U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon announced yesterday that she will appoint a "Special Master" and nominally neutral third party to examine the items taken from Mar-a-Lago, and decide which ones were properly taken under the warrant give to the DOJ/FBI by Magistrate Reinhart, and which were improperly seized. In the order, she revealed that President Biden had personally authorized the FBI raid (though not necessarily the timing), and that it was already established that many items had been seized beyond the scope of the warrant, including magazine and newspaper clippings, clothing (Melania's undies?), tax and medical records, and that some had been reviewed by FBI/DOJ personnel beyond their designated "taint team" which was supposed to prevent such actions. John Solomon at JTN reports Federal judge hands Trump win, orders special master to review evidence seized from Mar-a-Lago "Court said the independent master can "manage assertions of privilege and … evaluate claims for return of property."" WaPoo whines Judge to appoint special master to review Trump’s Mar-a-Lago documents, "Ruling says prosecutors can’t use seized documents in criminal probe until they are examined by outside expert." At LI, Herr Professor Jacobsen reports Judge Appoints Special Master, Temporarily Bars FBI/DOJ Review Or Use Of Records Seized in Mar-a-Lago Raid. More at Da Caller, Matt Margolis at PJ Media and PM. CNN whines Judge grants Trump's request for a 'special master' to review materials seized from Mar-a-Lago "Both sides have until Friday to nominate special master candidates and their specific duties," and Takeaways from the ruling granting Trump's request for a special master in Mar-a-Lago probe, "The primary takeaway is simple: The ruling is a major legal win for Trump." Althouse, cites the NYT, "Judge Grants Trump’s Request for Special Master to Review Mar-a-Lago Documents " and notes "Cannon was appointed by Trump."
In a 24-page ruling, the judge, Aileen M. Cannon of the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Florida, also enjoined the Justice Department from using the seized materials for any “investigative purpose” connected to its ongoing inquiry of Mr. Trump until the work of the arbiter, known as a special master, was completed.
The order would effectively bar federal prosecutors from using a key piece of evidence as they continue to investigate whether the former president illegally retained national defense documents at his estate, Mar-a-Lago, or obstructed the government’s efforts to get them back.
The DOJ was previously questioned in court about justice dept leaks to media creating an unfair and prejudicial bias against President Trump. The DOJ lawyers denied leaking yet admitted the media reports were evidence that someone within the organization was leaking information to the media, thereby creating a framework of public opinion the defendant cannot easily refute. Cannon writes:
“the Court takes into account the undeniably unprecedented nature of the search of a former President’s residence; Plaintiff’s inability to examine the seized materials in formulating his arguments to date; Plaintiff’s stated reliance on the customary cooperation between former and incumbent administrations regarding the ownership and exchange of documents; the power imbalance between the parties; the importance of maintaining institutional trust; and the interest in ensuring the integrity of an orderly process amidst swirling allegations of bias and media leaks.”Judge Cannon also cited examples of the DOJ review team failing in their duty to separate attorney-client privilege material.
and zeros in on Federal Judge Notes in Special Master Order a Quoted DOJ Citation That Joe Biden Ordered FBI Access to Mar-a-Lago Documents "On May 10, 2022, NARA informed Plaintiff that it would proceed with “provid[ing] the FBI access to the records in question, as requested by the incumbent President, beginning as early as Thursday, May 12, 2022.” [citation]" At NR (cited at Haut Hair, Never-Trumper Andy McCarthy (who nevertheless at least has a good legal mind) whines Judge throws Mar-a-Lago probe into chaos
There are no heroes in this drama. The Justice Department has been playing with fire from the start. Trump dragged his feet in seeking the special master, to the point that DOJ had nearly completed its privilege review by the time he finally filed his court action. Cannon, whom Trump appointed to the district court in 2020, inexplicably allowed nine days to elapse after first signaling her inclination to appoint a special master, during which she wrung her hands about whether to order the appointment and, more significantly, failed to rule on Trump’s application for a court-ordered suspension of the Justice Department’s review process and directive that DOJ cease using documents Trump claimed were privileged in furtherance of its criminal investigation.
