Friday, September 30, 2022

Orange Meltdown, Con't

Trump's personal federal court judge, Aileen "Loose" Cannon, continues to be a national embarrassment and enduring symbol of Trump corruption, this time proving beyond any doubt that the Trump regime's odious "Special Master" plan was just a delay tactic to prevent Trump from being indicted before the midterm elections.

Judge Aileen M. Cannon told Donald Trump’s lawyers Thursday that they did not need to comply with an order from special master Raymond J. Dearie and state in a court filing whether they believe FBI agents lied about documents seized from the former president’s Florida residence.

Thursday’s ruling was the first clash between Cannon, a Trump appointee who has generally shown the former president deference in litigation over the Mar-a-Lago investigation, and Dearie, a federal judge she appointed as an outside expert in the case, who appears to be far more skeptical of Trump.

After Trump’s lawyers requested a special master, Cannon chose Dearie to review approximately 11,000 documents seized Aug. 8 from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club and residence and determine whether any should be shielded from investigators because of attorney-client or executive privilege.

An appeals court separately overruled Cannon’s decision that about 100 additional documents that the government says are classified — some of them top-secret — should be part of Dearie’s review.

Dearie last week told the former president’s legal team that it couldn’t suggest in court filings that the government’s description of the seized documents — including whether they were classified — was inaccurate without providing any evidence. He ordered them to submit to the court by Oct. 7 any specific inaccuracies they saw in the government’s inventory list of seized items.

It would have been a key test of Trump’s legal strategy, as his lawyers decided whether to back up Trump’s controversial public claims that the FBI planted items at his residence and that he had declassified all the classified documents before leaving office — or whether they would take a more conciliatory approach.
Dearie told the Trump team to submit evidence that the FBI "planted" documents at Mar-a-Lago during the August search because the main argument from Trump's legal eagles is that the FBI permanently tainted the investigation by doing so, and that Special Master Dearie was there to serve up justice for this foul misdeed.
Judge Cannon simply threw that order out.
But according to Cannon, who has the authority to overrule Dearie’s orders, such a decision is not required right now.

“There shall be no separate requirement on Plaintiff at this stage, prior to the review of any of the Seized Materials, to lodge ex ante final objections to the accuracy of Defendant’s Inventory, its descriptions, or its content,” Cannon wrote.

The Justice Department could appeal.

Trump’s legal team has argued that answering questions about the inventory list and whether the documents are classified could put them at a disadvantage in the face of a possible future criminal prosecution, or a future legal fight over getting the seized documents returned to Trump.

When Trump defense attorney James M. Trusty told Dearie earlier this month that he should not be forced to disclose declarations and witness statements yet, Dearie replied: “My view is you can’t have your cake and eat it.”

Cannon also addressed ongoing disputes Thursday over deadlines set by Dearie as part of his review, siding with Trump’s team and extending the special master review deadline to Dec. 16. She had originally said Dearie could have until around Thanksgiving to settle any disagreements the two parties had over privilege issues.

Dearie had suggested he could work on a more expedited schedule and told the parties they would need to finish their portions of the review by Oct. 21. Trump’s team had pushed back against that deadline, saying it was too fast and that they couldn’t find a vendor to scan the documents that was willing to work on that timeline.

“This modest enlargement is necessary to permit adequate time for the Special Master’s review and recommendations given the circumstances as they have evolved since entry of the Appointment Order,” Cannon wrote in her order.
Cannon is going to such stretching extremes for Trump, it's a wonder Disney isn't looking to cast her a Helen "Elastigirl" Parr for a live-action adaptation of The Incredibles
And now the investigation may be delayed into next year, where Trump is hoping a GOP Congress will interfere with, block, or even eliminate the investigation completely somehow.

All the while, Judge Cannon will do everything she can to bog the investigation down. It's the kind of thing that should lead to her removal as a judge, but the GOP will never allow that.

So on the farce goes, music, pratfalls, and all.

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