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Watch: Merrick Garland Calls Trump’s Bluff, Strikes Back at MAGA World’s False Claims in Mar-a-Lago Raid

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Attorney General Merrick Garland in an exceptionally rare public statement told the American people Thursday afternoon that he personally approved the search warrant used to enter Mar-a-Lago and confiscate the 10 to 12 cartons of federal government property, which reportedly included classified documents. He also called Donald Trump’s bluff, announcing he has asked a federal court to unseal the search warrant, which will allow the public to know what laws DOJ believes he has violated.

Noting that Donald Trump made public the raid on Mar-a-Lago and the Dept. of Justice did not, Garland cited “the substantial public interest in this matter,” in announcing his move to have the documents unsealed.

“The department did not make any public statements on the day of the search,” Garland stated. “The former president publicly confirmed the search that evening, as is his right. Copies of both the warrant and the FBI property receipt were provided on the day of the search to the former president’s counsel, who was on site during the search.”

READ MORE: Nearly Half the Country Supports FBI Mar-a-Lago Search – Only Republicans Are Opposed, New Poll Shows

That statement refutes the false claims made by many on the right that FBI agents refused to hand over the search warrant or inventory list.

“The search warrant was authorized by a federal court upon the required finding of probable cause, the property receipt is a document that federal law requires law enforcement agents to leave with the property owner,” he added, making clear that a federal judge did agree there was probably cause to execute a search.

“Faithful adherence to the rule of law is the bedrock principle of the Justice Department and of our democracy. upholding the rule of law means applying the law evenly, without fear or favor, under my watch that is precisely what the Justice Department is doing. All Americans are entitled to the even handed application of the law, to due process of the law and to the presumption of innocence.”

“I personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter,” Garland announced, which was largely assumed.

Garland also responded to the growing chorus of far right wing extremists, pundits, and even and GOP lawmakers who are attacking DOJ.

“Let me address recent unfounded attacks on the professionalism of the FBI and Justice Department agents and prosecutors. I will not stand by silently when their integrity is unfairly attacked. The men and women of the FBI and the Justice Department are dedicated, patriotic public servants every day. They protect the American people from violent crime, terrorism and other threats to their safety, while safeguarding our civil rights. They do so at great personal sacrifice and risk to themselves. I am honored to work alongside them. This is all I can say right now.”

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BREAKING NEWS

‘No Shame’: Trump Judge Overrules Special Master – Stuns Legal Experts

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U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon on Thursday overruled the special master Donald Trump’s legal team chose and she installed, deciding to change the deadlines he set, delaying the case and DOJ’s work for months, and overruling his decisions.

Specifically, Judge Cannon ruled Trump and his attorneys do not have to make any statements to support the former president’s baseless claims that the FBI “planted” documents or other evidence.

“Judge Cannon overrules the order by her special master that would have forced Trump’s lawyers to lodge objections to the accuracy of the DOJ’s inventory, effectively forcing him to prove his ‘planting claims,'” Law & Crime managing editor Adam Klasfeld reports. “Trump doesn’t need to do that any more, she rules.”

READ MORE: ‘Pure Essence of Judicial Corruption’: Morning Joe Panelists ‘Stunned’ by Cannon’s Ruling on Classified Docs

“Upon review of the matter,” Cannon writes in her order Thursday, “the Court determines as follows. There shall be no separate requirement on Plaintiff [Trump] at this stage, prior to the review of any of the Seized Materials, to lodge ex ante final objections to the accuracy of Defendant’s Inventory, its descriptions, or its contents. The Court’s Appointment Order did not contemplate that obligation.”

Legal experts are stunned by Cannon’s latest move.

The Nation’s justice correspondent Elie Mystal writes: “Trump Judge Cannon trying to preserve the white wing talking point without forcing Trump to prove it. She’s in too deep now. She has to ride Trump all the way and hope he wins and promotes her.”

Civil liberties and national security journalist Marcy Wheeler says, “Judge Cannon unilaterally rewrites HER OWN deadlines to make sure that her Trumpy doesn’t have to commit until after the election. Holy hell this woman has no shame.”

READ MORE: In Scathing Rebuke DOJ Wins Stay of Trump Judge’s Ruling in National Security Appeal Over Classified Documents

Over at her site, Wheeler expands her thoughts.

