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FBI Raids Mar-a-Lago

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  • edited September 6
    If the nightly network news is a reflection of what the vast majority of Americans care about, than we are indeed in trouble. I watch primarily out of habit, but also to try and understand what folks care about.

    Lately, weather’s been the lead story - even on days when it doesn’t deserve to be. Folks must love seeing a roof blown off a building or someone wading through waist-high water. Throw in a bizarre / mysterious disappearance or unsolved murder - preferably involving a caucasian person. Than add the obligatory human interest story like the one about the boy who (unfortunately) rolled out of a bunk bed at summer camp and needed countless sutures at the hospital to repair the damage.

    Rarely nowadays is there any reference to the land war in Europe, or the constitutional issues surrounding the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago. Little, if anything, is said about the teetering economy, rising interest rates, falling stock market or growing number of Americans unable to provide for themselves. Little about our chronically underfunded public education system makes the evening newscast. Oops … therein lies a big part of the problem..

    (That’s a nicely written piece Lewis posted!)
  • Yes, it is. Murdoch and Trump deserve each other. Both are complete slimes.
  • edited September 7
    There's an excellent longform Frontline (PBS) that first aired last night: "Lies, Politics, and Democracy" about the rise of Trump and the neo-fascists. As they usually do, the Frontline folks put together the story we've seen in bits and pieces over time in the MSM into a coherent, truthful whole.

    Tidbit: Trump has always claimed he was robbed and cheated, essentially every time he lost at something, including not winning an Emmy for his tv program.

    That link seems to be stuck starting ~ 1:24 of the program for me. If it comes up that way for you, just move the slider back to the beginning.
  • Thank you, Mitch McConnell. Your judicial appointments are really starting to pay off!
  • edited September 7
    Note the parallels to Bush v. Gore: (1) The crap about needing to protect Dump's "reputation" and the "unfair to Bush" rationale for stopping the vote count in 2000; (2) Both: It's not to be taken as a precedent for anything! (Especially for the other side using the same rationale found nowhere in law.)

  • @AndyJ- thanks for the Frontline Info- I'll be sure to take a look at that.
    OJ
  • @AndyJ- my wife and I watched that tonight- it was very well done, and solidly called out the Republicans for what they did and what they are, at least for now. We are in a very precarious situation as a nation.
    OJ
  • gonna watch that frontline thing. the link works fine, normally. thank you very much. probably no surprises. that party ceased to be a party and became an insurgency long ago. remember gingrich as house speaker? it started before that. Bring back Ike. THERE was a Republican.
  • @Old_Joe & @Crash: + 1. Frontline is so good at building a full, cohesive, well supported narrative of whatever they investigate. And that opening sequence of the losing candidates' concessions going back halfway to forever, followed by Dump's Big Lie, is a great stroke.
  • "hat opening sequence of the losing candidates' concessions going back halfway to forever, followed by Dump's Big Lie, is a great stroke"

    For sure- a great way to set the stage by establishing the "normal".
  • edited September 8
    Well, the Justice Department has filed an appeal of Judge Aileen Cannon's granting former President Trump's request for a special master. The appeal itself is some 54 pages long, and while I certainly didn't read the entirety, I did skim enough to find it very interesting. Reduced to a minimum, it says that Trump ain't entitled to nothin' noways nohow.

    If you're interested, here's the link: NPR Report

    And here's a link to the actual PDF of the appeal itself.

    Summary of Argument:

    Plaintiff’s motion to appoint a special master, enjoin further review of seized materials, and require the return of seized items fails for multiple, independent reasons. As an initial matter, the former President lacks standing to seek judicial relief or oversight as to Presidential records because those records do not belong to him. The Presidential Records Act makes clear that “[t]he United States” has “complete ownership, possession, and control” of them. 44 U.S.C. § 2202. Furthermore, this Court lacks jurisdiction to adjudicate Plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment challenges to the validity of the search warrant and his arguments for returning or suppressing the materials seized. For those reasons and others, Plaintiff has shown no basis for the Court to grant injunctive relief. Plaintiff is not likely to succeed on the merits; he will suffer no injury absent an injunction—let alone an irreparable injury; and the harms to the government and the public would far outweigh any benefit to Plaintiff.

