Full Text: Court of Appeals Grants DOJ Motion


September 21, 2022


Read the full text of the opinion of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals granting the DOJ’s motion to allow the DOJ to continue its criminal investigation of presidential documents illegally held at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence. As the DOJ filed its motion on September 16, 2022, the September 21, 2022, opinion in favor of the DOJ came remarkably quickly (and despite the fact that several of the judges involved in the opinion were appointed by Donald Trump). In granting the DOJ’s motion, the Court of Appeals stayed the injunction on the DOJ’s use of seized classified documents imposed by the now much maligned Trump appointed Federal District Court Judge Aileen Cannon. As the following quote from the opinion illustrates, the Court of Appeals was singularly unimpressed with the arguments opposing the DOJ motion presented by Donald Trump’s legal counsel:

“Plaintiff [Donald Trump] has not even attempted to show that he has a need to know the information contained in the classified documents. Nor has he established that the current administration has waived that requirement for these documents. And even if he had, that, in and of itself, would not explain why Plaintiff has an individual interest in the classified documents.”

The opinion can be viewed in the online reader below or viewed in a larger format by clicking on the link “Court of Appeals Grants DOJ Motion.” Clicking the “Download” button allows the full text of the document to be downloaded to your device. You can also share this post on Twitter and Facebook.

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Full Text: Tish James 214 Page Complaint Against Trumps


September 21, 2022


Read the full text of the blockbuster 214 page complaint in the civil lawsuit filed against Donald Trump, several of his adult children, Allen Weisselberg, other Trump confederates, and multiple Trump business entities by New York Attorney General Letitia James. The complaint can be viewed in the online reader below or viewed in a larger format by clicking on the link “Letitia James Complaint v. Trumps.” Clicking the “Download” button allows the full text of the document to be downloaded to your device. You can also share this post on Twitter and Facebook.

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Full Text: DOJ Motion For Stay Of Mar-a-Lago Order


September 16, 2022


Read and download the full text of the DOJ’s motion to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals to stay a part of Judge Cannon’s order that would have held up the DOJ investigation of illegally held documents at Mir-a-Lago. Lawfare described the DOJ’s action in the quote below.

“On Sept. 16, the Justice Department filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit a Motion for a Partial Stay Pending Appeal. The government noted that although it ‘believes the district court fundamentally erred’ in its Sept. 5 Order appointing a Special Master and imposing an injunction, it was asking to stay only those portions of the order relating to approximately 100 documents marked as classified.

The government reiterated many of the arguments set forth in its Sept. 8 and Sept. 13 filings in the district court, which had sought a partial stay from U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon. (She had rejected that request in a Sept. 15 Order.) First, it argued that any potential claims of attorney-client or executive privilege, as well as any potential claims under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(g), were ‘categorically inapplicable to the records bearing classification markings.’ Second, it argued that the government and the public would suffer irreparable harm if a stay is not granted. Third, it argued that former President Trump would not suffer any cognizable harm from the grant of a stay. Finally, it asked the court to rule on the motion ‘as soon as practicable.’

The government’s motion was accompanied by an Addendum containing all relevant district court filings, including orders, declarations, the grand jury subpoena, and the warrant materials.”

This crucial document in the DOJ’s ongoing battle to hold Trump accountable for illegally possessing presidential documents can be viewed in the online reader below or viewed in a larger format by clicking on the link “DOJ Motion for Stay.” Clicking the “Download” button allows the full text of the document to be downloaded to your device. You can also share this post on Twitter and Facebook.

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Full Text: Cannon Denies DOJ Stay


September 15, 2022


Read the full text of Trump Judge Cannon’s “preposterous” order granting Trump’s wishes by denying the DOJ of a stay pending appeal of Cannon’s earlier order blocking parts of the DOJ’s ongoing investigation of Trump’s illegal possession of presidential documents at Mar-a-Lago. The following dissection of Judge Cannon’s order is quoted from Steve Benen’s article for MSNBC entitled “What the judge got wrong in the latest Mar-a-Lago ruling.” Following the discussion is a text reader and links that allow reading and downloading of what will become yet another infamous ruling by the Trump appointed Judge Cannon.

