Since the Search of Mar-a-Lago
September 4, 2022 9:39 AM   Subscribe

After the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago on August 8th (previously), the DOJ released the search warrant and property receipt on August 12th, and a redacted search warrant affidavit on August 26th. On August 26th, the Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines sent a letter to the House Intelligence and House Oversight committee chairs, saying the intelligence community and the DOJ are conducting a damage assessment of the recovered documents. An August 29th court filing by the DOJ said that a review of seized materials had already been completed. On August 30th, the DOJ filed a 36-page rebuttal to Trump's August 22nd motion requesting a special master, along with a detailed timeline of events leading up to the search. On September 1st, Judge Aileen Cannon said she would release her decision regarding appointing a special master "in due course", and ordered the DOJ to release the detailed property list, which the DOJ did on September 2nd.

-- Former CIA Officer Tracy Walder has expressed concern that the documents unlawfully retained by former President Donald Trump could be linked to the deaths of CIA informants overseas, based on the known timeline.

-- Trump's former Attorney General Bill Barr spoke out against Trump's keeping classified documents at "a country club" on Fox News.

-- It was reported on September 2nd that Trump's former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has turned over texts and emails from his time in the Trump Administration to the National Archives.

-- The New York Times has published an illustrated rendering of the recovered documents.

-- And on September 3rd in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, while holding his first political rally since the search of Mar-a-Lago, Trump claimed, among many other demonstrably false and nonsensical things, that "Last week, Weirdo -- he's a weirdo -- Mark Zuckerberg came to the White House, kissed my ass. Kissed my ass," so he's handling this string of events... characteristically.
posted by orange swan (268 comments total) 67 users marked this as a favorite
 
Reality Winner would like a word with the DOJ about different standards in the system please.
posted by nofundy at 9:44 AM on September 4 [68 favorites]


Surely this!
posted by Dip Flash at 9:45 AM on September 4 [9 favorites]


There's a house near my neighborhood that had a huge TRUMP 2024 TAKE AMERICA BACK sign hung up in front of their house, along with smaller signs, flags, and other assorted cultist paraphernalia. The day after the FBI raid on MAL, it all came down. Maybe there's a glimmer of hope for at least some of them?
posted by xedrik at 9:46 AM on September 4 [52 favorites]


If you don't follow TheGoodLiars on Twitter you're missing out, they do a great job of baiting Trumpers and QAnon folk on video.

But their real scoop was nearly four weeks ago when they found an empty "Classified" folder on display at Trump Tower's "45" bar. (Because of course he put together a bar/restaurant dedicated to his own presidency).

It's since been picked up by some larger news outlets but...holy fuck.

Also: what's with that Situation Room pamphlet? Serving the President since 1961. Is it a wine list or something?
posted by JoeZydeco at 10:07 AM on September 4 [23 favorites]


Shirley this.

The Justice Department will find some excuse. The election is too near. It would be too divisive.
posted by Bee'sWing at 10:08 AM on September 4 [9 favorites]


(Thanks for this post, orange swan.)
posted by box at 10:19 AM on September 4 [6 favorites]


I so wish this had really happened, but it is a video manip. A+ video manip, though!
posted by orange swan at 10:23 AM on September 4 [1 favorite]


Trump claimed, among many other demonstrably false and nonsensical things, that "Last week, Weirdo -- he's a weirdo -- Mark Zuckerberg came to the White House, kissed my ass. Kissed my ass," so he's

Is he claiming here to be a resident of 1600 Pennsylvania or does he refer to MAL as the Whitehouse now?
posted by Mitheral at 10:32 AM on September 4 [20 favorites]


In Wilkes-Barre, Trump also claimed that (PA gov candidate) John Fetterman uses heroin, cocaine, crystal meth, and fentanyl, that the average drug dealer kills 500 people a month, that when he was in office, gas cost $1.42 a gallon ("We actually had it down to $1.42. Remember that? But I had to get it a little up. We had to let the oil companies make a couple of bucks. I didn't want to wipe out the oil companies."), and repeated his claim that (NY rep) Adam Schiff has a 'watermelon head.'

He also shouted out Woody Johnson, an ambassador in the Trump administration who is probably better known for being the owner of New-Jersey-based football team the New York Jets. I'm sure the audience at this Oz pep rally appreciated the reference.
posted by box at 10:36 AM on September 4 [12 favorites]


Given the content at that W-B speech, is it safe to say that he is even crazier than before?
posted by njohnson23 at 10:50 AM on September 4 [7 favorites]


yeah, like, is this dementia? has he completely lost touch with what little reality he knew?
posted by supermedusa at 10:55 AM on September 4 [2 favorites]


I don't think he is mentally ill so much as caught in his own web of fabulation that means he can never ever admit he isn't the best and most right. Which means he constantly has to twist, turn, lie, and ad-lib to respond to unpleasant truths as they come out.

He is making shit up, but not out of delusion, just to keep the grift going.
posted by emjaybee at 10:55 AM on September 4 [20 favorites]


Between qanon and "Johnny does all the drugs", are famous people as a class just largely disinterested in suing for slander?
posted by Selena777 at 10:55 AM on September 4 [1 favorite]


I have been seeing an uptick in people calling for Trump Tower to be searched.

Michael Cohen believes Trump is likely keeping copies of top-secret documents at his children's homes, Bedminster, and Trump Tower
posted by JoeZydeco at 10:57 AM on September 4 [12 favorites]


Slander/defamation is notoriously difficult to prove in US court if you're a notable/famous person (as opposed to, say, UK courts, as we've seen with the Depp/Heard mess).
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 10:59 AM on September 4 [6 favorites]


Even if Trump "misspoke" and said the White House when he meant Mar-a-Lago or the name of one his other residences, his claim that Zuckerberg came to dinner last week is still false. Zuckerberg came to dinner at the White House in 2019.
posted by orange swan at 11:01 AM on September 4 [10 favorites]


Given the content at that W-B speech, is it safe to say that he is even crazier than before?

yeah, like, is this dementia? has he completely lost touch with what little reality he knew?


Trump may be experiencing narcissistic collapse.
posted by orange swan at 11:16 AM on September 4 [37 favorites]


That entire Zuckerberg statement is one of the truly more bizarre things he's said. I mean, the gas prices thing, but Zuckerberg? Last week?

There's been a raft of videos suggested to me on YouTube recently that are about TRUMP LOSING IT or whatever, and I don't watch those because they're obvious bait... but maybe his brain is truly breaking.
posted by hippybear at 11:17 AM on September 4


O, what an ignoble noble mind is here o'erthrown.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:20 AM on September 4 [30 favorites]


There are so so so many layers to the scandal. It keeps getting worse and worse. per Vox, we have yet more likely obstruction of justice, a reminder that this is like the 3rd or 4th attempt to recover documents from Lago according to the laws, the level of classified files are absolutely stunning.

It's been over 8 months since the national archives recovered the first set of 15 boxes. In total there seems to be over 300 classified documents, and several empty folders indicating at bare minimum extraordinarily poor secure document handling.
posted by Jacen at 11:31 AM on September 4 [7 favorites]


Between qanon and "Johnny does all the drugs", are famous people as a class just largely disinterested in suing for slander?

In order to collect damages, "public figures" have to show "actual malice," which requires hard evidence that the slanderer either knew the information was false or was acting in "reckless disregard" of the truth.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 11:50 AM on September 4 [1 favorite]


I so wish this had really happened, but it is a video manip. A+ video manip, though!

Respectfully, it looked fake to me from the moment I saw it. I started scrolling through the comments to find anyone discussing that and saw mostly a lot of people who genuinely thought it was real. While it's funny, it disturbs me to some extent how easily manipulated people are, and not just the dumb-dumb right wingers I see posting facebook memes about mind-controlling vaccines, etc.
posted by hoborg at 11:55 AM on September 4


Last week, Zuckerberg went on Joe Rogan's show, was asked about 'censoring' the Hunter Biden laptop story, and used the opportunity to defend the FBI as a 'legitimate institution.'
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:58 AM on September 4 [2 favorites]


I've been wondering if Trump, once he finally feels he is about to go to jail, would play the "I'm not competent" card. Sudden onset dementia.
posted by Bee'sWing at 12:49 PM on September 4 [3 favorites]


“Such a dementia, perfect—it’s a perfect dementia, you know, just beautiful, just a beautiful mind, you know, just the most—my doctor even said, the most beautiful mind—just gone.”
posted by Mister Moofoo at 1:20 PM on September 4 [11 favorites]


Let the great gods,
That keep this dreadful pother o'er our heads,
Find out their enemies now. Tremble, thou wretch,
That hast within thee undivulged crimes,
Unwhipp'd of justice: hide thee, thou bloody hand;
Thou perjured, and thou simular man of virtue
That art incestuous: caitiff, to pieces shake,
That under covert and convenient seeming
Hast practised on man's life: close pent-up guilts,
Rive your concealing continents, and cry
These dreadful summoners grace. I am a man
More sinn'd against than sinning.
- King Lear, Act 3 scene 2
posted by biogeo at 1:50 PM on September 4 [12 favorites]


In order to collect damages, "public figures" have to show "actual malice," which requires hard evidence that the slanderer either knew the information was false or was acting in "reckless disregard" of the truth.

And Trump either knew it was a lie or didn't care that it was. I hope Fetterman sues the arse off him.
posted by essexjan at 1:54 PM on September 4 [6 favorites]


For anyone with friends, relatives, or random people online saying "but what about Hillary's emails", here's a link to a convenient resource: https://www.politifact.com/article/2022/aug/09/comparing-hillary-clintons-emails-and-donald-trump/

The TL;DR is simple: Clinton was accused of having THREE email chains that included items that were ambiguous and might have possibly been classified. She had those documents while being Secretary of State and for the purpose of doing her job as Secretary of State. She did not take any classified material with her after she stopped being Secretary of State.

Trump is accused of stealing 15 boxes of material of various levels of classification after he left office and refused to return them when the government politely requested that he do so.

That's the difference.
posted by sotonohito at 3:17 PM on September 4 [70 favorites]


I think he is right about the gas prices though? When COVID first hit gas prices were super low.
posted by halehale at 3:35 PM on September 4 [1 favorite]


Trump: "But now gas is $5 and $6 and $7. And it's going to be going up. Think of it, and they brag because it came down slightly. You know, it came down about 42 cents. We actually had it down to $1.42."

Gas prices in January 2017 averaged $2.34/gal, dipped as low as $1.84 in March 2020, and, by January 2021, were sitting at $2.33. (Average) gas prices have never topped $5.00, and, as of last month, they were $3.98.

The last time it was as low as $1.42, the president was George W. Bush.

(And, y'know, the president doesn't have the power to set gas prices.)
posted by box at 4:24 PM on September 4 [26 favorites]


I feel like I've heard declarations of obvious dementia before. And narcissistic tailspin. Yadda yadda yadda.

I'll believe it's different this time when I hear these three words: Lock Him Up.
posted by Dashy at 7:22 PM on September 4 [6 favorites]


The day after the FBI raid on MAL, it all came down.

Couple of weekends ago, I was on a driving trip through northwestern Minnesota. On my route, I only saw one commercial building decked out with Trump-ish paraphernalia. This was different from previous years.

I didn't see an indication of a sharp shift in political allegiances. Election signs for November were up, but they were almost all for local races, a few for GOP House Rep Fischbach. There was plenty of "fetus marketing" by anti-abortion groups, but that stuff has been part of the landscape up there for decades. Oversize U.S. flags, POW/MIA flags, those are a bit more borderline, a little less in-your-face, and like the anti-abortion stuff, they've been there a long time. There were one or two "thin blue line" flags.

Even saw an overgrown pickup with stickers all over it, Punisher-based logos, gun stuff, flag waving, quasi-military posturing. No mention of Trump.

It felt different from the previous couple of years, when you'd see a few houses decked out with gaudy Trump gear like parade floats. I can't rule out that I was just lucky in picking my routes.

Can't say it made me hopeful. But it did make me go hmmm.
posted by gimonca at 7:42 PM on September 4 [15 favorites]


In Wilkes-Barre, Trump also claimed...

thanks for reminding me I need to send in my FCPA so I can get my ballot to vote for Fetterman. :)
posted by Vetinari at 7:46 AM on September 5 [7 favorites]




Whilst it's really galling that Trump won his motion for the appointment of a Special Master, I think overall it's going to play more to the Govt's position than his; an independent third party appointed jointly by the parties can counter any allegations of bias that he's likely to make. Now all they have to agree on is who it will be...
posted by essexjan at 9:21 AM on September 5 [3 favorites]


I wonder if the DOJ will appeal this.
posted by interogative mood at 10:05 AM on September 5 [1 favorite]


I wasn't too worried about the special master request because, from what I read when I was putting this post together, the fact that the DOJ had already finished their review of the recovered documents made the matter of a special master basically moot. But now the order for a special master includes an injunction halting use of the materials for “criminal investigative purposes”, though the intelligence community's damage assessment can continue. From what I'm reading, the DOJ can and should appeal. I suppose their decision to appeal or not will be a sort of litmus test of whether Merrick Garland intends to prosecute TFG. I certainly hope that they don't draw another Trump-appointed judge for the appeal.