    Even if the Court had jurisdiction to entertain Plaintiff’s claims, appointment of a special master is unnecessary and would significantly harm important governmental interests, including national security interests. Appointment of a special master is disfavored in a case such as this. In any event, the government’s filter team has already completed its work of segregating any seized materials that are potentially subject to attorney-client privilege, and the government’s investigative team has already reviewed all of the remaining materials, including any that are potentially subject to claims of executive privilege. Appointment of a special master to review materials potentially subject to claims of executive privilege would be particularly inappropriate because binding Supreme Court precedent forecloses Plaintiff’s argument that review of these materials by personnel within the Executive Branch raises any such privilege concerns. Furthermore, appointment of a special master would impede the government’s ongoing criminal investigation and—if the special master were tasked with reviewing classified documents—would impede the Intelligence Community from conducting its ongoing review of the national security risk that improper storage of these highly sensitive materials may have caused and from identifying measures to rectify or mitigate any damage that improper storage caused. Lastly, this case does not involve any of the types of circumstances that have warranted appointment of a special master to review materials potentially subject to attorney-client privilege
  • makes perfect sense.
  • edited September 8
    The only problem with Frontline is that it’s preaching to the choir. Does anyone think neo-Nazi scumbags watch PBS? I still think the musical Cabaret should be mandatory viewing. Might possibly leave an impact on some of those lost soles. Ah - wishing for too much,

    A bit out to lunch here. But, the Master Special is just a stalling technique. Might work. By the time he / she “finishes” the work (assuming that ever happens) the fox in the coup will be running again.


    PS - Thanks OJ for the update on the appeal. I wasn’t aware.
  • edited September 8
    Nothing is going to turn the "neo-Nazi scumbags," and nobody thinks they watch PBS. It's no use bemoaning the fact they don't hear anything but far right propaganda.

    There are Main Street-type conservatives and, probably more important, politically naive folks who support and watch public television, and who knows, a few of them might actually watch investigative reporting from highly regarded sources like Frontline. And something like the program we were talking about might make a whole slug of people who are disappointed with D's for not doing enough get out and vote instead of skipping it altogether.

    Plus there are subtler effects. Good reporting affects other reporting. That's how the bothsider rot of "debating" global warming with a Myron Ebell-type denier on one side and a "moderate" D on the other finally went away. Plus, maybe a non-Trumper takes away a few gems he can talk about with his pro-bid'ness-but-not-enamored-of-Trump brother in law who's only in it for the tax cuts.

    Turning Nazis is not a reasonable objective for Frontline or any other sane news source, we shouldn't expect it to be, and we don't need to turn a single one of them to make this nation better than it is.
  • You’re more optimist than I am. Hope you’re right that PBS might be able to alter some folks’ perception's.

    Thanks for replying.
  • edited September 8
    just watched the frontline show. very well put together---- apart from the universal complaint i have with the fabulous people whose job title is "sound mixer." Why does the BACKGROUND track always overwhelm the NARRATION we're supposed to focus upon?????? ..... Anyway, we all know the truth, though some want to hide from it, and the Repugnant Party has not only lost its soul, but become an anti-democratic weapon. Shameless lickers of pig testicles. Apart from Flake, Corker, Cheney, Kinzinger. Maybe that Alaska Senator: Murkowski. And Romney..... But they ALL went along with so much shit, along the way. A putrid legacy to leave behind. Meanwhile, the Orange Abortion is STILL being treated with kid gloves. Shit.
  • hank said:

    You’re more optimist than I am. Hope you’re right that PBS might be able to alter some folks’ perception's.

    Thanks for replying.

    Thanks for checking back in. I'm not as optimistic as maybe that sounds. After the insanity of letting climate chaos in the door after 30 years of knowing it's coming and still doing nothing, all I think it's possible to do about anything is just make it better, not actually fix it. I do get excited about it, though, as you can probably tell.

    I think I'll go post a heartwarming Queen E. story.
  • edited September 9
    PBS / Frontline do some brilliant unvarnished investigative work. One reason why the right has consistently denounced them and taken away / or threatened to take away public funding. I was too harsh. It should be said that if the documentary can convince a single mind bent on some type of authoritarian / violence-cloaked regime here to see the errors of their way and come to appreciate why the present system is so far superior to what they aspire to, than PBS can claim success.
  • Dearie reports to Cannon?! Shit.
  • @Crash- Well, of course he would report to her. But perhaps you haven't realized that Judge Dearie has already started to make life difficult for Trump: first, he's set a no-nonsense timetable which defeats Trump's efforts to delay and procrastinate.

    Second, and more interestingly, he's directed Trump to specify exactly which documents he has allegedly declassified. He's not buying the proposition that Trump just waved his hands over a bunch of cardboard boxes and solemnly intoned "I hereby declassify thee".

