With a Florida court appointing the promised special master to handle the records stolen from his residence and then rejecting the Department of Justice’s request to begin analyzing sensitive data, President Donald J. Trump has once again triumphed over the extremely politicized FBI.
Alternatively, federal judge Aileen Cannon sided with Trump, granting his request for court intervention and appointing Senior District Judge Raymond Dearie as a “special master” to review records seized by the FBI, which Trump claims were designated and declassified while he was President. This was seen as a blow to the DOJ.
Dearie is being urged by Cannon in her decision to finish his review by Nov. 30, which is more time than the DOJ requested.
For the second time in a row, Cannon rejects the demands of the DOJ by citing “media leaks.”
Last month, Trump’s attorneys requested that a third party be assigned to evaluate the documents in order to weed out those that fall under the purview of executive privilege or attorney-client confidentiality.
On Thursday night, Judge Aileen Cannon made her judgment public, stating that she had rejected the government’s appeal and appointed the special master by selecting Dearie, a federal judge who had been chosen by President Ronald Regan.
Cannon’s activities follow a bold August raid on Trump’s family home in Florida, during which 11,000 federal documents were taken from the residence.
“Trump is at the center of a legal battle over thousands of government documents found by FBI agents at his Mar-a-Lago home. Not only were official files supposed to be handed to the national archives when he left office, but many bore ‘classified’ markings.
The Thursday ruling could further complicate the investigation, preventing prosecutors from reviewing some documents as they weigh what action to take against the former president.
The Justice Department said a third-party review was unnecessary in this case. But when the court ruled that it would appoint a ‘special master’ government lawyers said they would accept Dearie, the former chief judge of the federal court based in Brooklyn, in the role,” according to the Daily Mail.
They did, however, file an appeal, requesting permission to keep scrutinizing papers and arguing that 100 documents designated “classified” should be exempt from the review.
In his report on Cannon’s choice, Kyle Cheney said:
“CANNON order on the special master suggests Dearie will make recommendations to her about any assertions of executive privilege by Trump.
“On DOJ’s claims about the classified docs: “The Court does not find it appropriate to accept the Government’s conclusions on these important and disputed issues without further review by a neutral third party in an expedited and orderly fashion.
CANNON says DOJ can continue pursuing criminal aspects of their probe that don’t include showing the seized materials to witnesses, and says they can brief Congress on the matter.”
On DOJ's claims about the classified docs: "The Court does not find it appropriate to accept the Government’s conclusions on these important and disputed issues without further review by a neutral third party in an expedited and orderly fashion." https://t.co/eWnxByvWGn
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) September 15, 2022
CANNON says DOJ can continue pursuing criminal aspects of their probe that don't include showing the seized materials to witnesses, and says they can brief Congress on the matter. https://t.co/eWnxByvWGn pic.twitter.com/MpcL3Ush7b
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) September 15, 2022
It contended that, even if the records were secret, it made no sense to say that the government had no right to examine them.
In its appeal, the plaintiff claimed that the “Plaintiff does not and could not assert that he owns or has any possessory interest in classified records; that he has any right to have those government records returned to him; or that he can advance any plausible claims of attorney-client privilege as to such records that would bar the government from reviewing or using them,.”
Cannon explained her choice by stating that it was debatable whether the data were actually classified.
‘In many respects, the government’s position thus presupposes the content, designation, and associated interests in materials under its control—yet, as the parties’ competing filings reveal, there are disputes as to the proper designation of the seized materials, the legal implications flowing from those designations, and the intersecting bodies of law permeating those designations,’ she stated.
According to The Daily Mail:
“The result is that she pressed ahead with appointing Dearie, who has extensive experience in handling cases involving sensitive intelligence.
He was the top prosecutor in Brooklyn, New York, before being appointed to the federal bench by Ronald Reagan in 1986.
His docket included high-profile terrorism cases – including some from overseas.
He has also served on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which authorizes Justice Department wiretap applications for investigations into suspected foreign agents.
For his part, Trump has denied any wrongdoing and insists he is the victim of a political conspiracy to knock him out of the 2024 election.
He told radio host Hugh Hewitt that the Department of Justice had no justification for its actions.
More on this story via The Republic Brief.