However, as essexjan points out, TFG getting his special master undercuts any claims he'll try to make of having been treated unfairly (which we all know he will make regardless of how he's treated), and if the special master is competent and principled, it won't have an impact on the ultimate result of the investigation, though it's an extra set of hoops for the FBI to jump through.
posted by orange swan at 10:10 AM on September 5 [10 favorites]


Is he claiming here to be a resident of 1600 Pennsylvania or does he refer to MAL as the Whitehouse now?
Trump was calling Mar-a-Lago the "Winter White House" in Jan. 2017 and, slightly more recently and far more ominously, the "Southern White House" by Feb. 2017. ("WWH" was actually a 1968 plan for the estate, then owned Marjorie Merriweather Post. The original "SWW," the WH of the Confederacy, is in Virginia.)
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:14 AM on September 5 [2 favorites]


Whoops, wrong thread. LOCK HIM UP.
posted by TrialByMedia at 10:18 AM on September 5 [1 favorite]




However, as essexjan points out, TFG getting his special master undercuts any claims he'll try to make of having been treated unfairly (which we all know he will make regardless of how he's treated), and if the special master is competent and principled, it won't have an impact on the ultimate result of the investigation, though it's an extra set of hoops for the FBI to jump through.

It certainly makes the US look like a country without a functional and non-partisan legal system that's capable of taking national intelligence seriously, or of protecting its own interests against tyrants. I have to think some reassessment of intelligence sharing and partnerships is accelerating elsewhere right now.
posted by ryanshepard at 12:35 PM on September 5 [21 favorites]


However, as essexjan points out, TFG getting his special master undercuts any claims he'll try to make of having been treated unfairly (which we all know he will make regardless of how he's treated),

Do the parties get a say-so on the SM's determinations? Because I can see every single page getting "no, look closer" appeals from the 45 camp until the end of time. That is, he may not have to claim he's being treated unfairly if he can tar-pit the entire process. Wouldn't be his first time.
posted by rhizome at 12:44 PM on September 5 [4 favorites]


2nd rhizome that making the whole thing take 10 years is the entire point. I'm not too worried about having a special master, it's all in the details of how that "shall be determined expeditiously". Trump's reply brief basically had the defense communicating with the special master ex parte and able to raise any objection that would then essentially have to be litigated piece by piece before the government could use it. The court here says the special master process would be faster than going through the courts - surprise, every single document is still going to go through the courts, after as long a delay as the defense is allowed to create with hearings, arguments, appeals, etc.
posted by ctmf at 1:19 PM on September 5 [7 favorites]


It's just another point to insert the obstruction they're famous for and already demonstrated in this very case.
posted by ctmf at 1:20 PM on September 5 [3 favorites]


How was a judge appointed by Trump able to hear and rule in a case involving him? It seems like a textbook conflict of interest. Would they normally be required to recuse themselves?
posted by Larry David Syndrome at 1:31 PM on September 5 [8 favorites]


The plan is clear: delay until closer to the midterms, then argue for further delay until after the midterms and hope that the Republicans take at least one chamber, at which point a Republican committee obstructs everything with interminable hearings and investigations. The endgame is arguing for delay until after the 2024 election.

It’s the same as in Georgia: delay, delay, delay, hoping for either a change in political winds or (as in the New York federal case) the prosecutor gives up.
posted by jedicus at 1:43 PM on September 5 [13 favorites]




The endgame is arguing for delay until after the 2024 election he's dead and it doesn't matter anymore.
posted by ctmf at 2:10 PM on September 5 [3 favorites]


You think Trump understands that he's eventually going to die?
posted by Flunkie at 2:10 PM on September 5 [5 favorites]


I think if I'm the government, I'm trying to get just one most-damning document through the special master and move forward in parallel to all the others, pile on later. If I'm the defense, I don't want the government to be able to do anything until every last document is completely litigated and settled (10 years from now). That's why the important part isn't "special master, yes or no", it's "how does that work".
posted by ctmf at 2:15 PM on September 5 [4 favorites]


Kurt Eichenwald has posted a good thread on how just how bad this ruling of Judge Cannon's is, leading with the argument that "this ruling would demolish future white collar criminal investigations".

The DOJ should definitely appeal. This ruling may set a terrible precedent if it's allowed to stand.
posted by orange swan at 2:31 PM on September 5 [8 favorites]


I like Ken White (popehat)'s observation that the judge is really treating Trump like a pro se at this point. Rummaging around in the filings for any potential poorly-argued merit and then doing their work for them and giving them every possible break.
posted by ctmf at 2:56 PM on September 5 [4 favorites]


According to Ballotpedia and reported by MSNBC, the judge that gave Trump his special master was pushed through Congress with Amy Coney Barrett and was rated by the American Bar Association as UNQUALIFIED because she had only been practicing law since 2012 and had never tried a case as lead counsel.

She also clerked for Clarence Thomas and is, of course, a member of the Federalist Society.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 4:15 PM on September 5 [24 favorites]


I'm wondering how important it is that this Special Master is in place before Trump Tower and other properties are searched.
posted by hippybear at 6:09 PM on September 5 [2 favorites]


I like Ken White (popehat)'s observation that the judge is really treating Trump like a pro se at this point.

Just FWIW, my ex worked in the clerk's office of a federal court (VAED) for a number of years. From what I understood, a majority of the work caused by pro se litigants were from people who were suffering from mental health issues. Like (these are actual examples from court filings that she shared with me) an indigent man suing the Pentagon Police for the mind control ray that was causing his chronic health issues or a woman suing the US Park Police for not allowing her to access the (alleged) alien spacecraft landing strip on Gravelly Point Park adjacent to Reagan National Airport.

My ex, she knew I loved crazy shit and conspiracy theories, and the pro se filings were an absolute goldmine. She printed out the filings and we'd read them at brunch and have a laugh at how [NAME-REDACTED] was suing the US Capitol Police for the ultra-sonic shockwave that attempted to erase his memory of an alien abduction. Joke is on us, I guess, [NAME-REDACTED] is now a mainstream QAnon-er and has a youtube channel peddling transphobic alien abduction stories with over 100k subscribers.

Anyhow, from how it was explained to me, in her court judges were overtly patient, sympathetic, and generous to people who were suffering from mental health issues and treated them with kid gloves because the judges understood the power and authority of the court could never offer any substantive relief to the underlying issues of mentally ill litigants. So the especially fragile/crazy pro se litigants, who were completely disconnected from reality, were given 100 swings at bat before the judges would reluctantly called a strike and force them to move on.

So anyway, I don't know if Ken White is saying the the Trump legal team's defense efforts are on the same level of a person in the midst of a mental health episode, because his experience is so different from mine, buuuuuut.... 😉 I'm pretty sure this is what Ken White is saying 🤪.
posted by peeedro at 6:57 PM on September 5 [7 favorites]


I want someone to say this is impossible but what if the play is for this judge to say something like, “In order to offset the DoJ’s bias I’m appointing Sidney Powell as Special Master.”
IC: “She doesn’t have clearance and is never getting it.”
Judge: “I guess we’re at an impasse then. The Department’s case is blocked indefinitely.”
posted by The Monster at the End of this Thread at 7:17 PM on September 5 [3 favorites]


"So anyway, I don't know if Ken White is saying the the Trump legal team's defense efforts are on the same level of a person in the midst of a mental health episode,"

I mean, that is basically exactly what he's saying.

I'm not fussed about the special master per se (although this is a GARBAGE decision with GARBAGE reasoning that should be appealed because the rationale sucks even if the special master itself is fine). And I think this judge is in way over her head.

But the judge is very much treating this as a pro se litigant who is trying really hard but doesn't know what they're doing, and she's bending over backwards to help them at least get their filings right. (And I would less cite mentally ill litigants, and more cite impoverished civil litigants who aren't entitled to counsel, like if they were in a car accident and not insured.) And it's a freaking travesty that the former PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES has WILDLY INCOMPETENT LAWYERS. But the fact is that the FPOTUS has wildly incompetent lawyers who have no goddamned clue what they're doing. He previously had crap lawyers who at least know how to file a federal filing that looked correct, but not anymore: There are BLUEBOOKING* ERRORS in these filings.

It is honestly difficult to express how amateur-hour his lawyers' filings are. Like, competent high school mock trial participants have better filings. Just-passed-the-bar lawyers at least make sure to include all the elements of the law in their filings, and to find relevant precedents. These aren't lawyers; they're conservative media personalities who have no clue what they're doing. (Chris Kise may improve the situation, but honestly, he's arriving pretty late to a garbage-fire-in-progress.)

But I don't know, like, since Bush v. Gore I've always kind-of wondered what would happen if the entire judicial system in the US completely broke down because people no longer had faith in its ability to issue judgments, and I feel like we're watching that in real time? It's not great.

*"Bluebooking" is the lawyer citation system for prior legal cases that is spelled out in excruciating detail for 500 pages in "the bluebook." This is 1L shit, it is ingrained in your bones by 3L, and literally everyone with a law degree knows that if they don't know, they need to grab the bluebook and check. I haven't practiced law in 15ish years and I can still do my state's cites and my federal circuit's cites without having to look them up; they just grind that shit into your bones.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:56 PM on September 5 [31 favorites]


Yeah, I didn't read any mental illness implications into it (though if the shoe fits, etc.), I just read it as his lawyers are so spectacularly bad they might as well not exist, and are being treated as if they aren't lawyers at all. Which is a good thing for them, because a lawyer who should know better would be treated much more strictly.
posted by ctmf at 8:23 PM on September 5


But I don't know, like, since Bush v. Gore I've always kind-of wondered what would happen if the entire judicial system in the US completely broke down because people no longer had faith in its ability to issue judgments, and I feel like we're watching that in real time? It's not great.

I was just watching a con law intro on youtube last night, and one of the prof's points was that in Marbury vs. Madison, they really didn't have a great choice. Rule with the administration and make up some justification for it, or rule against the administration, have them blatantly ignore the ruling and dare the court to do something about it, and destroy all faith in the judicial system.

Which then I thought, is kind of Trump's M.O., force that situation as often as possible and continue to refuse to recognize when he loses.
posted by ctmf at 8:28 PM on September 5 [11 favorites]


It certainly makes the US look like a country without a functional and non-partisan legal system that's capable of taking national intelligence seriously, or of protecting its own interests against tyrants.
Speaking from a distance, this is exactly what it looks like.

... are being treated as if they aren't lawyers at all. Which is a good thing for them, because a lawyer who should know better would be treated much more strictly.
This is something I just don't get - a person that can afford to pay whatever it takes to get the very best legal minds on the job is being treated so gently instead of being expected to present the most pristine legal arguments possible. There's no explanation other than bias, except perhaps fear of some sort of legal repercussion, maybe.
posted by dg at 9:21 PM on September 5 [7 favorites]


I guess everyone is either trying to thread the needle or kick the can of bees that is to trigger a hot shooting civil war versus trying to maintain the cold civil war that's been waged for the last decade, at least.

But there is no coherent strategy - and then throw in the adversary - and it's a highway trapped with thermonuclear mines.
posted by porpoise at 9:28 PM on September 5 [1 favorite]


In theory he can afford. In practice decent lawyers who would even consider working for TFG are probably quoting fees several orders of magnitude higher than rack rate both because it is a shit show and because even taking him as a client is going to damage their reputation and life time earnings. And the smarter ones are demanding payment upfront because the Cheeto doesn't pay people.
posted by Mitheral at 9:49 PM on September 5 [11 favorites]


And the RNC is allegedly not paying this time. Though apparently Kise is an actual honest-to-god Florida attorney, so the Trump filings in this case may graduate from kindergarten-level soon? I'm not sure if his name has been on anything yet.
posted by BungaDunga at 9:54 PM on September 5 [1 favorite]


Trump’s biggest problem getting more high powered representation is that he is notorious for not paying his bills.
posted by interogative mood at 10:09 PM on September 5 [2 favorites]



“Such a dementia, perfect—it’s a perfect dementia, you know, just beautiful, just a beautiful mind, you know, just the most—my doctor even said, the most beautiful mind—just gone.”


"Person, Woman, Man, Camera, TV"
posted by mbo at 11:15 PM on September 5 [6 favorites]


if the entire judicial system in the US completely broke down because people no longer had faith in its ability to issue judgments

And at the risk of a speculative derail in the thread, lack of faith in the legal system then spills over into lack of faith in contracts, investments, real estate titles, any number of things with economic impact.
posted by gimonca at 4:18 AM on September 6 [5 favorites]


This is something I just don't get - a person that can afford to pay whatever it takes to get the very best legal minds on the job is being treated so gently instead of being expected to present the most pristine legal arguments possible.

