A committee of a federal appeals court has dismissed ex-president Donald Trump’s case seeking to halt the FBI’s examination of secret documents hidden at his Mar-a-Lago home when he left office.
Trump Facing Legal Battle
The harsh opinion of the 3 judge court halts an independent assessment of the Justice Department’s use of almost 3,000 papers taken in August from the Mar-a-Lago resort of ex-President Donald Trump.
As he attempts to thwart the criminal investigation into his alleged preservation of national security secrets, stealing of government documents, and obstruction of justice, Trump suffers a major legal blow.
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals board located in Atlanta ruled unanimously that U.S. district court judge Aileen Cannon committed errors by giving Trump’s application to thwart investigators’ records from being accessible.
They also said that he did this by appointing a special master to evaluate Trump’s assertions that a portion of the records could be protected by executive privilege or even other legal doctrines.
The 11th Circuit has unanimously ruled Judge Cannon is out: “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.” State of Georgia v. Brailsford, 3 U.S. (3 Dall.) 1, 4 (1794)!
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) December 1, 2022
Tough Situation For Trump
The legislation is explicit. The three-judge committee concluded in a 21-page judgment posted late Thursday afternoon that they cannot design a rule allowing any target of a search warrant to obstruct state inquiries after the implementation of the order.
They cannot design a law that exclusively allows past presidents to do so.
Either option would represent a major reorganization of existing case law that limits the participation of federal courts in criminal cases. Either would breach the fundamental separation of powers restrictions.
Trump has the option of appealing the verdict to either the full lineup of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court, although both outcomes are deemed unlikely. The committee allowed Trump one week to make a judgment before implementing its verdict.
If the judgment holds, a newly appointed special counsel will be able to resume the probe at full throttle.
The verdict was made by 11th Circuit Chief Judge William Pryor, a George W. Bush appointment, and Andrew Brasher and Britt Grant, two Trump appointees to the appeals court.
Trump and his associates are under inquiry linked to the Mar-a-Lago papers and Trump’s efforts to undermine the 2020 election when this judgment is made.
Access to Trump’s Taxes Granted
Since Trump declared his third run for president a month ago, many aides have been summoned to testify before an Atlanta-area grand jury probing the electoral conspiracy. And the Supreme Court allowed House Democrats accessibility to Trump’s tax returns for the previous six years, concluding a multiyear legal struggle.
BREAKING: The 11th circuit has ruled that Judge Aileen Cannon's order appointing a special master and blocking the gov from using classified docs seized from Mar-a-Lago in their investigations was incorrect. The order has been vacated with instructions to dismiss the entire case. pic.twitter.com/jPl3QMNasx
— Daniel Barnes (@dnlbrns) December 1, 2022
Nonetheless, the federal probe, which Trump has condemned as the politicization of the judicial system, appears to have upset him particularly and posed the greatest threat to his safety.
The appeals court found that the special master procedure was not needed as Trump’s counsel did not demonstrate that law enforcement behaved with “callous disregard” for their client’s constitutional rights.
The appeals court concluded that the callous disregard requirement has not been reached in this case, and no one argues differently.