    I think that it's a safe bet that Trump hasn't the slightest idea exactly what documents were in those boxes, and that he won't be able to explain how they might have been declassified if he can't document that process in a believable manner.

    Judge Dearie doesn't come across as anybody's pushover. His background experience includes a fair amount of work involving highly classified documents, and I doubt that he's real happy about this whole thing.
  • edited September 20
    More on this, just in from NPR-
    WASHINGTON — The independent arbiter tasked with inspecting documents seized in an FBI search of former President Donald Trump's Florida home said Tuesday he intends to push briskly though the review process and appeared skeptical of the Trump team's reluctance to say whether it believed the records had been declassified.

    "We're going to proceed with what I call responsible dispatch," Raymond Dearie, a veteran Brooklyn judge, told lawyers for Trump and the Justice Department in their first meeting since his appointment last week as a so-called special master.

    The purpose of the meeting was to sort out next steps in a review process expected to slow by weeks, if not months, the criminal investigation into the retention of top-secret information at Mar-a-Lago after Trump left the White House. As special master, Dearie will be responsible for sifting through the thousands of documents recovered during the Aug. 8 FBI search and segregating those protected by claims of executive privilege or attorney-client privilege.

    Dearie wants to know if the papers were classified

    Though Trump's lawyers had requested the appointment of a special master to ensure an independent review of the documents, one of the former president's attorneys, James Trusty, made clear they were concerned that Dearie's proposed deadlines were too ambitious.

    The lawyers are also resisting Dearie's request for information about whether the seized records had been declassified, as Trump has maintained. In a letter to Dearie on Monday night, the lawyers said that issue could be part of Trump's defense in the event of an indictment.

    But Dearie appeared unsatisfied with that position. He said if Trump's lawyers will not actually assert that the records have been declassified and the Justice Department instead makes an acceptable case that they remain classified, then "as far as I'm concerned, that's the end of it."

    Trusty said the Trump team should not be forced at this point to disclose a possible defense based on the idea that the records had been declassified. He denied that the lawyers were trying to engage in "gamesmanship" but instead believed it was a process that required "baby steps."

    But Dearie at one point observed: "I guess my view of it is, you can't have your cake and eat it" too.

    Trump had suggested using this judge as special master

    Trump has maintained without evidence that all of the records were declassified; his lawyers have not echoed that claim, though they have repeatedly asserted that a president has absolute authority to declassify information, and they said in a separate filing Tuesday that the Justice Department had not proven that the records remained classified.

    "As someone who has been president of the United States, he has unfettered access along with unfettered declassification authority," Trusty said Tuesday.

    The resistance to the judge's request was notable because it was Trump's lawyers, not the Justice Department, who had requested the appointment of a special master and because the recalcitrance included an acknowledgment that the probe could be building toward an indictment.

    In the letter, Trump's lawyers said the time for addressing that question would be if they pressed forward with demands for the Justice Department to return some of the property taken from Mar-a-Lago.

    "Otherwise, the Special Master process will have forced the Plaintiff to fully and specifically disclose a defense to the merits of any subsequent indictment." they wrote.

    The Trump team also asked the judge to consider pushing back all of the deadlines for his review. That work includes inspecting the roughly 11,000 documents, including about 100 marked as classified, that were taken during the FBI's search.

    The special master is only part of the legal tussle

    U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee who granted the Trump team's request for a special master, had set a Nov. 30 deadline for Dearie's review and instructed him to prioritize his inspection of classified records. The Justice Department has asked a federal appeals court to halt Cannon's order requiring it to provide him with classified documents for his review. That appeal is pending.

    Dearie, a Ronald Reagan appointee whose name is on the atrium of his Brooklyn courthouse, made clear during Tuesday's meeting that he intended to meet the deadlines, saying there was "little time" to complete the assigned tasks.

    Julie Edelstein, a Justice Department lawyer, said she was hopeful that the department could get the documents digitized and provided to Trump's lawyers by early next week. She noted that the department had given the legal team a list of five vendors approved by the government for the purposes of scanning, hosting and otherwise processing the seized records.

    After some haggling, Dearie instructed Trusty's lawyers to choose a vendor by Friday.

    Earlier Tuesday, the Trump legal team urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit to leave in place Cannon's order temporarily barring the Justice Department's use of the classified records for its criminal investigation while Dearie completes his review. The department has said that order has impeded its investigation into the presence of top-secret information at Mar-a-Lago.

