Today, on the federal holiday of Labor Day, Judge Aileen M. Cannon of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida granted former president Trump’s request for a special master to review the nearly 11,000 documents FBI agents seized in their search of the Trump Organization’s property at Mar-a-Lago on August 8.
This decision by Cannon makes me feel so sick to my stomach that I want to eat the refrigerator. As I read through Dr. Richardson's discussion, I began to understand why it's so frightening. We're right to feel worried. I'm so tired of the attack of the RWNJs on democracy and the rule of law. The vote seems so fragile facing off against this juggernaut of violence, disinformation, and downright deceit. Let's make it count this November 8th -- ten weeks away.
The only silver lining is the egregiousness and obvious bias against the rule of law that it exemplifies.
The MAGA are losing the independents. The Democrats (and the citizens of this country) are winning the battle for the “hearts and minds” of the electorate.
This will not end well-- for Trump and company.
Hurt his reputation? He should have thought of that before he broke bad.
He has not had a reputation to be concerned about since the 1980s. Ask any New Yorker.
Thank you for so clearly explaining the nature and implications of this absurd opinion. Tragically, it's unlikely that many MAGA supporters will read it or care. The future of our country is in the hands of wildly unqualified judges, power-mad GOP political leaders, reactionary GOP funders, and a gullible populist base. We CAN stop them if the rest of us mobilize millions of voters to vote to save our democracy in November and in every future election.
“Once you have the courts you can pretty much do whatever you want”. That is frightening and exactly the plan of the oligarchs, Federalist Society and republicans. Trump is again a useful idiot. I feel sure we will come out in droves to vote and hopefully win. But will that be enough?
I written elsewhere that Judge Cannon's sortie into this case is completely illegitimate; I also believe the evidence will show that it occurred with the connivance of Trump's legal team, and that it was prearranged in order to obfuscate matters and to create further grounds for delay. On those grounds alone, I would like to see Judge Aileen Cannon ousted from the federal judiciary, by impeachment of necessary, but in all events, she should be placed on suspension from duty and prohibited from taking any part in the current proceedings. The issues she raised about fairness and legitimacy are entirely bogus. As I mentioned in my Facebook page posting, I practiced law for 52 years that included 12 years of service as a lawyer within the Federal Government, and I've never seen the kind of situation where a junior federal judge interposes herself into an ongoing criminal investigation overseen by another federal judge, invoking a false claim to jurisdiction over matters that she is not entitled to adjudicate. This is yet another example of the Trump administration's utter contempt for institutional norms and boundary setting guardrails that have been jettisoned time and again throughout the federal government during the four years that Donald Trump was President. Judge Cannon's radical departure from established norms needs to be halted in its tracks; if she were working in any other officer department within the federal Establishment, she would immediately be suspended from duty, and place on a fast track for her removal for cause. Two weeks ago, I believe on a Friday afternoon, Judge Cannon announced ex parte that she was inclined to grant the relief that the former president was demanding, all without evidence that there was even a justiciable case before her. It turns out that there is not: the documents seized by the FBI consisted of documents related to the National Defense or within the Intelligence Community, none of which the former president had any right, title, or interest in, insofar as their substantive content is concerned. The Department of Justice/FBI privilege evaluation team had already gone through what remained of the property seized to determine whether an evidentiary privilege existed (i.e., attorney-client privilege) that would preclude use of such property against the former president, should a criminal indictment and sue and trial follow. All that work is not done. The idea that Judge Cannon would now appoint a Special Master to rummage through 11,000 document pages that were obtained from the former president to see if by some remote chance a privileged document might now reveal itself to him or her after having been examined in detail by a small army of prosecutors, FBI agents and analysts, and personnel from the National Archives and Records Administration is patently absurd. It's time to bite the bullet and show Judge Cannon the door, and then get on with the investigation.
One of the times I wish I hadn't read Heather's letter just before bed. I don't know how to handle this.