The Justice Department blithely assumed that Trump had no executive privilege even though this is an unsettled question in the law.
When a salient point of law is unclear, the responsible course for prosecutors is to flag the issue for the court and get a ruling before taking controversial actions. Instead, in seeking the search warrant, DOJ advised Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart that the filtering process that would be implemented in connection with documents seized in the search would screen only for attorney-client privileged documents, not executive privileged documents. The latter category is apt to be considerably more expansive. It does not appear that DOJ alerted Reinhart to the possibility that Trump could have a colorable executive-privilege claim, and there’s no indication that Reinhart raised the question on his own.
At Twitchy, ‘Former Obama guy’ upset judge sided with fascist & guilty Trump because these ‘are not normal times’. DrJohn at Flopping Ace details how The left is losing its mind over the Special Master and here’s why. "Why are they irritated? Because they have lost control of the narrative and they’re pissed off that someone actually was guarding Trump’s rights. They didn’t want anyone messing their vicious persecution."
At Fox, Trump medical records, tax documents seized in FBI raid "Judge Aileen M. Cannon reveals FBI seized medical docs and correspondence related to Trump's taxes and accounting information," Don Surber, A raid to get 1,693 newspapers?
The stuff the FBI collected was not nuclear codes. It was a bunch of old magazines and newspapers. He and the FBI had no business confiscating them.Benny Johnson@bennyjohnson, "The FBI raided Barron Trump’s room before Hunter Biden’s. Let that sink in." At NYPo, Miranda Devine reveals FBI agent Timothy Thibault hid intel from whistleblower on Hunter and the ‘Big Guy’ Joe Biden. Fox catches a CNN reporter who tweets there are ‘serious questions’ about Hunter Biden, FBI: ‘Shouldn’t be a partisan issue' "Sidner says 'legitimate questions should be asked and answered' about FBI investigation into President Biden's son." Greg Piper at JTN, FBI ignored 'eyewitness testimony' of Joe Biden's involvement in Hunter's China deal: senator
A detailed list of what the FBI claims it took shows Reinhart's was a general warrant, which the 4th Amendment bans. I suppose this is FBI standard operating procedure because although they are sworn to defend the Constitution, the agents never seem to bother following it.
The full list of items taken is here.
Overwhelmingly, what the FBI took were newspapers and magazines, either in full or just articles clipped from them.
President Trump obviously needed the 1,693 articles, newspapers and magazines to help his ghostwriter write his presidential memoirs.
Why did the FBI take them? What evidence does an old newspaper provide? That the media lied (or as we should call it now, FBI-ed)?
FBI agents also took his passports. Why? What evidence would his passports provide? We all know where he was from 20 January 2017 to 20 January 2021, and I am pretty sure the Secret Service knows where he has been since then.
FBI agents took hundreds of documents and photographs that were not classified. Again, why? If this is supposed to be a case of Donald Trump stealing and hoarding classified documents the FBI's seizure of items that are not marked classified is bogus and should warrant a criminal investigation of the 30 agents who spent 9 hours rifling through the president's personal belongings and Melania's underwear drawer.
They also took articles of clothing and gifts.
The confiscation of items totally unrelated to national security shows that far from upholding the Constitution, Biden's Boys were committing crimes. Taking Melania's panties -- or whatever articles of clothing they took -- is not an act of investigation. Confiscating personal items is intimidation.
"The USA is rapidly becoming a Third World Nation," Trump said. "Crooked Elections, No Borders, a Weaponized Justice Department & FBI, record setting INFLATION, highest ever Energy Prices (and everything else), and all, including our Military, is WOKE, WOKE, WOKE. Most dangerous time in the history of our Country!!!"
I'm gonna quit here and let all that sink in.