Besides the issue of Trump not paying his bills cited above, Trump is also notorious for not following his lawyers' advice and not keeping his mouth shut. If memory serves me correctly, the previous thread cited a report that Trump was reaching out to actual lawyers and being told now.

There was much discussion about the DOJ's response to the request for special master, which response laid out Trump's crimes in some detail, being tailored to give Judge Cannon no legal justification for appointing one. Of course she went ahead and did it anyway, because she wanted to, but her actions are obviously biased and legally ridiculous. One can only hope some Republican judges won't be able to hold their noses and let it stand.
posted by Gelatin at 5:17 AM on September 6 [3 favorites]


According to Ballotpedia and reported by MSNBC, the judge that gave Trump his special master was pushed through Congress with Amy Coney Barrett and was rated by the American Bar Association as UNQUALIFIED

Just some cleanup. That link goes to a different judge. The judge delivering this ruling, unless I’m mistaken, was Aileen Cannon. She was an AUSA since 2013 and the ABA split between rating her well qualified and qualified.

Still a hack, and apparently her ruling is filled with flaws. But she wasn’t one of the laughably unqualified judges.
posted by Room 101 at 5:33 AM on September 6 [5 favorites]


@EmptyWheel (god bless her) : "Honestly, I think what DOJ should do is give everything but the classified records back, and subpoena everything again."
posted by JoeZydeco at 5:47 AM on September 6 [2 favorites]


Thanks, Room 101, i had followed a Twitter link without verifying. ☹️ If the mods want to remove the original link, I'm fine with that.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:20 AM on September 6


FYI, there a number of good reasons why the DOJ would choose not to appeal this ruling, that have nothing to do with whether or not they intend to indict Trump (yes, IAAL).

First, there is the obvious issue of delay. If the DOJ can negotiate a procedure for the special master that is relatively streamlined, they can get the review out of the way and get on with their lives. By contrast, it could take six months to a year to get an appeal fully briefed, unless the Court of Appeals finds some sort of urgency. I doubt DOJ was planning to indict before the midterms anyway, so a couple months isn't the end of the world.

Second, Cannon's ruling is a one-off opinion by a federal district court judge, which means it is not precedential or binding on any other judge (including a judge in the same court). If the issue comes up again, a better judge can just reject Cannon's reasoning. If they appeal and get a bad decision, that decision would be binding, at least on lower courts in that circuit.

The appeal would take place in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and they would get a three-judge panel chosen out of the 11 judges on the court, who were appointed by the following presidents:

W. Pryor - Bush Jr.
Wilson - Clinton
Jordan - Obama
Rosenbaum - Obama
J. Pryor - Obama
Newsom - Trump
Branch - Trump
Grant - Trump (clerked for Kavanaugh)
Luck - Trump
Lagoa - Trump
Brasher - Trump

See the issue there?
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 8:46 AM on September 6 [16 favorites]


Not if the judiciary hadn’t become partisan hacks. But…
posted by Windopaene at 8:54 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]


Honest question: none of this has to do with the obstruction angle, is that correct? The moment they found a single classified document in MAL (after the June visit) should have been enough. Or am I just wishing here?
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:13 AM on September 6


No, you're not wrong. The fact that they said they had produced all the documents and then the FBI found 15 more boxes is pretty clear evidence of obstruction. From a practical standpoint, however, the DOJ will want to be able to bring all charges at the same time, and obstruction has a far greater impact in conjunction with an Espionage Act charge.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 9:20 AM on September 6 [10 favorites]


Probably not the appropriate place to put this, but don't think there is active Jan 6 thread, so:

New Mexico bars commissioner from office for insurrection
posted by Windopaene at 2:38 PM on September 6 [9 favorites]




I'm desperately curious about the horse Donald supposedly "owned." I can't recall hearing anything about him owning a racehorse, and I doubt he'd be the type to own something like an Arabian or a Friesan or something that he couldn't make money from big name competitions in the U. S. of A.

I've also never heard the phrase "deed to a horse." Ownership papers, sure, but not deed--not that I'm an expert in these matters.
posted by sardonyx at 4:51 PM on September 6


🎶A deed to a horse, of course, of course🎵 - the theme to Mr. Ed
posted by Pronoiac at 5:16 PM on September 6 [5 favorites]


Was the horse named Pie-O-My?
posted by carmicha at 5:33 PM on September 6 [3 favorites]


The Washington Post is reporting that the documents found at MAL included info on a foreign country's nuclear capabilities. "Some of the seized documents detail top-secret U.S. operations so closely guarded that many senior national security officials are kept in the dark about them. Only the president, some members of his Cabinet or a near-Cabinet-level official could authorize other government officials to know details of these special-access programs..."
posted by carmicha at 5:52 PM on September 6 [13 favorites]


Trump reportedly once didn't purchase a horse.

This includes a horrible sounding vet treatment to the horse that makes no sense whatsoever. There's no way that part of the story is real.

The horse's name change, though, is perfect.
posted by sepviva at 8:20 PM on September 6 [5 favorites]


I'd suspect (again so far from an expert here, it isn't even funny) that it would be fever-induced founder/laminitis and the "hoof amputation" would be a pretty severe hoof trimming for laminitis to reshape the hoof (and realign--probably not the best description--the bones) by altering the angles of the toe and the heel and then applying special shoes.

As for the rest of the story and Trump's lack of a deal, that sounds pretty much on the nose.
posted by sardonyx at 8:45 PM on September 6 [5 favorites]


Ok, that article needs a trigger warning for callous disregard for an animal’s welfare, but it ends with this snark: [The horse D. J. Trump’s] stud career was brief and unremarkable; he fathered 15 foals in three years, and none developed into a prizewinner worthy of the horse’s regal bloodline.
posted by carmicha at 9:05 PM on September 6


The horse's name change, though, is perfect.
omg lol
posted by Flunkie at 10:05 PM on September 6


From the WaPo article:
The Washington Post previously reported that FBI agents who searched Trump’s home were looking, in part, for any classified documents relating to nuclear weapons. After that story published, Trump compared it on social media to a host of previous government investigations into his conduct. “Nuclear weapons issue is a Hoax, just like Russia, Russia, Russia was a Hoax, two Impeachments were a Hoax, the Mueller investigation was a Hoax, and much more. Same sleazy people involved,”
So does this mean that all the things mentioned are real, Donald?

Re.: the horse. I immediately suspected founder. I am not a vet, but my grandmother ran a horse farm, and we were always on the lookout for any signs of founder, specially when the weather suddenly led to intensely green and rich grass. I can see how a lay person could describe it in those morbid term in the article. My own pony got it from breaking into the feed room and eating a sack of bran. I slept that first night in his stall, on the lookout for any sudden accelleration in his breathing or pulse, but he survived and recovered to live to old age. But he wasn't a race horse. They are fragile.
posted by mumimor at 10:56 PM on September 6 [5 favorites]




Windopaene,
Thanks for posting that New Mexico article. It's nice to hear that there is a little bit of political sanity still evident in our neighbours to the south.
posted by sardonyx at 5:16 AM on September 7


It all just keeps getting increasingly appalling. Regardless of whether the nuclear info is about an ally or adversary, why would any country ever trust us again? And I want to believe that the IC has known which specific top secret documents were in Trump’s possession and so has had the international intelligence apparatus (e.g., 5 eyes) watching since 1/20/21 or earlier, but it sounds like our local public library has a better system in place for tracking its holdings than the White House did. Similarly, I’d love to believe someone has been playing 11-dimensional chess such that Trump only had access to decoy documents, since he’s been understood as a threat to national security for a long time now, but this attitude of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ “Welp! He’s the President, so there’s nothing we can do!” is killing us. I can only hope that this detail was leaked to prep us for TFG’s indictment.
posted by carmicha at 7:41 AM on September 7 [12 favorites]


August 30, NBC News breaks: Trump hires former Florida solicitor general Christopher Kise

Later that day: [Law firm] Foley & Lardner scrub any mention of Chris Kise from their website

(Another former Foley & Lardner associate, Cleta Mitchell, was on the call Trump made to Brad Raffensperger. After that, she resigned from the firm.)
posted by box at 8:19 AM on September 7 [10 favorites]


Better Bannon link (The Guardian) Steve Bannon to be indicted on fresh fraud charges over border wall – sources
Top former Trump strategist Steve Bannon is expected to be indicted on Thursday on state fraud charges connected to his role in a fundraising scheme to build a border wall, according to two sources familiar with the matter, years after he received a presidential pardon in the federal case.

The expected move by the Manhattan district attorney’s office was quietly communicated to Bannon in recent days, the sources said of the sealed indictment, and indicated the state charges will likely mirror the federal case in which he was pardoned.

Bannon and three others were charged in that case by federal prosecutors in Manhattan with falsely claiming that they would not take compensation in the private “We Build the Wall” fundraising effort to underwrite part of the construction of the wall on the US-Mexico border.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:29 AM on September 7 [7 favorites]


a person that can afford to pay whatever it takes

Citation needed. Trump presents himself as rich and lives that lifestyle but there isn't any actual evidence he's wealthy. You can get real far on debt which we know Trump isn't shy about trying to scam his way out of so yeah. He's poor until he can publically prove otherwise.
posted by VTX at 10:35 AM on September 7 [6 favorites]


If memory serves me correctly, House investigators recently finally got his tax returns, so we may find out.
posted by Gelatin at 10:53 AM on September 7 [3 favorites]


The obvious inference is we're talking about Israel's nuclear secrets, right?
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:10 PM on September 7 [5 favorites]


Beau lays out a case that we could be talking, once again, about Russia.
posted by Celatone at 2:46 PM on September 7 [2 favorites]


If memory serves me correctly, House investigators recently finally got his tax returns, so we may find out.
I'm gonna go out on a limb and say his tax returns are likely only loosely related to reality.
posted by Flunkie at 3:21 PM on September 7 [3 favorites]


Since Trump 'paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017', & "he paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years," yep. [Edited to fix botched BBC excerpt]
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:24 PM on September 7 [3 favorites]


a person that can afford to pay whatever it takes
Citation needed


That was bad phrasing on my part. I should have said something like 'a person that can convince people they will pay whatever it takes ...'
posted by dg at 4:02 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]


It was a good opportunity to be snarky and insult that dink. :)

I do think that's actually where perception is bumping up against reality. He can call every lawyer that knows what they're doing and when they demand payment up front, "You can afford that, can't you Mr. Trump."

"Ehhhh, uhhhhhh, e-mails, hoax. I'll call you back."

I think he's borrowed desperately to maintain his image and owes a lot of people a LOT of money and a lot of it is unofficial and tied up with money laundering. He assets but they're all leveraged to gills and beyond so he doesn't really have any wealth and may well have been underwater for years. There are probably a bunch of people who know it, if not the full extent. I just he's alive long enough for it all to catch up to him and I hope this can be beginning of that.

So like I said, he's poor until proven otherwise.
posted by VTX at 4:25 PM on September 7 [4 favorites]


Whatever his personal finances may be, Trump ultimately has control over a political PAC that has raised around $250 million from donors since the last election. I would bet there's some way of converting a large fraction of that into a defense fund.
posted by Nerd of the North at 4:39 PM on September 7 [2 favorites]


I think you are poor if no one will sell to you.
posted by SPrintF at 5:35 PM on September 7 [2 favorites]


Stephen Colbert did a bit on the Mar-a-Lago documents tonight that included the phrase "ménage à treason" and his best impersonation of Eric Trump.
posted by orange swan at 9:17 PM on September 7 [6 favorites]


I think he's borrowed desperately to maintain his image and owes a lot of people a LOT of money and a lot of it is unofficial and tied up with money laundering. He assets but they're all leveraged to gills and beyond so he doesn't really have any wealth and may well have been underwater for years. There are probably a bunch of people who know it, if not the full extent. I just he's alive long enough for it all to catch up to him and I hope this can be beginning of that.

Yeah, we discussed this a lot back in the mega-thread days. Including the theory that the very reason he ran for president was to hide from his creditors, including the tax and revenue people and some Russians. That's why it makes sense that he has stolen the documents to use them as leverage. The other day on CNN, I saw someone who was not Michael Cohen repeat the "leverage-theory".
posted by mumimor at 12:17 AM on September 8 [4 favorites]


Mumimor, does this “mega thread days” link back to the old 2016 stuff where there was a server in T. Tower that kept pinging a Russian bank?
Anyone know if anything ever came of that (Alfa Bank, I think)? Or did it just sort of get normalized that of course the candidate is being paid by foreign interests?
posted by aesop at 4:24 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]


Well that server was part of it, but there were other things too, I don't remember it all. I suspect it is all in the Muller report, and one day, hopefully before I die, we will get to know.