“Aileen Cannon, without explaining why she was intervening, just rewrote Judge Raymond Dearie’s work plans regarding the Special Master review,” Wheeler says, calling it “an obvious power grab to ensure her own intervention doesn’t backfire on Trump.”

“With no justification (particularly given the way Dearie has ceded to multiple issues Trump has raised), and after having been scolded by the 11th Circuit for her improper claims of jurisdiction, she effectively just eliminated any claim that the Special Master Trump picked and she appointed is a neutral observer.”

“Cannon is shamelessly acting as Trump’s defense attorney. If you are a reporter, that’s what your story is. If you’re not a reporter, that’s also what your story is,” she warns. “At the very least fact check this woman.”

READ MORE: ‘Tarnished Image’: Gallup Releases Devastating SCOTUS Poll – as Conservative Justices Snipe at Kagan’s Warning

Slate senior writer Mark Joseph Stern, who has authored a book on the Supreme Court, says, “Cannon was shameless enough to overrule the special master, because she is not a real judge.

Former General Counsel of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and well-known MSNBC legal analyst Andrew Weissmann calls Cannon “a disgrace.”

“Oy- Judge Cannon tinkers badly with (and with typos) Judge Dearie’s scheduling order, relieving Trump of obligation to say whether docs were planted, even though she had wanted a clear inventory of what was found. She is such a disgrace.”

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BREAKING NEWS

Highly-Anticipated J6 Committee Hearing Likely Postponed

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Wednesday’s highly-anticipated hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, the first one since July, and possibly the final publicly-televised event, will likely be postponed due to Hurricane Ian which is ravaging Florida.

The Washington Post’s Jacqueline Alemany and Josh Dawsey were the first to report the postponement. MSNBC has confirmed the likely postponement.

No new date has been scheduled yet.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.

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Embattled Vladimir Putin Grants NSA Classified Document Leaker Edward Snowden Russian Citizenship

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Embattled and denounced around the world, Russian President Vladimir Putin granted NSA leaker Edward Snowden, who flew to Moscow in 2013, full citizenship.

Snowden is best-known for leaking classified intelligence documents which he gained access to as a contractor with the National Security Agency.

The Associated Press notes that in 2020 Snowden was granted permanent residency in Russia and applied for Russian citizenship.

READ MORE: Critics Blast Top US Conservative Think Tank President for Applauding Italy’s Election of ‘Neo-Fascist’ Prime Minister

Putin’s move comes just days after announcing at least 300,000 more Russians would be conscripted to fight his war in Ukraine, which has been condemned worldwide. Putin and his military are accused of war crimes including rape and summary execution, looting, and bombing civilian infrastructure.

“Ukrainian forces said they found mass graves and evidence that civilians had been killed after their feet and hands were bound,” the BBC reported in July.

“In March,” the BBC added, “a Russian strike on a theatre in Mariupol appeared to be the first confirmed location of a mass killing. The word ‘children’ was written in giant letters outside the building.”

Last week in his Substack newsletter Snowden launched an attack on President Joe Biden and the CIA.

READ MORE: Watch: Nazis and Proud Boys Clash With Anti-Fascists Outside Texas Church Hosting Drag Queen Bingo

“It hasn’t been a month since President Biden mounted the steps of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, declaring it his duty to ensure each of us understands the central faction of his political opposition are extremists that ‘threaten the very foundations of our Republic,'” Snowden wrote, blasting the American President for his speech warning that Donald Trump and his MAGA Republicans are dangers to democracy, a fact supported by the hundreds of prosecutions of January 6 insurrectionists and the numerous legal and civil cases being brought against the former president.

“Congratulations to Ed Snowden who — after a recent attack conflating CIA torture and Biden — has now earned his Russian citizenship,” commented National security and civil liberties journalist Marcy Wheeler.

Investigative journalist and fellow at the New America think tank, Dave Troy has been focusing on threats to democracy. On the news Snowden is now a Russian citizen, he writes: “It’s time for us to come to grips with the fact that the Snowden, [Glenn] Greenwald, [Julian] Assange ops were all part of a years-long Russia-supported effort to upend the West.”

Snowden handed the leaked intelligence documents to journalist Glenn Greenwald.

Troy goes on to suggest Paul Manafort and Mike Flynn belong in that category as well.

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