Because Trump claims to have declassified all the documents, I would think that Trump's list for Master Reviewer would be less rigorous than the DOJ's list. This stumbling block might force the Supreme Court to rule on whether a president can declassify material and to whom the documents belong.
And here is the punch line: The Supreme Court Justice who oversees cases in Florida is Clarence Thomas. Fasten your seat belts. We're in for a bumpy ride." (I forget the movie where that line comes from .. or to quote Grouch Marks "Our cook is goosed")
I’m having a temper tantrum right now. This of all things was somehow the last damn straw. Judges are supposed to protect the rule of law. She did not do that. I hope she is disbarred over this. Gawd dammit. I need to eat strawberries to clean my mouth out after I read this decision today.
This woman (the "judge") was appointed by tfg AFTER he had lost the election.
Misery loves company, so I am glad to sense that you are as outraged as I am at this decision. Taking into account the "harm to Trump's reputation" is a thinly veiled way of saying he is being treated with kid gloves. The FBI treated him with kid gloves, trying to get the papers they feared would be available to our enemies, for over a year. Once again, he threw a fit and got the delay he wanted. I imagine, since a special master will not be appointed for at least another few weeks, that the review will last well past the elections. And the liars in the MAGA Republican ranks will misconstrue this to say that the seizure was illegal, that the judge thinks he still can exert executive privilege, etc. Coming on top for FiveThirtyEight.com's latest projection that the Republicans will win the majority of the House in November (McCarthy as Speaker--Oh, my God), this day was a giant set back...or at least a realization.
Let's hope this is an absurd complication from a judge clearly not qualified to rule on what's shaping up to be the most important national security court case in the nation's history. The order stopping the DOJ's investigation until a special master reviews the vast amount of materials raises serious questions about her impartiality. Same for her bizarre language about Trump's reputation.
Attorney General Merrick Garland now has yet another challenge in helping to save democracy.
“Once you have the courts, you can do pretty much what you want.”
So in other words, even though every single piece of paper TAKEN by the former president to his home belong NOT to him but to We the People, it LOOKS bad that We the People took them back from butter fingers?
And so says a federal judge in Florida appointed in November 2020 by the person taking 11,000 documents with him? Oops. I see. Our bad.
No wonder it’s not so ridiculous that he still tantrums about the need for one of his someones to overturn the election.
Oops. I see. Their bad.
Bah, bah black sheep, have you any wool? No sir, no sir, taken by white fools.
On Labor Day no less. I call that a smack down, Judge.
Only way forward is a Blue Tsunami in November. Roe, Not Woe, Roe your Vote.
I would suggest that this action by the "judge" opens the door for the DOJ to do away with its arbitrary rule of not issuing indictments or making any public pronouncements about investigations within 60 days of an election. After all if there can be "reputational harm" and "stigma" for TFG, then there can equally be "reputational harm" and "stigma" for the DOJ and Merrick Garland if they are perceived as not doing their job. And once again for those in the back of the room and for equally corrupt judges, only the sitting president CAN CLAIM EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. How stupid can this broad be? I sincerely hope there's an appeal in the immediate future.
Perhaps Professor Richardson can ask Professor Jason Stanley of Yale, expert on fascism, what we can do to stop this abuse of the law, and stop the fascism which is on our doorstep.
OK, so the judge did her thing. The process hardly ends there. Her opinion is subject to review, and it's not clear that she even has jurisdiction. Let's wait until the special master is appointed and then goes through the process of getting a clearance. In the mean time, since most of the documents have already been reviewed, Garland should file charges based on what he already has. Also, he could ask the appropriate intelligence agencies to take custody of their items and force the special master to go through the process of being granted access to the appropriate facilities where they are then stored.
With Federalist picks like weak poorly educated embarrassingly unqualified Federal Judge Aileen M. Cannon of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida clogging the courts, not to mention state governments and the voting ststems of those states, there’s no chance: we cannot keep the republic, Mr. Franklin.