What was a ascertained fact was that no US banks would lend him money and and that Deutsche Bank were taking on huge losses on him, that they could not act on because he got elected. And that the scam would probably have worked even if he wasn't elected, because, as he does now, he could claim political persecution.
posted by mumimor at 5:02 AM on September 8


A federal grand jury has already been empaneled for the DOJ investigation of Save America, Trump’s PAC:
A federal grand jury investigating the activities leading up the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and the push by former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the result of the 2020 election has expanded its probe to include seeking information about Trump's leadership PAC, Save America, sources with direct knowledge tell ABC News.

The interest in the fundraising arm came to light as part of grand jury subpoenas seeking documents, records and testimony from potential witnesses, the sources said.
The evergreen strategy of Follow the Money.
posted by Dashy at 8:41 AM on September 8 [13 favorites]


I'm very curious why IMPOTUSx2's other properties haven't been searched.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:12 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]


They waited with Mar a Lago till he wasn't there.
But it does seem strange.
posted by mumimor at 9:28 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]


Well, looks like DoJ's appealing the special master.
posted by box at 12:50 PM on September 8 [8 favorites]




I'm very curious why IMPOTUSx2's other properties haven't been searched.
They waited with Mar a Lago till he wasn't there.
But it does seem strange.
Yeah, it does seem really weird. If he's got any evidence of criminal behavior stuffed somewhere in Trump Tower or Bedminster or wherever, it seems like the events of the past month should have been enough to convince him to try to dispose of it. I mean, if anyone would think "OK, they got some of the stuff I took, but I'm so smart they'll never find the rest of it", it would be him, but... on the other hand, it seems like that might be a bridge too far even for him.

Pure, unadulterated, ignorant speculation: Maybe they already know exactly what's there, and are just waiting to catch him trying to destroy it or give it to someone else or whatever.
posted by Flunkie at 5:11 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


On the other other hand...
it seems like that might be a bridge too far even for him
LOL, who am I kidding, nothing is a bridge too far for him.
posted by Flunkie at 5:13 PM on September 8 [2 favorites]


Pure, unadulterated, ignorant speculation: Maybe they already know exactly what's there, and are just waiting to catch him trying to destroy it or give it to someone else or whatever.
Or that they anticipated the 'Special Master' bullshit and decided to let that play out in a way that's contained to one body of evidence before they lay down the rest of their hand.
posted by dg at 6:30 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]






The DOJ brief criticizing the Special Master ruling is a work of art. I’ve read some great DOJ briefs but this is among the best. Garland brought the A team.

I'm concerned that from this point on, we're going to be seeing brilliant, legally solid reasoning swept aside again and again by shallow, partisan judges. My anxiety aside, I'm so impressed with how clearly the DOJ is laying this out in a way that even a moron like me can understand. Elegant language, clear reasoning and an undercurrent of rage (maybe that's me).
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:51 PM on September 8 [18 favorites]


Judge rejects Trump lawsuit against Hillary Clinton (and others) over 2016 Russia claims.

Full decision (it's blistering).
posted by mazola at 9:37 AM on September 9 [9 favorites]


I'm concerned that from this point on, we're going to be seeing brilliant, legally solid reasoning swept aside again and again by shallow, partisan judges.

poor merrick garland... always bringing his damascened ceremonial blade with the inlaid mother-of-pearl handle to a shit flinging contest.
posted by logicpunk at 9:37 AM on September 9 [12 favorites]


> Joey Michaels: I'm concerned that from this point on, we're going to be seeing brilliant, legally solid reasoning swept aside again and again by shallow, partisan judges.

On that note, here's some excerpts from an article by Dahlia Lithwick & Mark Joseph Stern on Slate, "The Solution to the Trump Judge Problem Nobody Wants to Talk About":
If there were a principle that best embodies why progressives are losing ground so quickly—even as they are correct on the facts, and the law, and the zeitgeist—it must be this tendency to just keep on lawyering the other side’s bad law in the hopes that the lawyering itself will make all the bad faith and crooked law go away. But for those who are genuinely worried that democracy will rise or fall based on whether a case lands before their judges or others, merely explaining legal flaws in pointillist detail isn’t an answer. And soberly explaining that Cannon was wrong about most stuff but correct about two things is decidedly not an answer, either. You do not, under any circumstances, have to hand it to them.

[...]

But the chorus from the left, the middle, and the sane right that the lawlessness is lawless only affirms that we cannot ever escape this closed loop of Trump’s judges. Being really mad but doing nothing to change things is a terrible strategy for democracy and for public confidence in the courts. It creates the illusion that if we work really hard to debunk corrupt rulings, we can force Trump judges to see the light, or feel shame, or do something different. Meanwhile, the targets of our meticulous takedowns laugh at the pains we take to prove them wrong. They. Do. Not. Care.

We get it. Lawyers are trained to lawyer. But if you are lawyering within a system you believe to be broken, or immoral, or lawless, and you aren’t standing up with meaningful fixes for that system, you are, fundamentally, acceding to that lawlessness. It is a moral victory to point out the errors, but it’s also a tacit concession that the system is, in fact, legitimate, no matter how low it may go. Every one of us is going to need to decide how long we can continue to operate that way.

Also, the tl;dr for what the solution no one is talking about that's referenced in the title, it's expanding the lower courts and also maybe term limits and jurisdiction stripping.
posted by mhum at 10:05 AM on September 9 [11 favorites]


Steve Bannon charged with money laundering, conspiracy — The former White House adviser faces state charges in a charity fraud case after a Trump pardon let him evade federal counts., Julian Shen-Berro, Politico, 09/08/2022:
[Embedded video:] Steve Bannon surrenders to Manhattan DA

NEW YORK — Longtime Trump ally and right-wing firebrand Stephen Bannon, who dodged federal charges in a charity fraud case thanks to a last-minute presidential pardon, must now face the music in New York state court.

Bannon, 68, arrived in handcuffs [*] to a crowded arraignment in Manhattan’s New York County Supreme Court Thursday afternoon, hours after surrendering to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Moments before the controversial former White House adviser entered, Bannon remarked, “They will never shut me up, they’ll have to kill me first.” But inside, he said little, other than acknowledging a judge’s instructions — a heavy contrast to the bombastic and inflammatory persona that has become his trademark….
More in the article.

*See also: inside the courthouse, Steve Bannon does a perp walk in handcuffs (YouTube).
posted by cenoxo at 2:26 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Doesn't it seem a bit silly for Steve Bannon to shout, in effect, "You'll never take me alive, coppers!" while in handcuffs?
posted by SPrintF at 2:56 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


The Bannon stuff needs its own post, as it's a total derail from this thread about Trump.
posted by hippybear at 3:25 PM on September 9 [4 favorites]


Zoe Tillman on Twitter
Okay so people are submitting unsolicited pitches to serve as the special master in the Mar-a-Lago case and they're being docketed now. Some are bringing a lot of confidence!

"I'm only a retired businessman with an amateur's interest in history, politics, and the law but..."

"I do have a connection to your 'Southern District of Florida' as both of my parents are buried there"
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 3:51 PM on September 9 [3 favorites]


Aren’t they supposed to have submitted their respective lists of Special Master candidates by the end of day today? Or maybe they have but haven’t done so publicly.
posted by wabbittwax at 4:05 PM on September 9


Okay so people are submitting unsolicited pitches to serve as the special master in the Mar-a-Lago case and they're being docketed now.
Oooooooooh, I am so tempted!

"I have only surface-level knowledge of the law, and no level of security clearance. I'm not really all that bright, and I am terribly lazy. I would like to think I could act impartially, and I would try to, but the fact is I have extremely strong biases against one of the two parties. But I don't think I'm flattering myself to say that you could do worse! And it seems like you might, so here I am."
posted by Flunkie at 5:20 PM on September 9 [11 favorites]


“I’ve been repeatedly called to jury duty, but have never actually been a juror. But I definitely think Trump should be doing time. What’s the opposite of jury nullification? Because I am sure as shit going to be doing that.”
posted by box at 5:28 PM on September 9 [4 favorites]


Bannon stuff … a total derail from this thread about Trump.

Dig down any Trumpian hole deep enough (archive.today WaPo link), and we’ll find a conspiratorial rat king (with the biggest Rat pardoning others). If New York squeezes Bannon’s tail hard enough about We Build the Wall, he might start squeaking squealing about related cheesy bits.

Point taken, though.
posted by cenoxo at 6:02 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


NBC: Trump and DOJ each propose candidates to serve as special master in review of Mar-a-Lago documents
In a new court filing, the Justice Department proposed Barbara S. Jones, a retired judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and Thomas B. Griffith, a retired circuit judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Trump's legal team proposed Raymond J. Dearie, former chief judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, and Paul Huck Jr., former general counsel to then-Florida Gov. Charlie Crist who also once served as the state's deputy attorney general.
The first three are respectable choices. Huck is a hack.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:27 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


It'll be Huck then, yeah?
posted by mazola at 8:08 AM on September 10 [2 favorites]


Trump made an unscheduled trip to DC tonight via Washington Dulles. Twitter is all over it with speculation.
posted by interogative mood at 6:20 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


So is QAnon, I'd bet.
posted by Flunkie at 6:42 PM on September 11


Trump Told White House Team He Needed to Protect ‘Russiagate’ Documents Rolling Stone article
IN HIS FINAL days in the White House, Donald Trump told top advisers he needed to preserve certain Russia-related documents to keep his enemies from destroying them.

The documents related to the federal investigation into Russian election meddling and alleged collusion with Trump’s campaign. At the end of his presidency, Trump and his team pushed to declassify these so-called “Russiagate” documents, believing they would expose a “Deep State” plot against him.

According to a person with direct knowledge of the situation and another source briefed on the matter, Trump told several people working in and outside the White House that he was concerned Joe Biden’s incoming administration — or the “Deep State” — would supposedly “shred,” bury, or destroy “the evidence” that Trump was somehow wronged.

Trump’s concern about preserving the Russia-related material is newly relevant after an FBI search turned up a trove of government documents at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence.
LOL. One wonders about how idiotic the White House staff can have been. But on the other hand, as someone who has (barely) survived an abusive relationship, I remember how my very sense of reality went AWOL.

Last night I saw a YouTube video claiming to show Trump moving boxes to Bedminster. I couldn't find anything in reputable media, so not posting here. But stuff is going on, as always with Trump.
posted by mumimor at 12:36 AM on September 12 [2 favorites]


to keep his enemies from destroying them.

destroying is a typo, it's actually spelled f-i-n-d-i-n-g
posted by From Bklyn at 1:11 AM on September 12 [5 favorites]


It's in the article. The problem with Trump is always that so much crazy stuff is going on that we forget half of it, and it is probably deliberately so. But, ages ago the Trump administration and some congressmen wanted to declassify some specific selected documents that made it seem like the Russia thing was a hoax. Every sane person was against this, since the documents would make it very clear who is the source in Russia, and in the end the documents weren't declassified or published.

This all fits very well with the idea that Trump has taken these documents for leverage. What remains to be understood is how on earth he got his hands on the documents and was able to carry them out of the White House.
posted by mumimor at 3:21 AM on September 12 [3 favorites]


Mumimor, this video?
On May 6 NARA told Trump they thought docs were at Mar-a-Lago. 3 days later, May 9, Trump & aides moving boxes to private plane going frm Mar-a-Lago to Bedminster.
h/t to Pete Strzok
posted by Dashy at 10:17 AM on September 12


No Dashy, your link is better because it has dates.
posted by mumimor at 11:35 AM on September 12


Good point from @Duty2Warn:
"Trump has arrived in DC. He said nothing about coming to DC, and he can't shut up about anything. Nobody around him said anything either and they yap a lot too. I can't imagine such silence unless it's intentional. Or forced. Very interesting."
posted by JoeZydeco at 11:36 AM on September 12 [5 favorites]


People were joking that he stashed documents in Ivanka's casket. Now, I am not so sure they weren't right.
posted by terrapin at 12:10 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Ivana. Ivanka's casket is where Jared has (preemptively) stashed incriminating evidence.
posted by Flunkie at 6:15 PM on September 12 [5 favorites]


No derail, but another entanglement of Trumpian rats has been subpoenaed (archive.today link): Justice Dept. Issues 40 Subpoenas in a Week, Expanding Its Jan. 6 Inquiry — It also seized the phones of two top Trump advisers, a sign of an escalating investigation two months before the midterm elections., Glenn Thrush, Maggie Haberman, Adam Goldman, Alan Feuer; New York Times, Sept. 12, 2022 [original NYT link].
posted by cenoxo at 8:37 PM on September 12 [4 favorites]


Ivana.
Oops.
posted by terrapin at 2:45 AM on September 13


DOJ accepts Trump-recommended judge Raymond J. Dearie for Special Master to vet Mar-a-Lago documents.
posted by Pendragon at 5:05 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


"Special Master," eh? Sounds kinky.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:13 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


I liked this bit from MSNBC’s Lawrence O'Donnell: Trump Lawyers Respond To DOJ With Stunningly Childish Argument.
posted by Pendragon at 5:15 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


Who is Raymond Dearie (The Independent via Internet Archive)

He's a Reagan-appointed federal judge in Brooklyn who's worked in the EDNY and on the FISA court, and once approved a request to investigate Carter Page.
posted by box at 5:26 AM on September 13


I assume he's compromised somehow or he wouldn't take the job
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:36 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


…Trump Lawyers Respond… with whatever real or imagined legal tactic(s) the Donald believes will further complicate, confuse, delay, distract, divert, hinder, impede, muddle, obfuscate, obstruct, and/or put off the real issue. It’s like throwing out caltrops to stop a cavalry charge he can’t outrun.
posted by cenoxo at 12:23 PM on September 13


Seems premature to speculate on if the special master is compromised and based on zero evidence or past behavior. We don’t even know what he’s going to be special mastering at this point other than attorney client privileged info.
posted by interogative mood at 12:50 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]


I agree to a large extent, but... "Trump recommended him" is not "zero evidence".
posted by Flunkie at 1:43 PM on September 13 [7 favorites]


From the start of that Lawrence O'Donnell link -- something like "Trump's lawyers quote the law which says that the Archivist of the United States shall assume responsibility for custody and control of presidential records" -- I was half-expecting the "stunningly childish argument" to be "See? It's not Trump's responsibility to make sure they're properly kept, it's the Archivist of the United States' responsibility! That's who you should be indicting!"
posted by Flunkie at 2:48 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]


Instead it was some Sov Cit style magical words / nonstandard word definitions bs.
posted by eviemath at 5:16 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]


We thought "It depends on what 'is' is" was some masturbatory linguistic horsehockey.

