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Tipsheet

DOJ to Supreme Court: Don’t Intervene in the Case Involving Our Ransacking of Mar-a-Lago

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

This story began as a napalm raid but has now been reduced to a fire used to toast marshmallows for smores. That’s due to this FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago being boiled down to lawyer’s work, which is dull and torturously slow. We’ve reached the end of the road here regarding the lawfare, as the Trump team asked the Supreme Court to intervene. The Justice Department is asking the high court to avoid this case since they need to keep it alive in the hopes that they can find something to weaponize against the former president. The Trump team is arguing that the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled on the most recent DOJ appeal about their August raid, didn’t have the jurisdiction to rule on the special master ruling (via The Hill):

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The Justice Department on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to reject former President Trump’s plea to intervene in his legal battle and allow the special master to review the classified documents seized at Mar-a-Lago.

Trump’s request to the high court comes after the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the Justice Department, siphoning off some 100 classified records from the third-party special master review of the documents seized from his Florida home.

The motion from Trump largely hinged on procedural grounds, arguing the appeals court erred by granting a stay of a challenge to a Florida judge’s ruling appointing the special master that barred the Department of Justice (DOJ) from accessing the classified records for its investigation.

But the Justice Department on Tuesday swiped back at Trump, arguing his legal team had done little to justify the need for the court’s intervention, as he failed to show he would be harmed without its action.

Trump’s filing last week doesn’t seek to block the DOJ from investigating the classified records and instead would allow the ongoing special master review to include those 100 documents — a move that would offer limited benefit to the former president.

To recap this fight, legal challenges were a forgone conclusion regarding this arguably unconstitutional raid on the home of former President Donald Trump. It was executed by a Democrat-run Department of Justice that went heavy in enforcing a statute—the Presidential Records Act—that isn’t even a criminal one. What ever happened to the tall tale about Trump having nuclear secrets strewn about the property as if they were there as a form of ornamentation on the coffee table?

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The first couple weeks were fraught with leaks and developments that ranged from untrue to laughably false regarding the allegation that Trump had mishandled classified materials. Even if he did, they were declassified, he has a staff with security clearances who handle the papers, and the Secret Service protects the home.

As the debate about declassification raged, no smoking gun was found in the seized documents, which Trump demanded to be reviewed by a special master, which was granted. An injunction was also issued by Judge Aileen Cannon, which the Justice Department successfully appealed. It barred them from accessing the documents in their investigation. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals granted the DOJ’s motion to restore access and exclude some 100 documents from being reviewed by the special master. Sidebar: finding an acceptable candidate both sides could stomach was another little legal duel.

The more significant issue here is the scope of DOJ investigations that are now granted near-universal power since the 9/11 attacks. Both parties have allowed these investigative teams to circumvent search warrants with TAINT teams that conduct smash-and-grab raids, whisking away materials that wouldn’t be covered under standard procedures for obvious constitutional questions. These teams confiscate records that aren’t the priority items listed in these federal raids but are analyzed and then re-purposed to pressure the government’s targets and their affiliates, like their lawyers, later. Think of them as bookmarks that the government uses to go after a federal investigation target and their associates on unrelated matters to exert pressure to facilitate an outcome favorable to the DOJ. Matt Taibbi had a lengthy piece about the DOJ running amok, adding that it’s always been a dangerous institution, but it’s off the walls now. They’re smart, too, saturating media markets with former officials who peddle the pro-Justice Department talking points to lend it credibility. They also pick unsavory targets who wouldn’t garner much public support to continue these investigations.

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 Trump is merely a chapter in this sordid tale of government overreach and abuse.

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