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Today’s News on Trump’s Legal Problems

Judge Aileen Cannon is now hearing Trump’s case for getting a special master to review the documents seized by the FBI at Mar-a-Lago. If she has half a brain she’ll say no. I bet the DoJ already has an appeal ready to file in case she says yes.

Last night Trump’s new lawyers — the old ones are too compromised to continue — filed a response to the DoJ’s argument against a special master. The weirdest thing I’ve read about it is that it argues people should have expected that Trump would be keeping classified documents in his home. CNN:

Former President Donald Trump argued in a court filing Wednesday that the National Archives should have expected to find classified material among the 15 boxes Trump turned over in January from Mar-a-Lago because they were presidential records.

The filing, his closing written legal argument before a critical hearing Thursday, acknowledged that classified material was found at Mar-a-Lago, but argued that it should not have been cause for alarm — and should not have led to the search of Trump’s Florida residence earlier this month.

I believe this is referring to this language on page 3 of Trump’s filing.

The purported justification for the initiation of this criminal probe was the alleged discovery of sensitive information contained within the 15 boxes of Presidential records [recovered in January 2022]. But this “discovery” was to be fully anticipated given the very nature of Presidential records. Simply put, the notion that Presidential records would contain sensitive information should have never been cause for alarm. Rather, as contemplated under the PRA, NARA should have simply followed up with Movant in a good faith effort to secure the recovery of the Presidential records.

The fact that NARA  had been trying to recover those documents since spring of 2021, and continued to try to work with Trump to recover the documents from January until August 8, when the FBI executed the search warrant, kind of plants this statement in the Land of Eternal Giant Face Palms. Here’s a timeline of all the backing-and-forthing between Trump and NARA.

The Presidential Records Act is clear that absolutely none of those records, sensitive or not, should have been taken to Mar-a-Lago. The only correct thing for Trump to have done, beyond not taking the documents in the first place, would have been to turn all government documents over to NARA in May 2021, when NARA first asked for them. But he didn’t. If the judge gives even a glimmer of credence to Trump’s argument here, the judge is corrupt.

Last night’s filing also undermines Trump’s previous arguments that the classified documents had been magically declassified, nor did it try to claim the documents had been planted. Aaron Blake:

Suddenly, they contended that the documents were indeed there, but they were Trump’s “own Presidential records.” And not only did the Trump team again decline to actually claim in court that he had declassified the documents; the team said it would be “appropriate” for the special master it wants to review the documents “to possess a Top Secret” security clearance.

It’s not the first time Trump’s legal strategy hasn’t matched his out-of-court bluster. But it was the most significant indication to date of the asymmetry between the two.

Instead, Trump’s new legal team is arguing that Trump was not doing anything unlawful by hanging on to his presidential records. Aaron Blake:

It begins with a reference to the idea that the FBI is criminalizing “a former President’s possession of personal and Presidential records” and later refers, again, to “the lawful possession of presidential documents.”

It derides the idea that Trump “has ‘no right’ to possess Presidential documents” and that he “illegally” possessed them.

Not enough face palm GIFs in the world, I say. I liked this bit, too, in which Trump’s lawyers argue that Trump does too have standing to object to a search of his home. This is from Trump’s filing:

The convoluted theory, which appears to be that the Biden administration will not allow President Trump to assert executive privilege and consequently he has “no right” to possess Presidential documents, and that, therefore, he has no standing to object to their seizure, is contrary to the well-established doctrine of standing.

The lawyers on MSNBC last night were calling this filing nonsense, or similar. I don’t think they even wanted to waste time and breath making specific objections. It was all too ridiculous.

Other stuff to read: See Steve Benen, MSNBC, What Republicans refuse to grasp about the ‘Clinton standard’. Also see Greg Sargent, A Trump lawyer’s ludicrous spin on ‘Hannity’ unmasks the Fox News ruse. This is about what Fox News viewers are hearing about the legal fight over the document.

Also, too, Trump and his accounting firm have reached a deal to give financial records to the House Oversight Committee. This puts an end to one of the several pending lawsuits Trump is dealing with. However, this isn’t all of the financial records.

Finally, here’s a big headline saying Ginni Thomas pressed Wisconsin lawmakers to overturn Biden’s 2020 victory.

15 thoughts on “Today’s News on Trump’s Legal Problems

  1. Just for the Lols, note that Judge Cannon did not rule from the bench but instead put it on hold for a bit… no doubt to contact her handlers at the Federalist Society, which she is a "member" of.

    I am waiting to see if she drank the koolaid or not. She hails from Cali, Columbia and all I know about that place is that it is, um, a place to flee from for your life.

    • Your thinking mirrors mine.  I immediately suspected that this tRump appointed Judge is going to take her time.  Then find some legal fiction to give tRump the delays that all of his legal strategies seem based upon.

      I also will not be surprised if The Donald gave himself a Pocket Pardon before he left office.  That would be good for several years delay before the Supremes would rule on it.

    • I would think the Department of Justice is not without some authority to give the judge a deadline, considering that national security is on the line. She can't drag this out forever.

      • Court process…

        When the Federal Courts cooperate with the delaying party, they have a lot of ways to make the process take a very long time.

        The Judge can take a week or two before issuing a ruling that the DOJ feels they have to appeal.  The Appeals Court (if that is the next step) can 'expedite the case' so it 'only' takes a month and then that is appealed.  If/when it gets to the Supremes, they can take the case and put it on this year's docket to have hearings this fall and give a ruling next year (or later).  