“As we’ve discussed, among legal experts from the left, right and center, a consensus formed quickly: Cannon’s decision was ridiculous. Prominent legal voices used words like ‘nutty,’ ‘preposterous,’ and ‘oblivious‘ when describing the Labor Day ruling.

At the heart of the criticisms was a debate over executive privilege and the idea that a former president could block the executive branch from reviewing and using its own materials. On this point, Cannon’s ruling from last week raised questions as to whether the conservative jurist even understood the concept.

The Justice Department, however, gave the judge a convenient way out: Prosecutors asked that when Cannon made a decision about the special master, she could also take the opportunity to narrow the scope of the arbiter’s purview, limiting it to attorney-client privilege. This would allow her to save face, honor the law, and allow federal law enforcement to get back to work.

It was an opportunity Cannon chose to ignore. NBC News reported overnight:

‘A federal judge appointed a special master to review documents the FBI seized from former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate while denying the Justice Department continued access to roughly 100 classified documents for use in its criminal investigation…. The Justice Department had asked for a stay of the judge’s previous motion so it could continue to review the seized documents for use in a criminal investigation. Cannon denied that request, saying she isn’t prepared to accept all of the department’s assertions at face value without the special master review process.’

In her 10-page decision, the Trump-appointed judge handed the former president and his lawyers victories on multiple fronts. Cannon approved Raymond Dearie, a senior U.S. district judge for the Eastern District of New York, to serve as the special master, after Team Trump requested him. The Justice Department asked that the review wrap up in late October, but Cannon gave Dearie a Nov. 30 deadline, which may yet be extended.

How this process is supposed to unfold remains something of a mystery: Politico noted, “Left unexplained is how Dearie is supposed to adjudicate any claims of executive privilege by a former president against the sitting executive branch. Supreme Court precedent tips heavily against any ruling for Trump on that question.”

This was a reference to a 1988 Supreme Court ruling in Department of the Navy v. Egan, which said, ‘For “reasons … too obvious to call for enlarged discussion,”‘ determinations about who should be allowed to see classified documents ‘must be committed to the broad discretion of the agency responsible, and this must include broad discretion to determine who may have access to it.’

As for federal law enforcement’s desire to use the materials it already has, the judge seemed eager to try and thread an unnecessary needle. From the NBC News report:

‘Cannon on Thursday … insisted that her order didn’t restrict the government from continuing to review the seized materials for intelligence classification and national security assessments or from briefing members of Congress. The order, she said, blocked the government “from further use of the content of the seized materials for criminal investigative purposes,” such as presenting the materials to a grand jury and using them for witness interviews for a criminal investigation pending Dearie’s recommendations.

It’s an order that suggests the Justice Department can use the materials, but it can’t use the materials.

Cannon did agree that Team Trump would have to pay for the special master’s work — the Republican had asked that the costs be split — though the expenses are expected to be modest, so this wasn’t much of a defeat.

It’s unlikely, however, that her decision will be the final word on the subject: The Justice Department said in a court filing last week that it would appeal Cannon’s Labor Day order to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Whether that appeal will succeed is an open question: Republican-appointed judges are in the majority at the 11th Circuit.”

This key document in the avalanche of court filings building criminal cases against Donald Trump and his associates in multiple courts can be viewed in the online reader below or viewed in a larger format by clicking on the link “Cannon Denies Stay.” Clicking the “Download” button allows the full text of the document to be downloaded to your device. You can also share this post on Twitter and Facebook.

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Full Text: Mar-a-Lago Search Affidavit & Memorandum


September 13, 2022


Read and download the full text of the further unsealed DOJ’s “Affidavit In Support Of An Application Under Rule 41 For A Warrant To Search And Seize” which was filed in support of the warrant for the search and seizure of illegally held government documents at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida. This key document in the avalanche of court filings building multiple criminal cases against Donald Trump and his associates can be viewed in the online reader below or viewed in a larger format by clicking on the link “Further Unsealed MAL Affidavit.” Clicking the “Download” button allows the full text of the document to be downloaded to your device. You can also share this post on Twitter and Facebook.

