"THE LAW IS CLEAR"
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered the dismissal of former President Trump’s civil lawsuit challenging the seizure of government records at Mar-a-Lago.
The much-anticipated decision by the appeals court fully repudiated the district court’s controversial early decisions in the case and effectively ended the use of a special master to review documents in the case.
The unanimous decision of the three-judge panel, which included the chief judge of the circuit, clears the way for the Justice Department to resume its investigation into Trump’s handling of government documents, including materials classified at the highest levels.
The court eviscerated U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon’s reasoning throughout the ruling, and included snide asides that dismissed her decision-making as not only wrong, but dangerous.
The appeals court decision singled out for particular scorn the notion of special treatment for former presidents. The court said that the case asked them to either “apply our usual test” or “carve out an unprecedented exception in our law for former presidents.”
“We choose the first option.”
The court found Cannon abused her discretion by agreeing to entertain the civil case Trump brought seeking to halt a criminal investigation, and that she erred in installing a special master.
Throughout the ruling, the 11th Circuit suggests that Cannon, in siding with Trump, risked creating an entirely new standard that, if repeated, would undermine criminal investigations across the country. Moreover, the court dismissed Trump’s arguments for why Cannon should be involved in the first place — that the searches unjustly harmed him — as a “sideshow.”
“The real question that guides our analysis is this—adequate remedy for what? 56If there has been no constitutional violation—much less a serious one—then there is no harm to be remediated in the first place.”
In halting the investigation and creating the special master, Cannon repeatedly did Trump’s work for him.
When his lawyers failed to specify what harm the DOJ holding on to his records would cause him, the 11th Circuit noted, Cannon “stepped in with [her] own reasoning.”
That led Trump to later “adop[t] two of the district court’s own arguments,” the ruling added.
One argument Trump adopted from Cannon had to do with classified material that he allegedly took. Trump wrote – and Cannon repeatedly suggested – that the DOJ might leak the records to the public, thereby harming him.
But the 11th Circuit struck there at a distinction Trump almost never makes – between himself and anyone around him.
“What’s more, any leak of classified material would be properly characterized as a harm to the United States and its citizens—not as a personal injury to Plaintiff.”
At other moments, the appeals court suggests Cannon’s ruling was unnecessary and potentially destructive. “This restraint guards against needless judicial intrusion into the course of criminal investigations—a sphere of power committed to the executive branch.”
“The law is clear. We cannot write a rule that allows any subject of a search warrant to block government investigations after the execution of the warrant.”
what runs through the ruling most of all is the overriding sense among the judges that Cannon’s most serious error was to create a double standard of justice: one for a former President, and one for everyone else. It’s a point that Cannon herself made in an early ruling in the case, saying that because Trump was a former president, “the stigma associated with the subject seizure is in a league of its own.”
The 11th Circuit dispensed with that argument as contrary to American principles.
“It is indeed extraordinary for a warrant to be executed at the home of a former president—but not in a way that affects our legal analysis or otherwise gives the judiciary license to interfere in an ongoing investigation. To create a special exception here would defy our Nation’s foundational principle that our law applies ‘to all, without regard to numbers, wealth, or rank,’” the court concluded.
A panel of three appellate judges – Chief judge William Pryor, and Trump appointees judges Andrew Brasher and Britt Grand – heard arguments in the case last week.
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May be too much to hope for but wouldn’t it be sweet to see Cannon impeached.
WAAHOOO!! TAKE THAT T-RUMP!!!
AMERICAN JUSTICE RETURNS!!!
Once again, THANK YOU TC!!!
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