        As a reminder, the case the Supremes used to reverse Roe v Wade could have had hearings before the 2020 elections.  Roberts put off the hearings for a year and then waited until the end of June to publicly announce the decision.

      • Delays will be to potential DOJ processes.  The intelligence agencies are (and should be) moving as quickly as possible in reviewing risks to intelligence sources and methods.  It is probable that the intelligence agencies will view everything in what has been recovered as compromised.

  2. Ginni Thomas is a busy bee. I saw a clip of her praising Leonard Leo not long ago. Wonder how much of the 1.6 billion she gets. Surely she has a "nonprofit" to stash it in.

  3. OT:  I'm looking forward to Biden's speech in a few minutes.

    tRUMP, a one-term presiDUNCE, kinda reminds me of Glenn Close's character in "Fatal Attraction."

    He can't take no for an answer.

    Btw:  The reason the penalties are stiffer for holding onto secret documents is thanks to a bill tRUMP pushed (based on Hillary's e-mail anthill turned into Mt. Everest.  And he-s the idiot who signed the law that may (hopefully) send him to prison for a while!

    tRUMP hoped to ensnare her.

    But instead, in typical tRUMP fashion, he stepped on his dick, tripped, and fell into his own trap.

    Also too:  I don't think, like most earlier POTUS's, that when he finally dies (YAY!!!!!) he'll be allowed to lie-in-state at the US Capitol.

    Maybe they can let him lie-in-state in a more appropriate location:  New York City's garbage landfill on Staten Island.

  4. Regarding the Federalist Society: Why should they be friendly to tRump (relative to DeSantis)?  What I see as the best outcome for the fascist Federalists is to gain the WH, which won't happen with tRump. They want to focus the loyalty of the cult to transfer to someone just as twisted but more effective. If the person they select to run can be framed as tRump's defender and not his opponent and the blame for tRumps predicament can be blamed on Dems…

    More than a few Trump appointees rejected the Big Lie in their courtroom. I'm not jumping to conclusions – it's up to her (the judge) to show if she's impartial. I can see how a special master might decide on stuff between Rudy and The Don… or others with a law license. Executive privilege can only be extended by the current POTUS. If the judge allows blanket executive privilege as a standard for the special master, I hope the decision is appealed.

    Almost as a knee-jerk reaction, tRump will drag this out. Problem: as I read accounts, the GOP is suggesting TFG wait until this is behind him before he declares for 2024. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think that's what they mean – if you can't clear it up this year, DON'T RUN! TFG is going to be THE reason the GOP does not take the Senate in 2022.  Taking the House is still possible, but news of TFG playing around with national secrets is swaying independent voters. If TFG is up to his neck in public litigation a year from now, the GOP stands to lose more seats in the Senate AND lose the House. And forget about the White House.

    Watch DeSantis. He wants to be POTUS and he'll want tRump to bow out because of criminal litigation. One possible ploy will be for DeSantis to propose he's more electable than tRump (probably true) and will pardon tRump if elected (and if TFG will bow out.) I don't think TFG will go for it and I'm praying for a cage match to the death between those two fascists. 

    • I'm sure there's many fascists who are more than ready to trade Trump for DeSantis. But all of them want to gum up the works when it comes to prosecuting any of them. None of them wants to be the one who brought Trump down, leave that to the non-fascists, like Fanni Willis.

  5. Imo:  Uncle Joe Biden's "Soul of America" was terrific.

    And short – which is perfect for today's Americans!

    Biden even called out to a heckler with a bullhorn somewhere out in the street.

    He said, You can do that in a democracy.

    It was a brilliant set-up if his team thought of that.  But I think it was Biden being Biden, which is better.  It was an authentic moment.

    All D candidates need to do to in their races, is play that clip of Biden and the heckler, and juxtapose it to tRUMP egging his crowds to beat-up protesters at his MAGA hate rallies.

  6. I didn't watch / hear the Biden speech, only skimmed the reviews. I'm glad he's moved past his glory 20th century days in the Senate when people from both parties could go out for drinks. I'm also glad he met with historians to bring him up to speed on where this country is. 

    I don't think he fully gets where the Republican party is, when he blames Trump, or sees fascism as a top-down thing. When he states that MAGA is a minority faction, when in fact, it's taken over the Republican party, ejecting the sane Republicans.

    Fascism requires demagogues like Trump or DeSantis, but it also requires a ton of disaffected, propagandized people who want the demagogue. I still don't think Joe gets it, or he's deliberately painting a certain hopeful fiction in an attempt to change this state of affairs.

    • So true. He kind of semi-gets it or he is trying to be polite.  MAGAs do not understand polite or many other finer things in life.  So much to hate so little time for other things.  

    • Yeah, well, I am sick and tired of being bullied by the "take it to the limit, one more time" HS dropouts. I am (flabbergasted) stoked that the bankers' senator is actually calling the GOP on their bull crap. 

      I find it hilarious when they call the notorious "bakers' senator" from the first on-shore, off-shore bankers paradise state a socialist.

      They think their words have power, but the jig is up so everyone knows that anything that comes out of a GOPer is completely made up trash or a misdirection.



    •  or he's deliberately painting a certain hopeful fiction in an attempt to change this state of affairs.

      Yeah, thats all he can do. Although I'd prefer to call it a vision rather than a fiction. An appeal to decency with the knowledge that almost all Americans respond to decency and truth. It is Trump and the MAGA leadership that has lead so many astray into believing that winning at any cost is the ultimate value. 


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