrant.

It's one thing for Trump and his minions to blarp on television and social media that he's cooperated with the National Archives' efforts to get back what Trump purloined. But it's quite another for Trump's lawyers to make those same claims in a legal document filed in federal court. And yet, they've done just that, characterizing the former president as having been "fully cooperative" and claiming that "the Government has refused to provide President Trump with any reason for the unprecedented, general search of his home."

Those are statements of fact, and they are provably false. Trump ignored a grand jury subpoena for those self-same documents in June, just as he ignored a year's worth of entreaties by the Archives to give them back their shit. And it's nonsense to pretend away the warrant where prosecutors told him exactly what crimes he was suspected of — as if it was somehow unclear that he wasn't supposed to keep classified documents in a closet by the pool at his country club.

Moreover, it is simply a lie to say that the Justice Department got involved in this case "because the 15 NARA Boxes contained documents from his Administration that were protected by executive privilege." As the letter leaked to his buddy John Solomon last night established (don't worry, that letter is now published by NARA at the preceding link so you don't have to sully yourself with Solomon's site), NARA contacted the DOJ because the documents Trump voluntarily handed over contained a whole pile of super-classified shit, up to and including Sensitive Compartmented Information and Special Access Program materials. Executive privilege had nothing to do with it, and anyway the DOJ is an executive agency. FFS, there is no executive privilege within the executive branch! As we mentioned this morning, Trump already lost his bid to use executive privilege to shield presidential documents from the House January 6 Select Committee — he's sure as hell not getting any traction trying to withhold them from a criminal investigation.

THIS GUY! Trump Tried To Executive Privilege Himself Out Of A Criminal Investigation? This Year? WTF???

And that's just bullshit from the first five pages! Because once again, Trump's team has filed what purports to be a legal document but is, in fact, a performative piece of gibberish drafted to mollify a client who demands that his attorneys do something. And that something amounts to screeching incoherently about "Russia defamation" and asserting as fact that the DOJ hates him, then claiming that this entitles him to special consideration from the judge, larded with references to the majesty of Mar-a-Lago and a hilarious "Sir Story" about an FBI agent telling Trump's lawyer, "Thank you. You did not need to show us the storage room, but we appreciate it. Now it all makes sense."

That shit never happened! And whining that "this Court should feel obliged to demand candor and transparency, and not just 'trust us' assertions from DOJ" is not actually a basis for asking the court do anything. That's not a legal standard; it's showing the court a festering boil on your ass and demanding that she LOCK HER UP the witch who lives next door for putting a hex on you.

The weirdest part here is that not everything he's asking for is totally crazy. Demanding a special master to sort through the documents seized and pull out things which are personal and/or attorney-client privileged is not a monstrously unreasonable request. Or it wouldn't have been two weeks ago before the DOJ's own filter team started sorting through the documents and doing just that. At this point, it might well be moot.

But Trump did get one lucky break in that he managed to get himself before US District Judge Aileen Cannon, a Federalist Society weirdo whom he himself appointed to the bench. Perhaps she will be willing to second-guess Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart's determination that the DOJ met the standard for probable cause and can be trusted to play fair with documents and evidence. Although Trump's esteemed legal team is off to a rocky start, having failed not once but twice now to properly docket the motions for his Maryland lawyers to be admitted pro hac vice to appear in the Southern District of Florida.

Auspicious beginning, no?

[Trump v. United States, Docket via Court Listener]

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Liz Dye

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.


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