The full text of the DOJ’s “Notice Of Filing Of Redacted Memorandum” which among other things explains the need for redactions in the DOJ’s affidavit in support of the warrant for the search and seizure of illegally held government documents at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida can be viewed in the online reader below or viewed in a larger format by clicking on the link “Mir-a-Lago Search Memorandum.” Clicking the “Download” button allows the full text of the document to be downloaded to your device. You can also share this post on Twitter and Facebook.

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Full Text: DOJ Motion For Stay


September 8, 2022


Every legal expert agrees Judge Cannon’s order favoring Trump is at best untethered from the law and at worst a legal parody written solely and unethically to stall the DOJ criminal investigation of Donald Trump (who before he left office appointed Judge Cannon to the federal bench). Among other judicial blunders, Judge Cannon prohibited the DOJ from reviewing and using the seized classified documents in the DOJ criminal investigation of Donald Trump. This portion of the order not only directly halted the DOJ and FBI criminal and national security risk investigations of the documents, it effectively cut the legs out from under the national security risk investigations of the entire intelligence community, including the CIA and the NSA, as these other intelligence agencies require the domestic jurisdiction of the FBI to carry out their own investigations. In other words, the FBI is a critical part of the intelligence community and barring the FBI from its investigation stops all other members of the intelligence community from their investigative functions creating an immediate and severe threat to national security, especially given new revelations that some of the seized documents contain information about nuclear capability. A second egregious failing of Judge Cannon’s order is that it gives the special master authority to determine if any of the seized documents are subject to executive privilege held by Donald Trump. As all legal experts agree, this is an absurd proposition for a number of reasons, most notably Joe Biden, as president of the United States, and not Donald Trump, no longer a president, holds the executive privilege, which he has waived in this matter. Further, the DOJ itself is a branch of the executive. Allowing Donald Trump to assert executive privilege against a branch of the executive is a singularly obtuse, ignorant, and misguided judicial directive.

As indicated in its motion, the DOJ is absolutely unwilling to accept such a misguided and even dangerous order by the inexperienced Trump appointed Judge Cannon. The DOJ in its motion, as if conducting a kindergarten class, repeatedly explains Judge Cannon’s errors to her. Additionally, in a brilliant strategic move, the DOJ gives Judge Cannon the opportunity to correct her errors in a second order and in so doing to avoid an appeal, which the DOJ gave notice it would file, which would almost certainly result in an embarrassing reversal for Judge Cannon, even in the Trump judge dominated Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

The DOJ’s “Motion For a Partial Stay Pending Appeal” can be viewed in the online reader below or viewed in a larger format by clicking on the link “DOJ Motion For Stay Pending Appeal” below the online reader. Clicking the “Download” button allows the full text of the document to be downloaded to your device. You can also share this post on Twitter and Facebook.

The DOJ’s “Notice Of Appeal,” filed with the DOJ’ motion for a partial stay pending appeal can be viewed in the online reader below or viewed in a larger format by clicking on the link “DOJ Notice Of Appeal” below the online reader. Clicking the “Download” button allows the full text of the document to be downloaded to your device. You can also share this post on Twitter and Facebook.

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Full Text: NM Disqualification Case


September 6, 2022


At least one state court had the integrity and courage to bar a January 6 insurrectionist from ever holding public office again. The following article from the Guardian explains this encouraging development for American democracy.

“A New Mexico official was removed from elected office on Tuesday for his role in the January 6 siege on the US Capitol, marking the first time a politician has lost their job for their involvement in the attack.

Couy Griffin, one of three commissioners in Otero county in southern New Mexico, was immediately removed from his position and cannot hold elected office again, Francis Mathew, a district judge in Santa Fe, wrote in his ruling.

The 14th amendment to the US constitution bars anyone who has participated in an insurrection from holding elected office. In June, Griffin was sentenced to 14 days in jail and a $3,000 . . . fine for misdemeanor trespassing during the Capitol attack.

