earlier this year, donald trump scored a string of victories when he got a federal judge to act essentially for him in the Justice Department’s criminal investigation into his handling of classified documents. The first victory came when this judge, Aileen cannon granted Trump’s request for a special master to review the 11,000 government documents seized in Mar-a-Lago in August, barring prosecutors from continuing to use the documents until the review was complete. The second, arguably more absurd, victory came a few weeks later, when Cannon decided that Trump did not have to comply with an order from her newly-appointed special master, who instructed him to write an affidavit detailing exactly what he thought after the FBI placed when they searched his home, a baseless claim he had yelled without any evidence since the bureau had legally executed a search warrant at his for-profit club/private home.
Not surprisingly, the legal community had thoughts about Cannon’s actions, and they weren’t good. From the initial installation of special masters raymond dearie, Samuel Buell, a Duke University law professor That New York Times: “For any attorney with serious federal criminal court experience who is honest, this verdict is ridiculously bad, and the written justification is even more flimsy.” Laurence Stamm tweeted“In the tank for Trump” hardly describes it.” Andreas Weissman, a former federal prosecutor, wrote that Cannon was “completely unfit to serve on the bench”.
And on Thursday, an appeals court said basically the same thing! Per panel:
The opinion was delivered by a three-judge panel of Conservatives; chief judge william pryor, a George W Bush Representative, Brit Grant and Andrew Brasher, appointed by none other than Donald Trump. And in a professional lowlight that Cannon is likely to want to remove from her resume, basically every line is an incredibly harsh critique of her work. For example, the introduction, which reads simply: “This appeal requires us to consider whether the district court had jurisdiction to prevent the United States from using lawfully seized records in a criminal investigation. The answer is no.” Elsewhere, the panel calls Cannon’s granting of a special master a “dramatic and unwarranted” intervention over which she had no authority, and says she “intervened” on more than one occasion [her] own reasoning”, which was clearly flawed. As a legal journalist Chris Geidner put it“I would simply never leave the house again if a panel of fellow judges did that to me in an opinion.”
As with Slate Mark Joseph Stern writes: “The decision could not be more emphatic or devastating for Cannon and Trump; The latter “has lost the advantage of a special master slowing down the federal investigation into his alleged wrongdoing” as well as “his closest judicial ally in the fight.”
Last month, Attorney General Merrick garland appointed a special counsel to oversee both the Justice Department’s criminal investigation into Trump’s decision to bring classified documents to Mar-a-Lago and key aspects of his investigation into the 6 time attack on the Capitol. A final decision on whether or not to prosecute Trump will ultimately come from Garland.
https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2022/12/12 Donald Trump will have to find a new way to cheat the legal system