Posted: September 20, 2022 Filed under: just because
Today is a big day for the Trump stolen documents case. His response to the DOJ filing at the 11th Circuit appeals court was due at noon, and at 2PM the DOJ and Trump lawyers meet with Special Master Raymond Dearie in New York to discuss the process by which Dearie will review the stolen documents. The documents marked classified can’t be included in the review yet, because of the DOJ appeal asking the 11th Circuit for a stay on Judge Loose Cannon’s order that Trump lawyers review them with Dearie.
Yesterday Trump filed a response to a request from Dearie about Trump’s claims to have declassified documents. Kyle Cheney at Politico: Trump discovers he’s not in Cannon-land anymore.
The court-appointed “special master” reviewing documents the FBI seized during the Aug. 8 search has asked the former president to disclose details about any materials he claims to have declassified before calling them his property.
In a court filing Monday, Trump’s attorneys urged Raymond Dearie, the senior federal judge based in Brooklyn, to drop a component of his plan that includes asking Trump for those details. Disclosing those during the review, Trump’s attorneys said, was not a requirement of U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon’s order appointing Dearie as special master. And, they added, it could harm Trump’s defense against any forthcoming criminal charges.
“[T]he Special Master process will have forced the Plaintiff to fully and specifically disclose a defense to the merits of any subsequent indictment without such a requirement being evident in the District Court’s order,” the attorneys wrote.
Trump’s team’s comments came in response to a request from Dearie for a proposed agenda when he convenes the parties Tuesday for a preliminary conference in his Brooklyn courtroom. And it wasn’t their only gripe with Dearie’s “draft management plan” for the Mar-a-Lago review — which Trump himself demanded and for which his team picked Dearie as one of two acceptable options for the special master role.
Trump’s team also raised concerns about Dearie’s request for information about whether any subsequent Fourth Amendment litigation filed by Trump to reclaim the documents should be filed with the magistrate judge who authorized the search in the first place: Bruce Reinhart, who Trump has assailed without basis as biased against him.
And Trump’s lawyers also quibbled with Dearie’s proposed deadlines, contending that his draft plan “compresses the entirety of the inspection and labeling process to be completed by October 7, 2022.”
“We respectfully suggest that all of the deadlines can be extended to allow for a more realistic and complete assessment of the areas of disagreement,” his lawyers argued.
I guess the Trump team are now regretting that they asked for Dearie as special master. He expects them spell out the claims they have been making publicly, while avoiding discussing them in Loose Cannon’s court. She appeared to make decisions based on those public comments about declassification and Fourth Amendment violations even though the Trump lawyers didn’t argue them in their court filings. In addition, Trump’s lawyers came right out and admitted that he could be indicted.
Greg Sargent at The Washington Post: Trump’s lawyers just gave away the game, exposing his Achilles’ heel.
Throughout the Mar-a-Lago saga, it has been a running joke: Donald Trump and his media propagandists kept insisting he had declassified the documents he hoarded, supposedly proving his innocence. Yet his lawyers kept refusing to fully embrace this view, suggesting that as a legal argument, it’s rather worthless.
Now Trump’s trickery has run aground in spectacularly revealing fashion: In a new filing, Trump’s lawyers effectively admit they don’t want to address whether he declassified documents, while seeming to acknowledge he could face indictment.
This episode reveals the perils of lawyering by Fox News: If you tailor arguments to a forum where damning facts are never admitted as evidence and Trump’s defenses never face real scrutiny, eventually you’ll hit a wall of legal reality.
This bizarre turn came after Trump and the Justice Department submitted filings to Judge Raymond Dearie, the special master conducting a review of documents that the department secured in the search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, in response to Trump’s demands for that review.
In their filing, Trump’s lawyers responded to a plan Dearie suggested for this process. While that plan is not public, the Trump team’s objections provide a glimpse of it. As The Post
In their filing, Trump’s lawyers responded to a plan Dearie suggested for this process. While that plan is not public, the Trump team’s objections provide a glimpse of it. As The Post reports
“Specifically, the legal team objected to what it said was Dearie’s request that it ‘disclose specific information regarding declassification to the Court and to the Government.'”
That’s not all Trump’s legal team said, however. There’s also this:
“Trump’s lawyers wrote that they don’t want Dearie to force Trump to “fully and specifically disclose a defense to the merits of any subsequent indictment without such a requirement being evident in the District Court’s order” — a remarkable statement that acknowledges at least the possibility that the former president or his aides could be criminally charged.”
Here’s what this means: Dearie essentially asked Trump’s lawyers to put up or shut up. And they chose Door No. 2.
Trump has been claiming he believes he owns the stolen documents. Maggie Haberman published this scoop last night at The New York Times: Trump Was Warned Late Last Year of Potential Legal Peril Over Documents.
A onetime White House lawyer under President Donald J. Trump warned him late last year that Mr. Trump could face legal liability if he did not return government materials he had taken with him when he left office, three people familiar with the matter said.
The lawyer, Eric Herschmann, sought to impress upon Mr. Trump the seriousness of the issue and the potential for investigations and legal exposure if he did not return the documents, particularly any classified material, the people said.
The account of the conversation is the latest evidence that Mr. Trump had been informed of the legal perils of holding onto material that is now at the heart of a Justice Department criminal investigation into his handling of the documents and the possibility that he or his aides engaged in obstruction.
In January, not long after the discussion with Mr. Herschmann, Mr. Trump turned over to the National Archives 15 boxes of material he had taken with him from the White House. Those boxes turned out to contain 184 classified documents, the Justice Department has said.
But Mr. Trump continued to hold onto a considerable cache of other documents, including some with the highest security classification, until returning some under subpoena in June and having even more seized in a court-authorized search of his Mar-a-Lago residence and private club by F.B.I. agents last month.
The precise date of the late 2021 meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Herschmann is unclear. It was also unclear what, if any, awareness Mr. Herschmann had of what was in the boxes when the subject was discussed.
But by then, the National Archives had told associates of Mr. Trump that it was missing documents like original copies of his presidential correspondence with the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and the letter left for him by President Barack Obama. Archives officials said they had been told by then that there were roughly two dozen boxes of documents that had been in the White House residence and which qualified as presidential records, which had never been sent to the archives.
The meeting with Judge Dearie is going on now and Josh Gerstein of Politico is in the courtroom.
Trump’s lawyers have also filed a response to the DOJ’s appeal to the 11th Circuit.
Harry Litman posted a series of tweets about the Trump response.
We can’t know how long the appeal will take, but experts are saying the 11th circuit quick response the the DOJ appeal suggests they may act quickly.
There is plenty of other news, but I’m just going to post links, because I’m not feeling well today. It’s just stomach troubles, but it’s interfering with my ability to concentrate and write.
Important News Links:
CNN: Hurricane Fiona left 1 million without running water in Dominican Republic and much of Puerto Rico without power. Now it’s slamming the Turks and Caicos.
The Washington Post: Video appears to undercut Trump elector’s account of alleged voting-data breach in Georgia.
The New York Times: Videos Show Trump Allies Handling Georgia Voting Equipment.
CNN: These male politicians are pushing for women who receive abortions to be punished with prison time.
Charlotte Shane at Harpers: The Right to Not Be Pregnant.
William Saletan at The Bulwark: The Chaotic Politics of Lindsey Graham’s Abortion Bill.
The Guardian: Criminal investigation launched into DeSantis asylum seeker flights.
Charlotte Alter at Time: Conspiracy Theorists Want to Run America’s Elections. These Are the Candidates Standing in Their Way.
Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday Sky Dancers!!