‘Mr Griffin’s crossing of barricades to approach the Capitol were overt acts in support of the insurrection, as Griffin’s presence closer to the Capitol building increased the insurrectionists’ intimidation by number,’ Mathew wrote in his ruling. ‘Mr Griffin aided the insurrection even though he did not personally engage in violence. By joining the mob and trespassing on restricted Capitol grounds, Mr Griffin contributed to delaying Congress’s election certification proceedings.’

Griffin told CNN he was ‘shocked’ at the ruling and accused Mathew of being ‘tyrannical’.

‘I’m shocked. Just shocked,’ Griffin said. ‘I really did not feel like the state was going to move on me in such a way. I don’t know where I go from here.’

Earlier this year, Griffin sought to block Otero county, which voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump in 2020, from certifying its official primary election results, citing concerns – which have been debunked – about voting machines.

The state supreme court eventually ordered the three-member commission to certify the election, which it ultimately did with a 2-1 vote. Griffin was the lone holdout.

‘My vote to remain a no isn’t based on any evidence, it isn’t based on any facts. It’s only based on my own gut feeling, my own intuition, and that’s all I need,’ he said at the time.

Tuesday’s decision marked a major win for watchdog groups that have sought to use the constitutional provision to block members of the US Congress who sought to prevent the delayed certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.

Extremist supporters of Donald Trump caused the delay after invading the Capitol to try to prevent the certification. The insurrection is still under congressional and federal criminal investigation.

An effort to remove Marjorie Taylor Greene, the far-right Georgia congresswoman, from the ballot failed earlier this year. A similar effort seeking the removal of Arizona representatives Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar, as well as Mark Finchem, a Republican running to be Arizona’s top election official, also failed.

Tuesday’s decision marked the first time since 1869 that a court removed an election official for participating in an insurrection, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a watchdog group that represented New Mexico citizens seeking to remove Griffin from office, said in a statement.

‘This decision makes clear that any current or former public officials who took an oath to defend the US Constitution and then participated in the January 6th insurrection can and will be removed and barred from government service for their actions,’ Noah Bookbinder, the group’s executive director, said in a statement.”

The well reasoned, legally sound, and in today’s Trump world courageous, order of New Mexico state court Judge Francis J. Mathew holding that insurrectionist Couy Griffin is disqualified from holding public office under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution can be viewed in the online reader below or viewed in a larger format by clicking on the link “New Mexico Disqualification Case” below the online reader. Clicking the “Download” button allows the full text of the document to be downloaded to your device. You can also share this post on Twitter and Facebook.

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Full Text: Trump Judge Approves Special Master


September 5, 2022


Read the full text of Trump appointed Judge Cannon’s dangerous order stating she will appoint a special master in the Mir-a-Lago document seizure.

Much will be written about Judge Cannon’s bizarre, and dangerous order, essentially a corrupt gift to Donald Trump for appointing her to the federal bench, and much will be said as the broadcast media attempt to analyze this twist in American law and politics. While the purpose of this post is not analysis but instead making the full text of the order available to all, nevertheless the following three points are of such dire consequence that they must at least be pointed out here.

First, the order defies all previous American law by placing Donald Trump above the law in matters of criminal prosecution. As the court wrote: “As a function of Plaintiff’s former position as President of the United States, the stigma associated with the subject seizure is in a league of its own. A future indictment, based to any degree on property that ought to be returned, would result in reputational harm of a decidedly different order of magnitude.” In this and similar statements, Judge Cannon sets the stage for a new and ominous chapter in American legal history in which former presidents under criminal investigation are given preferential, kid glove treatment that an ordinary citizen would never receive.

Second, Judge Cannon sets forth the equally unprecedented, strained, and dangerous conclusion that Donald Trump is entitled to have a special master filter documents for those which might be protected by executive privilege. This notion is not only unprecedented, it is bizarre and unworkable as it results in both a current president (who is undoubtedly entitled to executive privilege) and a former president (who is not) concurrently exercising executive privilege, and in this particular case exercising it against each other. The legal quagmire this position creates goes beyond creating presidential and former presidential combatants, it also pits the DOJ, an executive branch of government, against a former president, not to mention a former president who is the subject of one or more criminal investigations by the DOJ. In ruling in this way, Judge Cannon has allowed herself to be played by Trump’s judges who carefully muddled attorney client privilege (which Trump is entitled to) with executive privilege (which Trump is not entitled to).

