The Mahablog

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The Mahablog

It’s an Appeal!

This just in at WaPo:

The Justice Department said it would appeal a federal judge’s decision to appoint a special master to sift through thousands of documents the FBI seized from Donald Trump’s Florida residence on Aug. 8, according to a Thursday court filing.

The notice of appeal arrived three days after Judge Aileen M. Cannon ruled in favor of Trump and said she would appoint a special master, slowing — at least temporarily — an investigation into the possible mishandling of extremely sensitive classified information, as well as possible hiding, tampering or destruction of government records.

The Justice Department wrote in a brief filing that it would be appealing the decision to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. The notice paves the way for federal prosecutors to submit a detailed appeals brief to the 11th Circuit Court in Atlanta.

In a separate, simultaneous court filing, government prosecutors asked Cannon to stay her Sept. 5 decision on two key points: her order to temporarily halt a significant portion of the FBI investigation into the potential mishandling of classified information, and to allow a special master to review the classified material that is among the documents seized as part of a court-authorized search at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club on Aug. 8.

In the filing, prosecutors say that allowing a special master to review the classified material would “cause the most immediate and serious harms to the government and the public,” noting that those documents have already been moved to a secure facility, separate from the rest of the seized Trump papers. …

… Justice Department lawyers told Cannon they had already sorted through the documents, using a “filter team” to separate out more than 500 pages of documents potentially covered by attorney-client privilege. That arrangement was approved by the U.S. magistrate judge who authorized the search warrant for Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Florida home and private club, after the government tried for months to get Trump and his advisers to return all the government documents kept at the property.

The Justice Department also argued that a former president cannot assert executive privilege after he leaves office, and that it is not possible for one part of the executive branch to assert privilege to shield documents from another part.

The chief risk here is that the appeal process could take forever. And there’s no guarantee the government would win.

14 thoughts on “It’s an Appeal!

  1. So then. With the potential of the delay being a significant national security risk I’d sure like to think they could speed the process. Like get busy tomorrow.

    Not a lawyer but got a B in business law at Ohio State circa 1980.

  2. Game on!

    And I read that the wingnuts lost in Michigan, their abortion referendum will be on the ballot despitetherunontitle.

  3. Basically, the DOJ is saying to the tRUMPist judge, "OK, judge, we'll give you a 'mulligan' on the first one. 

    "Now, care to pick up the safety line we're sending you here, or do you want to double-down on 'the stupid,' and immortalize your name as the G.O.A.T. idiot in ''The Stupidest Lawyers EVER Hall of Shame?'"

    if she doesn't take this deal, then we'll know just how corrupt and stupid she really is!

  4. First, DoJ should appeal because the Lose Cannon decision must be challenged. It's wrong, biased, and sets a precedent of unequal justice based on status and wealth. That's not a guarantee the DoJ will win but accepting the decision grants a precedent that's truly evil.

    What will happen in an appeal court? No guarantees but every judge in the US has read the legal critiques (including Bill Barr's evaluation that it's BS.) So I don't believe there can be a full confirmation if any of the original decision survives at all. What MUST be struck down is not the appointment of a special master, but the only thing he/she needs to look at and for is discussion between Trump and a lawyer that's not a conspiracy to commit a crime. That matter which should be excluded probably has been excluded by the filter team but IF the higher court wants to be sure, the appointment of a special master should not be fatal to the prosecution. 

    Any discussion of executive privilege should be killed deader than a doornail. Papers that were generated PRIOR to Trump taking office probably are personal property. Anything generated in the four tragic years the orange blob defiled the White House probably are NOT personal property unless the content is totally unrelated to gov't related actions or the discussion of gov't related actions.

    The really good news is that DoJ seems to be committed to prosecuting this case.  Assuming the evidence and the law justify prosecution, which it does if the news accounts bear any resemblance to the facts. I'd be surprised if Trump can't delay the trial for two years. If he's charged, I think there's no chance Trump won't win the primary and lose the general. And go to trial. 

  5. Evidently her ruling was total hot mess. This is what happens when unqualified people are elevated to jobs above their competence.

    Like dumb ambitious state legislators writing laws against abortion who couldn't pass biology 101.

    Like that florida Senator who wants to get rid of social security who probably has no clue of who pays into it who draws it or why.

    I hope the DOJ plays the national security card and wins their appeal. They really do know how to handle the documents and loose cannon is clueless.

    The world is too complex for right wingers be entrusted with anything.

    • "The world is too complex for right wingers be entrusted with anything."

      It seems the "right wingers" of today act out whatever they think will get attention, using props to make their points.