TFG to God: "Your Commandments are null and void, they say Shall and not Must."
posted by riverlife at 5:49 PM on September 13


We shall not, nay, we must not succumb to FPOTUSian legal speak.
posted by cenoxo at 7:35 PM on September 13


Trump’s Fourth Amendment Claims and the Strategy Behind the Challenge to the Mar-a-Lago Search, Matthew Tokson, Lawfare, September 7, 2022:
…Ultimately, however, Trump’s complaint is largely premised on Fourth Amendment claims rather than privilege claims. What are those claims? And what are the strategic reasons why Trump is raising them in the first place? While his attorneys have been criticized as inept, they raise some fairly novel Fourth Amendment arguments worthy of attention. If successful, these claims could lead to the return of seized documents to Trump or the suppression of all of the documents in a subsequent prosecution.

And whatever the weaknesses of the attorneys’ arguments, their approach is well-suited to serve broader strategic goals. Ultimately, a central purpose of the litigation appears to be obtaining “an unredacted copy” [PDF] of the affidavit that provided support for the search warrant. That affidavit could reveal the Justice Department’s sources of information inside of Trump’s organization and Mar-a-Lago, and its disclosure may compromise the government’s ongoing criminal investigation….
Or maybe not: details follow in the article.
posted by cenoxo at 8:13 PM on September 13 [5 favorites]


Earlier today, the FBI seized Mike "the My Pillow guy" Lindell's cell phone when he was at a Hardee's in Minnesota. Oh the indignity.

I don't know what the FBI was looking for -- my best guess is that it was January 6th-related -- but there must be stuff on there that can be used against TFG too.
posted by orange swan at 8:38 PM on September 13 [12 favorites]


The FBI has been doing a lot of January 6th related searches in the last few days . Supposedly they’ve executed warrants against 50-100 people . This seems to be a separate investigation from the records case. But of course it can all tie together eventually.

The thing about the special master is that Trump’s team was limited in who they could nominate and they had to provide multiple names . The list of people with an appropriate clearance and the legal skills to be special master is pretty small. They might have gone with the 78 year old guy because ultimately this is about slowing down the investigation and delaying things until after the 2024 election.
posted by interogative mood at 9:06 PM on September 13 [3 favorites]






I was at that exact Hardees a few months ago. If you had asked me before today, "Identify the likeliest Hardees at which you think the FBI would seize MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell's cell phone," it would probably have ranked second, right behind "one somewhere in Stearns County."
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 11:37 AM on September 14 [7 favorites]


First as tragedy, second as farce
posted by Ahmad Khani at 1:06 PM on September 14 [6 favorites]


ABC News - Judge denies DOJ request for stay in investigation of Trump's Mar-a-Lago docs
U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon on Thursday denied the Department of Justice's request for a partial stay of her ruling that enjoined the FBI from using roughly 100 documents seized from Mar-a-Lago with classification markings in its ongoing criminal investigation of Donald Trump -- and mandated they be handed over to a special master for review.

Cannon has also appointed Raymond Dearie, senior district judge for the Eastern District of New York, as special master.


Now we'll see if the DOJ actually appeals.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:02 PM on September 15 [1 favorite]


Now we'll see if the DOJ actually appeals.

I don't want to be a doomsayer, but I am gripped by this sudden fear that they won't appeal and it will be the same as it ever was. Oh the special master said we can't do anything so now we can't do anything at all.
posted by Literaryhero at 5:05 PM on September 15 [1 favorite]


The DOJ will certainly put in an emergency appeal. This is a national security matter and the judge shouldn’t even have jurisdiction.
posted by interogative mood at 5:46 PM on September 15 [5 favorites]


Why should the judge not have jurisdiction? (not arguing - asking)
posted by Flunkie at 7:50 PM on September 15 [1 favorite]


Because she shouldn't even be a Judge?

No idea about jurisdiction, but. DOJ should appeal this ASAP. It's bullshit.
posted by Windopaene at 9:47 PM on September 15 [1 favorite]


I saw some analysis that indicated the law regarding presidential records and/or this type of classified material is very specific in placing this type of case under the jurisdiction of the circuit court in DC, so arguably hearing this case in Florida is the wrong jurisdiction. Not sure if that analysis is correct, but that's an argument I've seen.
posted by biogeo at 11:00 PM on September 15 [2 favorites]


In that case why would the DOJ have participated in the suit at all?
posted by trig at 2:11 AM on September 16


You can’t really not participate in a suit against you once a judge has decided that it’s in their jurisdiction. You can just grit your teeth and have someone in the next office start writing the appeal.
posted by Etrigan at 3:28 AM on September 16 [6 favorites]


Huh, I would have thought there'd be some remedy besides appeal after the fact. That seems too obviously ripe for abuse.
posted by trig at 3:50 AM on September 16


Our system is still set up such that the judge is supposed to recognize that they don’t have jurisdiction. When the judge is determined to be part of the problem, though…
posted by Etrigan at 4:37 AM on September 16 [14 favorites]


Letting McConnell get away with stealing all those judicial appointments is going to turn out to be Obama's most lasting and harmful legacy.

Yeah, how dare Green Lantern not will it harder.
posted by Etrigan at 10:34 AM on September 16 [15 favorites]


Letting McConnell get away with stealing all those judicial appointments is going to turn out to be Obama's most lasting and harmful legacy.

What, exactly, was Obama supposed to do to combat the Senate Majority Leader's refusal to fulfill the advice and consent role stipulated by the Constitution? Recess appointments a few days before Trump took over?
posted by carmicha at 10:35 AM on September 16 [7 favorites]


Letting McConnell get away with stealing all those judicial appointments is going to turn out to be Obama's most lasting and harmful legacy.

Pretty sure it wasn't intentional.
posted by sundrop at 12:28 PM on September 16 [2 favorites]


It's 2022. If you honestly want to get upset about this, at least direct your ire at the judicial appointments that Biden is not filling. Or the ones he is allowing to be filled with Federalist Society members out of some demented nostalgia for the traditions of the Senate.

And.. it's an important issue, to be sure. But can you please express that ire in another FPP? Because that is not the purpose of this thread.
posted by Nerd of the North at 1:47 PM on September 16 [17 favorites]


Mod note: One comment deleted. Let's avoid doomsdaying.
posted by loup (staff) at 4:13 PM on September 16 [3 favorites]


What, exactly, was Obama supposed to do to combat the Senate Majority Leader's refusal to fulfill the advice and consent role stipulated by the Constitution? Recess appointments a few days before Trump took over?

there's an argument to be made that failing to consider and reject a nominee constitutes implicit consent on the part of the senate. is it a good argument? i don't know. but maybe obama should have tried making it instead of passively accepting an implicit rejection.
posted by logicpunk at 9:50 PM on September 16 [5 favorites]


Justice Dept. appeals judge’s rulings on classified material in Mar-a-Lago case WaPo
The appeals court filing also argues that the very premise of Cannon’s order, as it relates to the classified material, makes little sense because classified documents are by definition the property of the government, not a former president or a private club.
Trump “has no claim for the return of those records, which belong to the government and were seized in a court-authorized search. The records are not subject to any possible claim of personal attorney-client privilege,” prosecutors wrote, adding that Trump has cited no legal authority “suggesting that a former President could successfully invoke executive privilege to prevent the Executive Branch from reviewing its own records.”
The Justice Department contends that Cannon’s instruction for intelligence officials to continue their risk assessment of the Mar-a-Lago case, while criminal investigators could not use that same material in their work, is highly impractical because the two tasks are “inextricably intertwined.”
I know we have all been out of evens since years ago, but this Judge Cannon is so blatantly corrupt and also bad at it (like all Trump's allies), she really should be somehow disciplined (I don't know the legal system enough to know what can be done).
posted by mumimor at 12:11 AM on September 17 [10 favorites]


"but this Judge Cannon is so blatantly corrupt and also bad at it (like all Trump's allies), she really should be somehow disciplined (I don't know the legal system enough to know what can be done)."

So, here's the problem, law is a self-regulating profession in the United States, and boy-howdy are we shitty at it. I have SO many opinions on this, from how Southern courts have successfully turned the Due Process clause into a method of institutionalizing racism to how much of a fucking joke Rule 11 sanctions are. But the key point here, I think, is that left, center, and sane-right lawyers keep objecting, "But this decision is wrong on the facts, it's wrong on the law, it ignores precedent, it's illogical, and above all, it's moronic!" And for sure that was more-or-less the set of guardrails keeping American courts functioning -- lawyers not wanting to look stupid in front of other lawyers, judges not wanting to be caught in a public error or (worse!) reversed on appeal. A profound desire not to be wrong in public meant that bar associations and judges rarely had to bother with disciplining lawyers -- they disciplined themselves, or they got publicly shamed.

But that all depends on shame, and Trump judges HAVE no shame. They give zero shits that 75% of the legal profession thinks they are morons. This judge gives absolutely ZERO shits that she is ignoring precedent and wrong on the law. Samuel Alito didn't care that he lied about the facts in a ruling and was publicly called out by a colleague. Historically, that's astonishing. But if it's astonishing today, you haven't been paying attention. Non-Trumpy lawyers and judges are still trying to build good cases, make good arguments, write good decisions. But it DOES NOT MATTER because Trump judges don't care about those things, and the legal profession is absolutely not going to start policing itself at this late date. (And even if it tried, hello, the Federalist Society is a cancer in our ranks that is probably too advanced to be rooted out.) The Supreme Court keeps instructing plaintiffs how to get good rulings, and signaling to friendly Trumpist judges that the SC will protect even their stupidest decisions. There will be no consistency. Precedent doesn't matter. They don't care if it's illogical. They will rule in favor of their allies, and against their enemies, and fuck you if you think the rule of law should count. It's a lawless Supreme Court, which means it's a lawless federal judiciary, which means, honestly, we're fucked. The federal courts have already collapsed. It's just VERY slow motion.

(If I were making a bet, the collapse of the federal courts will come to general public notice when a court rules that some state doesn't have to pay its pension debt, and everyone freaks out that that's forbidden by the contracts clause of the Constitution and big corporations freak out that maybe contracts aren't inviolate after all? And the Supreme Court will then rule that STATE contracts are fake because they're based on taxes or some shit, or can be invalidated by referendum, but COMPANIES can still make 100% binding contracts.)

The only things left are public pressure, corporations objecting, and elections. That's kinda it, and Democrats are at a disadvantage in all three.

It's a terrible ruling. It doesn't matter. If she gets reversed by the appellate court, it'll go to the Supreme Court, who will defend Trump to own the libs. There's no rule of law anymore, just calculus of power. And the hell of it is, Democrats NOT playing by the rules probably isn't going to work either; you can't really fight lawlessness by being MORE LAWLESS.

I don't have a solution, but I certainly admire the problem.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:47 AM on September 17 [56 favorites]


Thanks Eyebrows McGee, I was hoping you would weigh in here. Even though your message is extremely depressing.
posted by mumimor at 12:21 PM on September 17 [2 favorites]


A question: do you think court stacking would work? Here, in the tiny kingdom of Denmark, we have 18 members of the Supreme Court, and I only know a few of them by name because most of the time, they are just upholding the rule of law, regardless of politics.
posted by mumimor at 12:36 PM on September 17 [1 favorite]


What I was thinking about for SCOTUS was an endlessly-changing rotation of lower court judges, assigned randomly for 12 or 18-month terms, and then recycled to the appellate courts. There would be a baseline requirement for tenure, and maybe a requirement that no more than 30% of their lower court rulings had been overruled on the merits.

