A federal judge appointed by Donald Trump and confirmed after he lost the 2020 presidential election on Monday granted the former president his request for a “special master,” an independent third party, to review the more than 11,000 documents stolen from the White House and seized by federal agents at Mar-a-Lago on August 8.
U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, a member of the far-right Federalist Society since 2005, not only granted Trump his request, but ordered the U.S. Dept.of Justice to cease, at least for now, its criminal investigation into Trump and the stolen documents, which include more than 100 classified, highly classified, and top secret documents.
Last week former federal prosecutor Shan Wu said Judge Cannon “has no business trying to oversee a federal criminal investigation.”
“Special masters are used in federal courts to assist judges in matters involving some ‘exceptional condition,’ or ‘complex accounting or computation of damages,’ or where a ‘district judge or magistrate judge of the district’ is not available to address the issue,” he explained at The Daily Beast.
On Monday he wrote: “DOJ must continue to fight this attack on the integrity of the criminal justice system. A really gutsy move by AG Garland & DOJ would be to appeal while defying her attempt to derail a criminal investigation.”
Glenn Kirschner, the well-known former federal prosecutor of 30 years and an MSNBC legal analyst last week blasted Cannon as “dead wrong” for announcing she was considering the appointment of a special master before even hearing DOJ’s side.
“In 30 years of prosecuting cases, I never saw a judge make up her mind on an issue BEFORE the other party had an opportunity to respond to the request. This is dead wrong.”
He agrees DOJ should appeal, and explains the gravity of Judge Cannon’s decision today.
“So this means DOJ must withdraw any witness subpoenas they issued base on the documents Trump stole and unlawfully concealed. It also means,” he adds, “DOJ must stop any forensic testing (fingerprints/DNA) that may be underway regarding the stolen documents. I hope the DOJ chooses to appeal this decision rather than just let it lie.”
Former Harvard Law professor of law Laurence Tribe slammed Judge Cannon:
“According to Judge Cannon, the robber can get a special master — but only if he had been the president before robbing the bank, because ‘the investigation and treatment of a former president is of unique interest to the general public.’ I.e., a former president is above the law.”
Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti adds that “Judge Cannon made sense out of Trump’s bizarre, convoluted motion and gave him more than he was entitled to.”
“The motion didn’t really help the defense much, but by granting a temporary injunction, she delays the investigation,” he says, which does help Trump.
“She bent over backwards to grant him this review based on ‘extraordinary circumstances’ and the need for the appearance of fairness,” he says.
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15-Year Old Campaigning Door-to-Door for Raphael Warnock Shot Through Door– ‘No Indication’ Politically Motivated: Police
A 15-year old boy campaigning door-to-door for U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) was shot by a 42-year old man through the front door, according to Savannah Police who claim “there is no indication the shooting was politically motivated.”
The man was arrested after police responded to the shooting on Thursday around 5:35 PM, “and discovered a 15-year-old male victim suffering from a gunshot wound to the leg.”
His injuries are not life threatening.
“According to the preliminary investigation, the teen was campaigning for Raphael Warnock for the upcoming run-off election when the incident occurred. While at the front door of one of the residences on Hartridge Street, the suspect fired a shot through the closed door, striking the teen,” according to the Savannah Police statement.
The 42-year old man “was booked into the Chatham County jail on charges of aggravated assault and aggravated battery.”
“I am saddened to learn about this incident,” said Sen. Warnock, who faces off against Herschel Walker in the U.S. Senate runoff Tuesday, as WSAV-TV reports. “I am praying for the victim and their family and wish them a full recovery.”
Watch the video from WSAV below or at this link.
In Trump’s ‘Special Master’ Appeal 2 of 3 Judges Are Ones He Appointed – and Both Previously Ruled Against Him
Last month a three-judge panel overruled a federal judge Donald Trump not only appointed to the bench but hand-picked to hear his case surrounding the Dept. of Justice executing a search warrant at his Mar-a-Lago resort and residence and retrieving thousands of White House items and documents, including hundreds of classified and top secret documents.
Trump has appealed their ruling, and on Tuesday a three-judge panel at the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals was selected to hear his case.
Two of the three he appointed. Both have previously ruled against him.
The judges, according to Politico’s Josh Gerstein, are William Pryor Jr. (Bush 43 appointee), Britt Grant (Trump appointee), and Andrew Brasher (Trump appointee.).
“BUT,” Gerstein stresses, “Grant & Brasher joined in earlier ruling against him on MAL,” referring to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago case against the United States of America in which he both claims he is the rightful owner of the documents because they are personal, and he declassified them all. (Both claims cannot be true.)
As The Guardian’s Hugo Lowell puts it, “Really unfortunate for Trump to have drawn 2/3 judges for oral arguments before 11th Circuit today who ruled that Cannon ‘abused her discretion’ in granting him a special master.”
Back in September a three-judge 11th Circuit Court of Appeals panel temporarily blocked Judge Aileen Cannon’s ruling barring the Dept. of Justice from using about 100 classified documents. Trump had requested the court block DOJ from accessing those documents.
“We cannot discern why plaintiff [Trump] would have an individual interest in or need for any of the one-hundred documents with classification markings,” the three-judge panel said, as Bloomberg News had reported.
As Bloomberg’s Zoe Tillman reports, in today’s trial, which begins at 2 PM ET, DOJ will argue “to free thousands of documents seized from the former president’s Mar-a-Lago estate from a review that’s kept them out of investigators’ hands for months.”
For those interested, oral arguments can be heard via the 11th Circuit’s government website, here.
Image via Shutterstock
Hate Crime and Murder Charges Filed Against Club Q Suspect in Anti-LGBTQ Mass Shooting
Colorado prosecutors have filed hate crime and murder charges against the suspect in Saturday night’s anti-LGBTQ mass shooting. Five people, including employees of the LGBTQ nightclub Club Q were killed, another 25 were injured. The suspect is believed to have used an AR-15 style rifle.
“Colorado court records show that Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, was charged with five counts of murder and five counts of bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury. A Colorado judge granted prosecutors’ request to seal court records related to Mr. Aldrich’s arrest until the conclusion of the investigation,” The New York Times reports.
Patrons bravely were able to subdue the suspect, hitting him with his own gun. Police arrived minutes after the first 911 call. The suspect was hospitalized and is in custody.
MSNBC legal analyst Glenn Kirschner says prosecutors have responded quickly with the bias crime charge.
“Members of the L.G.B.T.Q. community in and around Colorado Springs said Club Q had felt like a haven in a conservative city long known for anti-gay activism,” The Times adds.
“This club was a refuge for our community,” Bird Berg, 31, a produce manager at a grocery store who attended a vigil with her wife, said. “I’m completely devastated.”
Two patrons are beg hailed as heroes after disabling the suspected shooter.
“One customer took down the gunman and was assisted by another,” Matthew Haynes, one of the club owners, The Times reports separately. “He saved dozens and dozens of lives. Stopped the man cold. Everyone else was running away, and he ran toward him.”
CNN reports investigators have yet to identify the suspect’s motive. Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez says the suspect “has determined not to speak to investigators.”
Aldrich, CNN adds, “was arrested in June 2021 in connection with a bomb threat which led to a standoff at his mother’s home, according to a news release from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office at the time and his mother’s former landlord. Colorado Springs is in El Paso County.”
No charges were filed in that case.
Chief Vasquez spoke with CBS Mornings earlier today. Watch video below or at this link.
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