      We need people who can think without props.

  6. The justice department needed to appeal this.  Judge Cannon was about to make a mess no one wanted to try to clean up.  Here again trying to make the square peg fit in the round hole if you will.  Solid and respected legal authorities who could see foreboding bad consequences of this approach felt compelled to go on record in this matter.  Their voices needed to be headed.  

    The presidentially pardoned Steve Bannon is now back in the jaws of justice.  He is once again accused of fleecing the flock with his build the wall show.  It seems presidential pardons are not a get out of jail free cards for state law offenses.  Bannon should not have run his scam in New York, where even gullible republicans are protected from hucksterism and grifters.  That does not happen in all states who usually just go with the old adage of the fool and their money are soon parted.  His scam seems really egregious even by New York standards, and old adages seem not to have quite as much standing there.  

    Dana Milbank pointed out in the Washington Post that Biden is wrong by calling MAGA republicans fascists or semi-so.  They are way more reactionary than that and more akin to Julius Ceasar of et tu, Brute fame. This prompted a comment from a reader writing under the label of bernie mcgloin. (He is a lower-case kind of guy)

    I use [sic] to think that Conservatives wanted to conserve the Constitution.


    Then I read the Constitution and its Amendments and composted it to what Conservatives say and do. They are opposites.


    Consrvatism [sic]was invented by philosophers paid by kings, to oppose democracy when jailing, torturing, killing, Liberals and pouring their heads on pikes in the town square wasnt [sic] working anymore.


    Conservatives opposed the Revolution, the Bill of Rights, and the 13th, 14th, 15th, 19th, and 25th Amendments.

    Twice impacted (for bringing his religion into Our courts) Judge Roy Moore said he opposed the first 27 Amendments to the Constitution (all of then [sic]) and got 48% of the vote in Alabama.


    Conservatives use political violence to attack political Equalty [sic], and ALWAYS HAVE!


    Conservatism is a Counter-Revolution against democracy and We the People.


    They want monarchy back, because they refuse to be Equal to other Citizens.

    You go bernie, the merits of your ideas well outweigh the burden on the reader and/or editor.  You see the big picture and paint it well.  Pardon my details.  


    • Yep, I am already done with the news from across the pond. The US media cant (wont) figure out that plastering the Queen of England's picture everywhere is an insult to a lot of folks 'round here and a middle finger to Americans everywhere that will still go over the barricades for Tom Jefferson. She was the ultimate conservative and fit your criteria above.

    • Consrvatism [sic]was invented by philosophers paid by kings, to oppose democracy when jailing, torturing, killing, Liberals and pouring their heads on pikes in the town square wasnt [sic] working anymore.

      That's brilliant.

  7. Thumbs up to the commentary here, starting with Maha's. 

    I want to share something that's been running through my mind after hearing details of the Cannon ruling and the analysis of it on fact-based media.  And I'd love to hear reactions from the regular posters here.

    My thought is this:  What insights might we gain from ceasing to think of the current judicial branch problems as being a result of Rump judges and instead think of those problematic judicial appointments as Pederalist Zociety judges?  One of the things TFG is extremely talented at is distraction.  He is likely a tool of the Pederalist Zociety.  Judges appointed?  Philosophers paid by kings?  Adjudicators paid by anti-Democracy oligarchs?  

    Then the fear part. How long has the Pederalist Zociety been packing the courts?  Has the oligarchic pseudo-conservative movement reached a point in history where they realize if they don't make their big move now, they will never have a better opportunity in the USA. What would the big move look like?  11th Circuit, in response to "suggestions" by a guy name Thomas, goes all in on corrupt action, fully public… "how are you going to stop us??". It goes to SCOTUS and corruption of the judicial branch is revealed from top to bottom.  Effectively the Judicial branch knee-caps the Executive branch (judges can order the DOJ to stop investigating certain selected criminal suspects). We already know the Judicial Branch can knee-cap the Legislative branch.  What happens when a due process impeachment of a Pederalist Zociety judge gets nullified through a legal action that can't be declared unconstitutional due to SCOTUS corruption?

    Wild imagination here.  Guess that makes me a conspiracy theorist. But maybe a conspiracy theory is only bad if it's used to justify law-breaking.


  8. Great comment by lower case bernie

    It recalls Phil Agre's essay (still online, search for it, too hard for me to post a link from this tablet) "What is conservativism and what is wrong with it"

  9. I urge everyone here to tead Digby's article on judge cannon. A less qualified person could hardly be found to sit in a federal judge's chair. The only thing she has done is be a federalist society member.

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