Basically we don't need all these battles about SCOTUS, and the changing rotation would result in fewer bullshit cases because it would be impossible to predict who would be sitting on the Court at the time your case is heard.

We would still have a problem with the lower courts because of the way TFG packed the courts, but being unable to rely upon SCOTUS to implement the RWNJ agenda would help enormously.
posted by suelac at 4:42 PM on September 17 [1 favorite]


a requirement that no more than 30% of their lower court rulings had been overruled on the merits
Republican judges would never allow any non-wingnut lower court ruling to stand ever again.
posted by Flunkie at 9:06 PM on September 17 [3 favorites]


From Politico, "Justice Dept. asks appeals court to restore access to Trump raid documents" (emph. added):
The 11th Circuit does not permit requests for rehearing by the full bench on stay motions such as the one prosecutors filed Friday. However, either side could ask the Supreme Court for emergency relief.
*sticking fingers in ears* lalalala no spoilers lalalala
posted by mhum at 11:33 PM on September 17 [3 favorites]


Direct link to the DOJ’s Motion for a Partial Stay Pending Appeal (PDF, 29pp), Lawfare, September 16, 2022.
posted by cenoxo at 5:51 AM on September 19 [3 favorites]


Trump’s new lawyer Chris Kise has previously formally registered as a foreign agent for Venezuela’s dictator. The same evil socialist Venezuela that republicans won’t shut up about and claim is our great enemy who hacked those voting machines.
posted by interogative mood at 10:31 PM on September 19 [5 favorites]


Source pls, IM?
posted by cenoxo at 4:07 AM on September 20


(Kise has been working for Trump almost a month now, and he represented the Maduro government a couple years ago. He also has ties to Ron DeSantis and Rick Scott, because Florida.)
posted by box at 4:13 AM on September 20 [3 favorites]


Here is the FARA (Foreign Agent Registration Act) form that includes Chris Kise. See page 8
posted by interogative mood at 6:41 AM on September 20 [2 favorites]


Today's a big day! By noon, Trump's lawyers must file their response to DOJ's 11th Circuit brief. Incidentally, a slew of GOP legal luminaries and former white house staff filed a friend of the court brief siding with DOJ (similar to the one Cannon refused to admit into the proceedings).

Then, at 2:00 pm, lawyers for TFG and DOJ meet with Special Master Raymond Dearie as he decreed. Apparently Dearie sent a draft set of guidelines for handling the review process and asked for comments and contributions to today's agenda. DOJ's comments were brief and anodyne, giving little insight into its contents. But TFG's lawyers rambled on, requesting an expanded schedule and making it evident that Dearie has asked them to be specific about the declassification status of each protected document. And they declined, stating that doing so would "fully and specifically disclose a defense to the merits of any subsequent indictment without such a requirement being evident in the District Court’s order."

So they're acknowledging that an indictment is possible, continuing to fuzz the question of exactly how Trump purportedly declassified the papers, attempting to push revelations about them to after the midterms, and risking getting off on the wrong foot with Dearie. Moreover, Dearie has probably seen that the NYT is reporting that Eric Herschmann, the former White House lawyer who advised John Eastman to "get the best effing criminal defense lawyer," and showcased the most interesting zoom background (Justice baseball bat, Rob Pruitt panda painting) revealed during the J6 hearings, told Trump he faced legal jeopardy by violating the Presidential Records Act and holding on to classified material. A few days later, Trump turned over the initial 15 boxes (184 classified documents), but elected not to cough up the rest, willfully keeping them (jamming them into his desk drawers and random boxes of crap), which could be important down the road.

Incidentally, Trump's lawyer's letterhead professes that the firm offers "Hands-on Counsel, Gloves-off Litigation" which is such macho ambulance-chaser billboard attorney ad bullshit to me.
posted by carmicha at 9:04 AM on September 20 [17 favorites]


Here is Trump's response to the DOJ's 11th Circuit filing. Among other contentions, he's claiming that his handwritten notes on some of the documents could contain privileged information.
posted by carmicha at 9:24 AM on September 20 [2 favorites]


This is SO on-brand for the 2020s: the Special Master’s job is to check Donald Trump’s privilege.
posted by wabbittwax at 9:39 AM on September 20 [3 favorites]


I'm kinda hoping he scrawled medical information on classified documents in order to claim privilege.
posted by mazola at 9:40 AM on September 20


So on-brand for Trump: failing to cooperate with someone he recommended for a job. Next up in his playbook: responding to any rulings that don't go his way by blasting Dearie for being incompetent and possibly a member of the deep state, just like he did with so many folks he appointed to prominent positions in his administration.
posted by carmicha at 9:45 AM on September 20 [3 favorites]


I'm waiting to see if Dearie is another Mueller before I cheer

Is he really on the side of justice, or is he just running out the clock? He's a Republican, so that's a bad sign. And Trump wanted him which is a worse sign.

But I'm enough of a suckerr I still enough hope to be crushed if he is another Mueller.
posted by sotonohito at 11:02 AM on September 20 [1 favorite]


Trump wanted him and the other candidate his team proposed was so blatantly unqualified that it seemed clear they were setting Dearie up to be the "well, at least he's not that guy" choice. So yeah, hopefully he has integrity, but the odds aren't great.

(May all my instincts here please be proven wrong.)
posted by trig at 11:23 AM on September 20 [4 favorites]


So on-brand for Trump: failing to cooperate with someone he recommended for a job.

Also (potentially on-brand): failing to pay the Special Master for his services.
posted by SPrintF at 11:28 AM on September 20


According to @JoshGerstein who has been tweeting about the hearing in Judge Dearie's courtroom this afternoon it has been a massacre for the Trump team. He is not putting up with their shit

Trump doesn't seem to have a lawyer in the room who understands even the basics when it comes to classified materials.
Now Trusty is asking about getting security clearance process started. Judge says he thought of that earlier but adds: 'It's not just a matter of having clearance. It's a matter of need to know...if you need to know you, will know.'
posted by interogative mood at 12:21 PM on September 20 [5 favorites]


The full exchange is even worse for Trump.
Judge Dearie: “It’s not just a matter of having clearance. It’s a matter of need to know, if you need to know, you will.

Trump Lawyer: “It’s kinda astounding to hear the government say the president’s lawyers don’t need to know.”

Judge Dearie: When you say "the President", do you mean President Biden?

Trump Lawyer: "No, President Trump."

Judge: Let the record show Mr Trusty was referring to former President Trump, now a private citizen. Please continue.
posted by interogative mood at 12:48 PM on September 20 [75 favorites]


Ouch. That's some serious judicial shade there.
posted by bcd at 1:01 PM on September 20 [8 favorites]




I'm waiting to see if Dearie is another Mueller before I cheer

At the risk of engaging in doomsaying, ultimately Dearie is just an advisor. The judge can ignore his recommendations and find for Trump anyway.
posted by dirigibleman at 2:16 PM on September 20 [7 favorites]


Oooooooh, New York Attorney General Tish James to make “major announcement” tomorrow morning.

There's speculation that she may be filing a civil suit against Trump personally, the Trump organization, and at least one of his adult children, as she has yet to file a complaint in her investigation of Trump and the Trump Org., and she recently rejected a settlement offer from them.
posted by orange swan at 5:08 PM on September 20 [4 favorites]


There's speculation that she may be filing a civil suit against Trump personally...

To be clear, the suit would be from NY State. I thought she was filing her own lawsuit for a minute.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:19 PM on September 20 [1 favorite]


"Is he really on the side of justice, or is he just running out the clock? He's a Republican, so that's a bad sign. And Trump wanted him which is a worse sign."

I mean, he's a former FISA judge. I'm not holding my breath, but FISA court judges are NOTORIOUSLY deferential to the government's claims about intelligence in particular, and generally grant the federal government pretty broad powers -- too-broad powers, in many people's opinions.

I was initially like, "Well, Dearie's a Republican," and felt despairing about it, but then I was like, "WAIT, HE WAS A FISA JUDGE?" I mean, honestly, what kind of lunatic do you have to be to specifically request a FISA judge when you've fucked with classified documents? (The kind of lunatic who thinks that party loyalty matters more than intelligence operations.)

Again, I'm not going to hold my breath. But I also think (I hope!) this was probably a miscalculation by the Trump camp. And NOT because I think Dearie's on the side of justice -- I think he's on the side of the intelligence services. Who are often totally opposed to justice! But they have pretty clear rules for intelligence access, in a way that may work against Trump.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:29 PM on September 20 [27 favorites]


Watching the coverage tonight, I'm starting to think that Trump has no idea what documents he had. That could be why his team isn't pushing the "declassified" angle with Dearie, since he'd presumably ask them what, exactly, has been "declassified."
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:23 PM on September 20 [5 favorites]


Watching the coverage tonight, I'm starting to think that Trump has no idea what documents he had. That could be why his team isn't pushing the "declassified" angle with Dearie

Trump has absolutely no idea what documents were taken earlier in the year and were taken in the FBI search, other than probably the ones in his desk. He doesn't retain knowledge much.

They aren't pushing the declassified angle because legally the documents were never declassified, that's a public claim not a legal claim, and if they so press it they'll run up against actual legal matters of what "declassification" actually means and entails.

Also, regardless of the classification status of the documents, several of them seem to entail serious military knowledge/secrets, and that's an issue that is a separate legal issue.
posted by hippybear at 8:42 PM on September 20 [2 favorites]


As is always worth repeating the search warrant talks about violations of the Espionage Act and even if Trump declassified some of these materials it doesn’t exempt them from the Espionage Act’s more broad definition of information that would harm the defense of United States if exposed.
posted by interogative mood at 9:09 PM on September 20 [9 favorites]


> Eyebrows McGee: "I was initially like, "Well, Dearie's a Republican," and felt despairing about it, but then I was like, "WAIT, HE WAS A FISA JUDGE?" I mean, honestly, what kind of lunatic do you have to be to specifically request a FISA judge when you've fucked with classified documents?"

From Robert Katzberg, writing for Slate, "Trump’s Pick for the Mar-a-Lago Special Master Was a Spectacular Own Goal":
As a former federal prosecutor and white-collar criminal defense attorney in New York for more than four decades, I have been continually amazed by the inexplicable choices made by so many of the lawyers representing Donald Trump.

[...]

But even many of the Trump lawyers’ actions that do not cross legal or ethical lines cannot be rationally explained, which brings us to Tuesday’s hearing. I and so many others have been unable to figure out why in the world the Trump legal team nominated Judge Dearie to serve as Mar-a-Lago special master in the first place. Yes, Judge Dearie is apparently a Republican, and yes, he was appointed to the bench by President Ronald Reagan. But, really, Judge Dearie? Didn’t Team Trump know that the person they were choosing to uphold their dubious legal position is among the most respected members of the New York federal judiciary, admired for decades by prosecutors and defense counsel alike for his rational, ”by the book” approach?

[...]

Why not just nominate another member of the Federalist Society with ties to the Republican right? Had they done so, the Department of Justice would have surely objected to both of their nominees, leaving it to Judge Cannon to make the selection. Given her rulings thus far, it would have been a good bet she would have chosen a Trump nominee, or at least selected a new special counsel of her choice who might have had sympathies consistent with her own.

[...]

Which brings us back to the mystery of how Trump’s legal team undermined its own litigation strategy with the Dearie recommendation. A recent Axios article offers a possible explanation that if true, only underscores the problematic nature of their selection analysis. According to Axios sources, the Trump lawyers picked Judge Dearie because years ago, in his FISA Court role, he approved search warrants in the Carter Page investigation unaware that the FBI statements he relied upon were both materially false and incomplete. As a result, per this analysis, they believed Judge Dearie became “a deep skeptic of the FBI” and would perform his special master role with that jaundiced perspective. So, if this information is accurate, these lawyers concluded that a judge known for his integrity, objectivity, and career-long determination to follow the law, who served on the FISA Court for seven years and, thus, regularly came face to face with the enormous task our intelligence services have in keeping the country safe, would be influenced by a years-old grudge he very likely never had, to conduct himself in a manner completely antithetical to experience and, most importantly, to his very core.
I don't really know this author's work, so I can't personally vouch for his evaluation of Dearie as being essentially beyond reproach. However, I did find persuasive his analysis of how peculiar it was that the Trump side didn't just put up another generic Fed Soc rubber-stamper instead of Dearie given the seeming lack of downsides.