    Trump's lawyers called those concerns overblown, saying investigators could still do other work on the probe even without scrutinizing the seized records.

    "Ultimately, any brief delay to the criminal investigation will not irreparably harm the Government," Trump's lawyers wrote. "The injunction does not preclude the Government from conducting a criminal investigation, it merely delays the investigation for a short period while a neutral third party reviews the documents in question."
    Note- Emphasis in the preceding was added.
  • edited September 20
    It appears that Trump was warned of the legal perils of holding government documents but he apparently ignored these warnings.

    "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."

    Link

  • OH, yes- he was told, and told, and told. But, you know, he's not a great listener, especially to anything that he doesn't like to hear.
  • edited September 21
    Old_Joe said:

    OH, yes- he was told, and told, and told. But, you know, he's not a great listener, especially to anything that he doesn't like to hear.

    First, Thanks to @Old_Joe for adding so much pertinent documentation to the thread.

    It’s hard for me to discuss this rationally due to the loathing I have held for the individual being discussed going back many years. I can’t say I’ve ever known anyone like that in my long life. I’ve been around the super rich before - while working at a northern Michigan resort as a teen. (Per Gertrude Stein, they really are “different” - or so it seemed.) And I’ve known some very arrogant men, including a distant uncle or two. But those did not posses great wealth. Put the two ingredients together (wealth + arrogance) and it must produce a very toxic brew.

    Yikes - imagine having him for a neighbor. Better lock things up good when you leave the house. Better hope it’s still there when you return!

    image
  • edited September 21
    Another setback for Trump-

    “For our part, we cannot discern why [Trump] would have an individual interest in or need for any of the one-hundred documents with classification markings,”


    The following excerpts from The Washington Post article have been edited for brevity:
    An appeals court sided with the Justice Department in a legal fight over classified documents seized in a court-authorized search of former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, ruling Wednesday that the FBI may use the documents in its ongoing criminal investigation.

    In the ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta found fault with Trump’s rationale that the classified documents in particular might be his property, rather than the government’s. The appeals court also disagreed with the rationale used by U.S. District Court Judge Aileen M. Cannon.

    “For our part, we cannot discern why [Trump] would have an individual interest in or need for any of the one-hundred documents with classification markings,” the court wrote, noting that the stay is a temporary decision and should not be considered a final decision on the merits of the case.

    The panel found particularly unpersuasive the repeated suggestions by Trump’s legal team that he may have declassified the documents — citing an appearance by Trump’s attorneys on Tuesday before special master Raymond Dearie, who pressed them to say whether the former president had acted to declassify the material in question.

    “Plaintiff suggests that he may have declassified these documents when he was President. But the record contains no evidence that any of these records were declassified. And before the special master, Plaintiff resisted providing any evidence that he had declassified any of these documents,” the panel wrote. “In any event, at least for these purposes, the declassification argument is a red herring because declassifying an official document would not change its content or render it personal.”

    The lower court “abused its discretion in exercising jurisdiction ... as it concerns the classified documents,” the panel wrote in a 29-page opinion. Two of the judges on the panel were appointed by Trump; the third was an Obama appointee.

    Last week, the Justice Department filed papers asking the appeals court to quickly review part of Cannon’s decision in which she appointed a special master to review the seized documents.

    Prosecutors have argued that two parts of her order — allowing the special master to review the roughly 100 documents that were marked classified, and halting the criminal investigation surrounding those documents while the special master conducts a review — jeopardize national security interests.

    Cannon, a federal judge in Florida, appointed Raymond J. Dearie, a federal judge in New York City, to serve as special master and review the almost 11,000 documents seized in the FBI’s Aug. 8 search.

    The appeals court decision simplifies the special master’s work, removing the classified documents from the equation — though Dearie had signaled at a meeting Tuesday that he would probably avoid reviewing the classified documents if he could.

    At that hearing, Justice Department lawyers had indicated they might appeal the issue to the Supreme Court if they lost at the 11th Circuit; it’s unclear if Trump’s legal team would file such an appeal now that the panel has ruled against them.
    Note: Text emphasis in the above excerpt was added.

    Personal note: The 11th Circuit Court has a reputation for seeing things from a very Conservative point of view. If Trump was counting on that for support it appears that his judgement is once again extremely questionable. The court, in fact, sounded downright pissed. For what it's worth, two of the three judges were appointed by... yes, Trump.

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