Third, Judge Cannon’s order perfectly enables Trump’s well known stalling tactics by enjoining (prohibiting) the DOJ from any further review and use of the materials that Trump illegally held and which the FBI legally, with a search and seizure warrant issued by a judge, seized. In her order, Judge Cannon wrote: “The Government is TEMPORARILY ENJOINED from further review and use of any of the materials seized from Plaintiff’s residence on August 8, 2022, for criminal investigative purposes pending resolution of the special master’s review process as determined by this Court.” This order will most certainly stall the DOJ investigation, perhaps substantially, though the DOJ presumably will still be able to carry out the investigation of Trump, for example by questioning witnesses. Fortunately, for the sake of American national security, Judge Cannon did not prohibit other members of the intelligence committee from reviewing and using the seized documents: “The Government may continue to review and use the materials seized for purposes of intelligence classification and national security assessments.” In other words, Judge Cannon was comfortable with the documents being reviewed and used, just not by any governmental branch investigating Donald Trump for the crimes he so obviously committed by illegally hoarding (and perhaps selling to foreign adversaries) presidential documents at Mir-a-Lago.

Judge Cannon’s order appointing a special master and imposing restrictions on the DOJ’s review and use of the illegally held documents seized at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence can be viewed in the online reader below or viewed in a larger format by clicking on the link “Cannon Appoints Special Master” below the online reader. Clicking the “Download” button allows the full text of the document to be downloaded to your device. You can also share this post on Twitter and Facebook.

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Full Text: Inventory Of Documents Seized At Mar-a-Lago


September 2, 2022


Read the shocking inventory of seized documents Donald Trump illegally transported to and held at held in disarray at his Mar-a-Lago residence. The inventory, which is Exhibit “A” to a filing “Notice By Investigative Team Of Status Review,” can be viewed in the online reader below or viewed in a larger format by clicking on the link “Inventory Of Documents Seized At Mar-a-Lago” below the online reader. Clicking the “Download” button allows the full text of the document to be downloaded to your device. You can also share this post on Twitter and Facebook.

As explained in the Guardian: “On Friday the most detailed inventory yet of the materials seized at Mar-a-Lago was unsealed, showing that it included 103 classified documents, including 13 marked ‘Top Secret’, as well as 90 folders that were classified or marked for return to the White House staff secretary or a military aide but which were mysteriously empty.

[A]nother document in the DoJ photo contains the four devastating letters: HCS-P. That signifies that the document contains intelligence gathered from clandestine human sources – often spies or informants working undercover. Such ‘Humint’ must be exceptionally closely guarded for the safety of America’s own people.

That was the message the DoJ wanted to transmit in releasing the photo: the time for frivolity is over.

‘We now know that some of the information recovered was labeled in a way that could indicate it was derived from confidential human sources,’ Andrew McCabe, the former FBI deputy director under both Barack Obama and Trump, told the Guardian.

‘There’s a chance that information was collected from people who are working on behalf of the US overseas, including potentially CIA sources. You are literally talking about people’s lives.’

[A] . . . staggering 55 top secret documents in total . . . were retrieved from Mar-a-Lago, some with HCS and NOFORN markings. As an unnamed source familiar with the search told the Washington Post, the stash contained ‘among the most sensitive secrets we hold’.”

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Full Text: Special Master Hearing


September 1, 2022


Read the full text of Trump appointed Judge Cannon’s bizarre hearing on Trump’s request to appoint a special master to review illegally held documents seized by the FBI at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.

The transcript can be viewed in the online reader below or viewed in a larger format by clicking on the link “Special Master Hearing Transcript” below the online reader. Clicking the “Download” button allows the full text of the document to be downloaded to your device. You can also share this post on Twitter and Facebook.

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