The last paragraph regarding the link to the Carter Page affair seems mainly the product of the linked Axios article by Jonathon Swan and Sophia Cai, sourced to two anonymous sources "with direct knowledge of the closely held deliberations". Taking this report at face value, I wonder how closely held those deliberations really were if Axios managed to get two different people to confirm this theory? I've, of course, never been involved with anything like this in any way.... but I gotta imagine the total number of people who should know about such deliberations shouldn't be much more than 10? If so, getting two sources would be like a >20% (!) leak rate. Or, is it like there's 10 principals in the meeting but each of them has a coterie of 10 staffers or whatever who'll also be in a position to have what would also count as "direct knowledge"? In which case you might have 100 people in the pool of potential sources and then 2 defections doesn't seem that bad.
posted by mhum at 9:14 PM on September 20 [6 favorites]


I agree that it seems unlikely that Trump has any clue about the vast majority of the literally 10,000+ items that he stole; seems very likely that a whole lot of it was basically "GRAB WHAT YOU CAN" in the AM EDT on January 20, 2021. But I would not be at all surprised if he knows about some of it that appealed to him (and/or potential buyers) enough to specifically steal it.

Probably only in a surface sense for most - e.g. "I've got the nuclear" due to having some document somehow related to nuclear weapons - but maybe a few that he might know backwards and forwards (e.g. "OOOOOOH, dirt on Emmanuel Macron! What a man! Sexy, sexy wife!").
posted by Flunkie at 9:18 PM on September 20 [2 favorites]


It seems to me that some of those documents should never have been in the Oval Office in the first place, and that the stealing has been systematic over several years. He knew from the outset that he is a criminal who does criminal things, and either he stole them for later sale or for leverage when he was inevitably indicted. I do think Trump is an idiot, because criminals are stupid, but getting highly classified papers out of the Situation Room requires intent. The masses of newspaper clippings and irrelevant stuff are there for hiding the stolen goods.
posted by mumimor at 11:13 PM on September 20 [7 favorites]


getting ... classified papers out of the Situation Room requires intent.

it's this, right? At the end of the day you can argue, "he made me do it" "I lost control of the car pouring a beer" "they were asking for it" until the cows come home ... but the actions say all that needs to be said.

(and the forty thousand dollar question: "Did he sell anything he stole?" and the hundred thousand dollar follow-up, "Yet?")
posted by From Bklyn at 1:24 AM on September 21 [5 favorites]


Watching the coverage tonight, I'm starting to think that Trump has no idea what documents he had. That could be why his team isn't pushing the "declassified" angle with Dearie, since he'd presumably ask them what, exactly, has been "declassified."

I've read elsewhere that Trump's lawyers are trying to ascertain exactly what the DOJ has, that the Special Master request was part of that strategy, and that part of Dearie's statements yesterday was that he wasn't going to let Team Trump look at classified documents because, you know, they're classified.

Which is why him rejecting Team Trump playing footsie with "well maybe Trump declassified them" was significant -- Dearie said they can raise the issue at trial, but if they don't make specific assertions (for which they'd have to provide evidence) Dearie is inclined to accept the DOJ's inventory of what was classified.
posted by Gelatin at 4:35 AM on September 21 [3 favorites]


if they don't make specific assertions (for which they'd have to provide evidence) Dearie is inclined to accept the DOJ's inventory of what was classified.

Dearie was quite clear that absent evidence to the contrary, the Government has made a prima facie case that the documents bearing "classified" markings are -- in fact -- classified.
posted by mikelieman at 4:54 AM on September 21 [2 favorites]


Exactly, which brings Trump's lawyers to the same uncomfortable position they inevitably place themselves in when they take Trump's assertions on social media into a court of law: "Yeah? Prove it."

There are no penalties for lying on social media -- the media will report what Trump says anyway, credible or no -- but there are for lying to a judge.
posted by Gelatin at 4:59 AM on September 21 [8 favorites]


Honestly, all of this is moving WAY too slowly for me. I know it's got to turn through the wheels of justice and they move at their own pace, but really FPOTUS should have at the very least been arrested already. Assange and Snowden didn't get to hold giant rallies, they were on the run.
posted by hippybear at 5:22 AM on September 21 [3 favorites]


I read the Stephanie Grisham book about working in the White House and I think he kept papers 'from central casting'. She said he'd like to look busy and always had a pile of papers next to him that he could strike a pose with especially on Air Force One, such a busy man...so top seekret.

The empty folders labeled Top Secret? Same thing. No more than the phoney press conference before he was sworn in with piles of papers in manilla folders supposedly full of all his business docs that his sons would now be in charge of. He's an idiot that has an eye for what sells.

Not that others may well have taken advantage of the easy access, but I doubt he had a full understanding of what he had. Except for anything that was about the Macrons personally. That would have been the kind of gossip he'd like to parley with Cindy Adams about. That's gold.
posted by readery at 6:36 AM on September 21 [3 favorites]


Stephanie Grisham is still a Republican, and she and others like her really want to frame Trump as an aberration, not because he was a crook, (there was already at least one crooked Republican president), but because he was a bumbling fool. The narrative is that she and others in the White House saved the nation from all of the ignorant and foolish stuff he did by being there and ignoring his most absurd "mad king"-style orders.
If she (and the others) write or say that they saw him committing crimes and did nothing to stop him, there is a whole other situation. Yet someone must have seen him remove top-secret documents from the Situation Room and did nothing. Someone must have seen Top Secret documents in those boxes and still let them go to Mar a Lago. He is a criminal with criminal intent and the whole bunch of them are complicit.
posted by mumimor at 8:02 AM on September 21 [6 favorites]


The narrative is that she and others in the White House saved the nation from all of the ignorant and foolish stuff he did by being there and ignoring his most absurd "mad king"-style orders.

There's a string scent of that in the WaPo coverage of the new book on McConnell, "Unchecked".
McConnell had made a vow to his aides, “We’ve all known that Trump is crazy,” he had said. “I’m done with him. I will never speak to him again.”

For a while, it looked like McConnell’s confidence was well placed. In the immediate aftermath of Jan. 6, Republicans across the political spectrum had turned on Trump, calling on him to resign. The day after the riot, McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, resigned her position as secretary of Transportation, prompting other Cabinet members to follow. The exodus was so great, in fact, that McConnell began fearing that Trump, left unfettered, might start to act upon his worst instincts. He personally urged top Trump officials like White House counsel Pat Cipollone and national security adviser Robert O’Brien to serve out their terms, looking to them to restrain the president who had already proved himself a threat to the nation.

posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:22 AM on September 21 [5 favorites]




^FPP for the NY suit
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:42 PM on September 21 [9 favorites]


11th Circuit just granted the DOJ’s request to stay Judge Cannon’s order wrt to classified documents and expressed a lot of skepticism about the whole special master nonsense.
posted by interogative mood at 5:21 PM on September 21 [15 favorites]


11th Circuit just granted the DOJ’s request to stay Judge Cannon’s order wrt to classified documents and expressed a lot of skepticism about the whole special master nonsense.

Woooooooo! So does that mean the Special Master is not going to do anything for now? What exactly are the implications?
posted by Literaryhero at 5:38 PM on September 21


So does that mean the Special Master is not going to do anything for now?

There are other papers beside the classified ones to consider. I assume that a reasonable Special Master will only consider attorney-client privilege and not the Trump's spurious assertion that he maintains some kind of post-Presidential executive privilege.
posted by SPrintF at 5:59 PM on September 21 [1 favorite]


I think that the main next step will he the DOJ’s whole appeal of Cannon’s ruling. The 11th Circuit was pretty clear that they think Cannon should never have gotten involved in this and they will probably rule in the DOJ’s favor when they appeal. Today’s win is about getting an injunction against the classified documents order pending their full appeal.
posted by interogative mood at 6:19 PM on September 21 [2 favorites]


As far as I can tell, the 11th Circuit decision granting the stay that the DOJ requested was unanimous.

I believe the three judges are Robin Rosenbaum, appointed by Barack Obama; Britt Grant, appointed by Donald Trump; and Andrew Brasher, appointed by Donald Trump. Both of the last two are members of the Federalist Society.*

As with so many court decisions, I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to read the decision granting the stay that the DOJ requested.
The United States argues that the district court likely erred in exercising its jurisdiction to enjoin the United States’s use of the classified records in its criminal investigation and to require the United States to submit the marked classified documents to a special master for review. We agree.
...
The absence of this “indispensab[le]” factor in the Richey analysis is reason enough to conclude that the district court abused its discretion in exercising equitable jurisdiction here. Chapman, 559 F.2d at 406. But for the sake of completeness, we consider the remaining factors.
...
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. See Doc. No. 97 at 2–3., Sept. 19, 2022, letter from James M. Trusty, et al., to Special Master Raymond J. Dearie, at 2–3. 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. So even if we assumed that Plaintiff did declassify some or all of the documents, that would not explain why he has a personal interest in them.
...
Plaintiff suggests that he could be harmed by the disclosure of sensitive information. Doc. No. 84 at 8. But permitting the United States to retain the documents does not suggest that they will be released; indeed, a purpose of the United States’s efforts in investigating the recovered classified documents is to limit unauthorized disclosure of the information they contain.
* I am as anxious about Trump-appointed Federalist Society members as the next MeFite, and I am regularly extremely dismayed by the judicial opinions of judges in that category, but I do find it interesting that a panel of judges with 2/3 of its members fitting that description nevertheless came down very clearly on the side of the DOJ.
posted by kristi at 6:44 PM on September 21 [10 favorites]


This was another nugget in the ruling that really castigates Judge Cannon for suggesting that somehow investigating Donald Trump might injure his reputation therefore the government couldn’t investigate him…..
The remaining potential injury identified by the district court is “the threat of future prosecution and the serious, often indelible stigma associated therewith.” Doc. No. 64 at 10. No doubt the threat of prosecution can weigh heavily on the mind of some- one under investigation. But without diminishing the seriousness of that burden, “if the mere threat of prosecution were allowed to constitute irreparable harm . . . every potential defendant could point to the same harm and invoke the equitable powers of the district court.”
posted by interogative mood at 7:25 PM on September 21 [18 favorites]


Yeah, the whole "I might be prosecuted and that would hurt my feelings" argument felt particularly badly chosen.
posted by hippybear at 7:35 PM on September 21 [5 favorites]


I confess I am surprised by the 11th Circuit decision, which is clear, knows the law, and is very pointed. Very pointed. It's not what I expected from a panel with two Trump-appointed Federalist Society judges in the 11th Circuit, which is not typically where I turn for well-reasoned decisions.

I'm not going to get hopeful, and I think our federal judiciary is currently in a state of collapse. But I will slightly roll back my level of catastrophizing, and think that maybe good lawyering still matters.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:09 PM on September 21 [20 favorites]


Yeah, I think it's an illustration of the difference between real conspiracies and conspiracy-theorists' ideas of what conspiracies are. I absolutely believe that there's a cadre of people at and around the Federalist Society who are conspiring to facilitate an undemocratic, right-wing takeover of the US government by subverting the rule of law from within, and I believe that because of plenty of evidence that's been reported in mainstream news. But in the real world, people are complicated and have complex ethical allegiances, and any sufficiently large and complex conspiracy is going to need members who aren't perfectly aligned with the group's goals. I think a lot of Federalist Society judges must not have really thought all that deeply about the implications of the ideology they're backing, and when finally confronted with a stark decision between the Federalist Society's aims and "The Law," as an ideal that they've also committed their careers to, a lot of them are going to try to uphold the law as best they understand it. That doesn't mean they're abandoning the Federalist Society, or that they're ultimately going to switch to "our" side, or that we can in any way really trust them. But it does mean that their consciences are part of the bulwark against other right-wingers' more extremist tactics, intentional or not, because while they may be on the wrong side of this fight, they're still not cartoonishly villainous. Certainly that's not true for all of them (I'm not entirely convinced Alito has a third dimension), but most.

Anyway, it's simultaneously heartening that these judges on the 11th Circuit are still anchored in a basic commitment to the rule of law, and terrifying that their consciences are all that stand between us and the total collapse of the legitimacy of our judicial system.
posted by biogeo at 9:21 PM on September 21 [20 favorites]


Maybe it's more like, Donald Trump's goals right now do not overlap or align with Federalist Society goals? Whatever interests and goals they share definitely does NOT include "being such a turbo dipshit that it compromises national security for no good reason." That's not a Federalist Society principle.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 2:01 AM on September 22 [18 favorites]


That's not a Federalist Society principle.

Indeed.

I guess the "Deep State" was the puppeteers behind GOP all along.
posted by porpoise at 2:17 AM on September 22 [2 favorites]


Trump says he can declassify documents "just by thinking about it". You can't make this shit up.
posted by essexjan at 4:49 AM on September 22 [12 favorites]


Why not? He does.
posted by MtDewd at 5:19 AM on September 22 [3 favorites]


I guarantee his lawyers wish they could get him to STFU just by thinking it.
posted by essexjan at 6:31 AM on September 22 [17 favorites]


I don't know why declassifying nuclear secrets is supposed to help Trump look good.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:59 AM on September 22 [9 favorites]


in the real world, people are complicated and have complex ethical allegiances, and any sufficiently large and complex conspiracy is going to need members who aren't perfectly aligned with the group's goals

See also: how often presidents have been disappointed by their SCOTUS picks not being reliable partisans. It took a while to pack the court. Just because we've got a reliably partisan SCOTUS now doesn't mean getting there is easy or automatic. Putting together a large enough roster of plausibly qualified people who are also totally brain-wormed into marching with movement conservatism was a generational project!
posted by BungaDunga at 7:45 AM on September 22 [4 favorites]


Can someone explain why this is being received with such hilarity? (I want to enjoy the joke too):

Kyle Cheney: JUST IN: Judge Cannon has responded to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals stay decision by striking aspects of her order appointing a special master.
posted by cendawanita at 8:19 AM on September 22


That's not a Federalist Society principle.

