December 1, 2022
Some stories wrapped up today:
In Atlanta the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit said that the district court had no jurisdiction to block the U.S. government from using the records it seized in the criminal investigation of former president Trump. That is, when U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon allowed Trump’s request for a special master to review the documents seized by the FBI in its search of Mar-a-Lago on August 8, she assumed power the district court did not have. Special Master Raymond Dearie will be dismissed, and the criminal investigation of the former president will go forward.
The panel noted in their decision that they were unwilling to “carve out an unprecedented exception in our law for former presidents.” The judges acknowledged that “[i]t is indeed extraordinary for a warrant to be executed at the home of a former president,” but “[t]o create a special exception here would defy our Nation’s foundational principle that our law applies ‘to all, without regard to numbers, wealth, or rank.’”
It continued: “The law is clear. We cannot write a rule that allows any subject of a search warrant to block government investigations after the execution of the warrant. Nor can we write a rule that allows only former presidents to do so. Either approach would be a radical reordering of our caselaw limiting the federal courts’ involvement in criminal investigations. And both would violate bedrock separation-of-powers limitations.”
All three judges on the panel were nominated by Republican presidents: Judge William H. Pryor by President George W. Bush; Judges Andrew L. Brasher and Britt C. Grant, by Trump.
Today, Ye, also known as Kanye West, appeared with right-wing white supremacist Nick Fuentes on Alex Jones’s show InfoWars, and was so vile even Jones began to push back. Eventually, Ye praised Nazis and Adolf Hitler. Then, and only then, did the Twitter account of the Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee delete its tweet of October 6, 2022, that read: “Kanye. Elon. Trump.”
Other stories began:
House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) yesterday sent a letter to the chair of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol telling the committee to preserve their records in anticipation of an investigation in the committee once the Republicans take control of the House next year. Of course, House rules already require that preservation; the demand is simply a performance to convince the far-right MAGA Republicans that he is on their team. And, in fact, the committee has said it will release “all the evidence” to the public before the end of the year.
Republican representative Ralph Norman (R-SC), who opposes electing McCarthy speaker, told right-wing media that those opposing McCarthy have a different candidate for the position. That candidate is not a House member, and Norman said: “It will be apparent in the coming weeks who that person will be. I will tell you, it will be interesting.”
And still other stories showed their enduring power through centuries:
Today, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden hosted French president Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte Macron, for the first state visit of Biden’s presidency.
In a lunch today at the State Department, hosted by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Vice President Kamala Harris along with their respective spouses Ms. Evan Ryan and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, Blinken emphasized the close ties between France and the United States throughout our shared history. He recalled that France was the first international ally of the United States, recognizing the fledgling nation’s independence from England and providing both military and economic assistance after the two countries contracted a formal alliance in 1778.
Vice President Harris reminded the audience that the close alliance between France and the United States has continued ever since, with the troops of both countries fighting together, and dying together, on the battlefields of the two world wars, and with ties of culture, art, and science. Harris recalled that her mother, Dr. Shyamala Harris, worked at the Institut Pasteur with the legendary French professor Étienne-Émile Baulieu.
The leaders reaffirmed that France and the United States have a historic past and emphasized that our shared past is the basis for shaping a joint future in which the old allies work to defend the rules-based international order now under attack from autocrats who hope to dominate their neighbors with force.
Not only are they defending the rules-based order, but also they are working to make it reflect the realities of the present. In his remarks at the arrival ceremony this morning, Macron explained: “This spirit of fraternity must enable us to build an agenda of ambition and hope, as our two countries share the same faith in freedom, in democratic values, in empowerment through education and work, and in progress through science and knowledge.”
“The post-Cold War era is over,” Blinken said today, “and we face a global competition to define what comes next.” Macron and Biden, as well as Blinken and Harris, all emphasized that the defense of Ukraine as it resists the attempt of Russian president Vladimir Putin to “redraw the borders of a sovereign, independent nation by force” is key to that definition of the future.
They emphasized that those defending a rules-based order are “working together to strengthen European security and advance a free and open Indo-Pacific,” “taking urgent steps to save our planet for future generations,” and “making investments in global health to stamp out diseases like malaria and HIV/AIDS, to build greater capacity to prevent and respond to future health emergencies.”
Vice President Harris quoted from Marquis de Lafayette, a French aristocrat who fought in the American Revolutionary War, who wrote to his wife in 1778 from Valley Forge, where the ragtag Continental Army encamped in the bitter winter of 1777-1778. “My heart has always been completely convinced that in serving the cause of humanity and America,” he wrote, “I was fighting in the interests of France.”
Macron responded: “And when your soldiers came during the First and the Second World War in our country, they had exactly the same feeling. And we will never forget that a lot of your families lost children on the soils they never knew before just because they were fighting for liberty and for universal values.”