The federalist society wants to overturn the 14th amendment, mainly, and break down the wall between church and state until the US is Christian dominion, none of which have anything to do with a post-president Trump and this classified documents scandal. Hell, now that they've got their people as a majority on the Supreme Court, there's no reason to play along with someone they almost certainly (as a bunch of socially conservative weirdos) find distasteful even if he was useful. They don't even need the Presidency anymore, they can do all their work from the courts.
posted by dis_integration at 8:27 AM on September 22 [8 favorites]


From Akiva Cohen in the replies to Kyle Cheney's tweet,
This is wildly weird. By striking those provisions, they've been removed from her order entirely. They are no longer stayed pending appeal, they simply do not exist.

Which means (for anyone wondering about SCOTUS) Cannon just mooted any possible appeal from the 11th stay
posted by Dashy at 8:48 AM on September 22 [7 favorites]


So what this is then if that Aileen Cannon felt bullied/pressured by right wing public sentiment and is now backtracking to save face at the next federalist society meetup?
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 8:49 AM on September 22


So what this is then if that Aileen Cannon felt bullied/pressured by right wing public sentiment and is now backtracking to save face at the next federalist society meetup?

Nah, she's just really bad at her job.
posted by Etrigan at 8:59 AM on September 22 [17 favorites]


Judge Cannon was upset because someone called her manager.
posted by SPrintF at 9:35 AM on September 22 [5 favorites]


I predict Cannon will quit the bench in the next couple of years and run for office in a Trump friendly location or get a job on Fox or some other right wing media outlet. Being a Federal Judge is hard work, for lower pay and there is not much of an opportunity for her to move up to the appellate court level.
posted by interogative mood at 12:39 PM on September 22 [7 favorites]


I guarantee his lawyers wish they could get him to STFU just by thinking it.

But then who *doesn't* wish that?
posted by orange swan at 1:12 PM on September 22 [9 favorites]


Maybe if we all manifest at the same time....
posted by trig at 2:22 PM on September 22 [1 favorite]


Nah, she's just really bad at her job.

No, well yes bad at being what a judge is supposed to be. Is it an effective strategy for unabashedly thumbing the scale for Trump though?

The 11th circuit stay narrowly applied to the classified documents, but strongly signaled that her entire claim of jurisdiction for the whole special master scheme was... not amusing. Now by modifying the order to match the stay, (as said above) the appeal is moot so she has, in effect, rescued that whole smoke screen with respect to the rest of the material.

I'm not sure that matters, because the classified documents themselves might be enough for the government to put him in jail. But even though the government can continue the investigation of the classified documents, they still might have to wait for the completion of the special master process to try the case in court, so the delay tactic still might work.

(not a lawyer, and I could be very wrong)
posted by ctmf at 2:36 PM on September 22 [1 favorite]


I should also say that once you start considering the judge part of one of the parties' legal team and strategizing around that, the system might be broken.
posted by ctmf at 2:38 PM on September 22 [7 favorites]


I also bet you if someone dug very deep (which would never happen and arguably should not happen) they would find hidden ex parte communication between the judge and the Trump team. Conspiracy-theory crazy? Maybe. Never under-estimate Trump's willingness to be corrupt exceeding your wildest expectation.

(and then project "collusion!" on all his opponents)
posted by ctmf at 2:45 PM on September 22 [1 favorite]


Now by modifying the order to match the stay, (as said above) the appeal is moot so she has, in effect, rescued that whole smoke screen with respect to the rest of the material.

IANAL, but I think what Akiva Cohen was saying was moot was any appeal (by the Trumpy lawyers) of the stay itself. The appeal which the stay was in service of (by the DOJ) is still open.

As I understand it, the chronology is as follows:
(1) Cannon appoints Special Master,
(2) DOJ appeals the order appointing a Special Master at all,
(3) DOJ additionally files for a stay specifically on the Special Master's jurisdiction over classified documents, citing exigent and immediate need for these particular documents, while the rest of the evidence can be in limbo until the appeal is hashed out.
(4) 11th Circuit grants the stay, strongly suggesting that they think the appeal is also meritorious.
(5) Cannon renders the issue under consideration in the stay (elements (3) and (4)) moot.

At this point, elements (1) and (2) are still live --- the Special Master is still appointed with jurisdiction over seized non-classified documents, and the DOJ is still saying even that was a bad call. And at some point, we'll get to an 11th Circuit determination on that appeal.
posted by jackbishop at 2:56 PM on September 22 [6 favorites]


Perry Stein, Washington Post: Dearie asks Trump lawyers whether they believe FBI lied about seized documents.
Trump has said on social media and in television interviews that the FBI planted items when they searched his Mar-a-Lago residence and private club on Aug. 8. [...] Dearie’s order, in essence, demands that Trump’s lawyers back up their client’s claims. “This submission shall be Plaintiff’s final opportunity to raise any factual dispute as to the completeness and accuracy of the Detailed Property Inventory,” he wrote. [...]

Dearie’s approach is strikingly different from how Judge Aileen Cannon — the Florida-based district court judge who granted Trump’s request to appoint a special master earlier this month — has handled her part of the case. Cannon never asked Trump’s attorneys to explain why they thought the inventory list might be inaccurate or why they implied that some of the documents that were labeled as classified were not actually classified.
It seems getting a special master hasn’t worked out the way the Trump team hoped.
posted by mbrubeck at 4:25 PM on September 22 [10 favorites]


Wow, so many of you guys have much more charitable views of Federalist Society members than I do! Basically every single one I've ever interacted with on any kind of sustained basis has totally been in it to own the libs and be an asshole in public. You really don't run into that many who have a coherent ethos! (But hey, if that's what it was, I'll take it.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:02 PM on September 22 [18 favorites]


The special master has turned into a complete disaster for Trump.

Today’s special master order puts Trump on the hook for a lot of expenses ($500/hr for the special master’s assistant) and will require him to pay the invoices in 7 days of receipt. It also will require him to quickly raise any claims that the list of stuff the government took is incomplete or was planted by the FBI by the 30th of Sept under penalty of perjury. If he doesn’t raise the objections now he can never raise them later according to the order. By mid October he will have had to have raised any executive or AC privilege claims or he can’t make them in future proceedings.

The order also written to direct the Trump to do these things; not just his lawyers. So he can’t just blame his lawyers later.

The result is the special master will simplify future prosecution from this evidence because it will set boundaries around what Trump will be able to claim in the future.
posted by interogative mood at 6:38 PM on September 22 [18 favorites]


Not sure that I understand the "under penalty of perjury" part. Is it just saying "If you choose to produce any such evidence, you will be doing so under penalty of perjury"? But isn't that applicable to... like... all evidence? In all US trials? Ever?

Or is it more like "Your client has made such claims in public, and you've brought those claims before me, but you have been unwilling to provide me with evidence. Provide evidence for your claims before this court or I'm smacking you with a perjury charge"? I (uneducated) would be surprised if that were even legal.

Or is it saying something else entirely?
posted by Flunkie at 7:10 PM on September 22 [1 favorite]


I think it's saying that it's submitted under the equivalent of oath.
posted by rhizome at 7:59 PM on September 22 [3 favorites]


Yes, but my point (which, I suppose, may not be correct, but...) is that that applies to everything submitted to a court. Doesn't it? So why would a judge explicitly point out that it applies to some specific thing submitted to a court? Say what you will about the quality of lawyer that Trump attracts, but I'd find the idea that pretty much any lawyer wouldn't know that just as well as the judge does to be pretty implausible.

I do think it's the most likely explanation, but what I just said is what's been giving me some degree of doubt.
posted by Flunkie at 2:58 AM on September 23


Since a special master is not a judge or court exactly, I can see where a clarification that the same rules around perjury apply would be useful to state explicitly.
posted by eviemath at 3:27 AM on September 23 [4 favorites]


[The special master] also will require [Trump/Trump's lawyers] to quickly raise any claims that the list of stuff the government took is incomplete or was planted by the FBI by the 30th of Sept under penalty of perjury. If he doesn’t raise the objections now he can never raise them later according to the order. By mid October he will have had to have raised any executive or AC privilege claims or he can’t make them in future proceedings.

This strategy worked excellently for Trump's attempts to dispute the 2020 election. Trump and his lawyers would say all kinds of things for the TV cameras; when they got to court, the judges asked them for evidence, with penalties for lying, and they had nothing.

Whatever Dearie's personal politics, it seems clear he's well aware of the Trump media strategy and also not inclined to have his time wasted.
posted by Gelatin at 4:33 AM on September 23 [12 favorites]


We need lots of 11th Circuit decisions like this and Judge Dearie's to exist because we need to have faith restored in our judicial system. I'm glad Dearie's an actual Judge and not a lackey. I hope we see much more of this kind of thing over the next months.
posted by hippybear at 2:08 PM on September 23 [1 favorite]


That's basically what Bush did to Gore (I'm not ready to make a new post, so putting it here)
posted by mumimor at 10:54 AM on September 27


Recently at CNN:

Newest addition to Trump’s legal team sidelined in Mar-a-Lago search case:
The reason for the shift in Kise’s role remains unclear and he may instead focus his efforts on the other investigations Trump is facing, which range from his business practices to the January 6 insurrection.

The move is notable given Kise, the former solicitor general for Florida, was brought on to the team after a weeks-long search and struggle to find someone willing to take on the case who was also experienced in Florida law. The legal strategy for fighting the Justice Department following the August seizure of over 100 documents marked as classified was also in disarray.

Kise’s hiring came with an unusual price tag of $3 million, paid for by Trump’s outside spending arm. The retainer fee, paid upfront, raised eyebrows among other lawyers on Trump’s team, given the former President has a developed a reputation for not paying his legal fees.
DOJ declares seized Mar-a-Lago materials list full and accurate despite Trump’s claims of planted evidence
According to CNN’s comparison of the two versions, the new version showed the same total number of documents marked classified as compiled in the previously filed inventory. The new version shows two fewer press clippings and two fewer empty envelopes with classified banners than the previous count. The revised inventory also shows a few dozen more government records without classified markings, out of the thousands that the FBI says it obtained in the search.

On Friday, Trump faces a deadline to submit to the special master descriptions of any seized items that he claims are missing from the inventory, or items that were included in the inventory that he says were not at the premises.
posted by kristi at 11:19 AM on September 27 [5 favorites]


The reason for the shift in Kise’s role remains unclear

At Political Wire, Taegan Goddard said he would be that Kise gave Trump advice the latter didn't like.
posted by Gelatin at 11:21 AM on September 27 [2 favorites]


When your delay delay always delay strategy is boosted by your decades-long be-a-toxic-manchild* strategy:

None of the five vendors the DOJ suggested to scan docs will work for tfg

*phone autocorrected this to Manchin lol
posted by riverlife at 5:20 PM on September 28 [6 favorites]


Trump's judge sides with Trump again. Trump no longer has to back up his claim the FBI planted documents, and she extended the deadline for document review to mid-December, which effective puts other deadlines Trump had to meet until after the midterms.
posted by dirigibleman at 3:21 PM on September 29 [2 favorites]


I wonder if the DOJ will appeal this ruling or if they can.
posted by interogative mood at 3:45 PM on September 29


Well that's as strong an application to the Supreme Court as I've ever seen.
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 4:09 PM on September 29 [4 favorites]


WaPo says this can be appealed on paragraph 9.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 6:56 PM on September 29 [3 favorites]


As bad as that ruling is, it doesn't seem to apply to the classified documents, as she already removed them from her earlier order.

But Cannon is definitely running cover for Trump, because I have read that the special master's questions basically will force Trump to admit he took government property. (Not to mention the put-up-or-shut-up on the planted evidence...)
posted by Gelatin at 7:23 AM on September 30 [3 favorites]


The 11th Circuit splitting out the classified documents already fucked Trump. Now he's just rearranging deck chairs. Best he could hope for is to somehow claw those back by claiming the entire seizure was illegal. Good luck with that.

Meanwhile Cannon is sure making a reputation for herself. Hope it's the one she wanted.
posted by ctmf at 12:32 PM on September 30 [3 favorites]


She swore an oath to defend Trump against all enemies, foreign or domestic.
posted by yyz at 1:34 PM on September 30 [5 favorites]


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