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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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Trump says he should be reinstated as President


Former President Donald Trump tore into the Justice Department once again Monday after a judge ruled in his favor in his bid to sort through the fruits of the FBI‘s Mar-a-Lago search – then said the agency to ‘change the results’ of the 2000 election.

Trump fired off the missive on his Truth Social web site hours after a judge he appointed in 2000 ruled partially in his favor in his bid for a ‘special master’ to review documents the FBI seized in a search of his Florida home.

The ruling, in addition to opening the door to Trump getting some documents returned or taken away from government use, has the effect of stalling an investigation of potential mishandling or removal of classified government documents. 

Trump jumped onto the offensive Monday, once again ripping law enforcement, in a possible allusion to the FBI’s handling of information about Hunter Biden‘s laptop.

‘Now that the FBI and DOJ have been caught in a massive and determinative Election Rigging Scam, are they going to change the results of the 2020 Presidential Election? They should!!!’ Trump wrote.

The comment doubled down on a post Trump wrote for last week after Big Tech firms downgraded a story about Hunter Biden’s laptop in a way that limited its prominence.

Former President Donald Trump has called for the Justice Department and FBI to ‘change the results of the 2020 Presidential Election.’ A judge has granted Donald Trump’s request to have a special master review the documents seized during the raid on Mar-a-Lago 

‘FBI BURIED THE HUNTER BIDEN LAPTOP STORY BEFORE THE ELECTION knowing that, if they didn’t, ‘Trump would have easily won the 2020 Presidential Election.’ This is massive FRAUD & ELECTION INTERFERENCE at a level never seen before in our Country,’ Trump wrote.

‘REMEDY: Declare the rightful winner or, and this would be the minimal solution, declare the 2020 Election irreparably compromised and have a new Election, immediately!’ 

He tore into the bureau once again by reposting a user who wrote that the ‘FBI Raided Barron’s Room’ … But Never Raided Hunter’s.’

Trump agreed to the sentiment, writing: ‘That’s right!!!’ 

Trump’s Monday missive also came after President Joe Biden once again tore into ‘extremist’ members of the MAGA movement and ‘Trumpies’ generally.

Trump claimed the Justice Department was 'caught in a massive and determinative Election Rigging Scam,' and said it should 'change the results' of the 2020 election he lost to Joe Biden

Trump claimed the Justice Department was ‘caught in a massive and determinative Election Rigging Scam,’ and said it should ‘change the results’ of the 2020 election he lost to Joe Biden

Trump has been hammering the FBI since the raid at Mar-a-Lago last month

Trump has been hammering the FBI since the raid at Mar-a-Lago last month

‘Are we going to build a future or are we doing to obsess about the past?’ Biden said at a Labor Day event in Milwaukee. 

The New York Post reported Monday on Timothy Thibault, the FBI agent who resigned last week after getting hit by Republicans for his handling of the Hunter Biden probe. The article said sources identified Thibault as the ‘point man’ for former Hunter business partner Tony Bobulinski, who attended the final 2020 presidential debate at Trump’s invitation.

Trump’s return to an election redo, for which there is no provision in the Constitution, came after a federal judge in Florida has granted Donald Trump‘s request to have a special master review the documents seized during the raid on Mar-a-Lago – granting a key demand of the former president and tapping the breaks on the government’s investigation.

Judge Aileen Cannon approved Trump’s motion to appoint a special master ‘to review the seized property for personal items and documents and potentially privileged material subject to claims of attorney client and/or executive privilege.’

The Trump-appointed judge also ‘temporarily enjoins’ the government from ‘reviewing and using the seized materials’ pending the completion of the review.

That grants Trump and his legal team a side benefit of stalling the fast-moving proceedings that have unfolded since the August 8 FBI search of Mar-a-Lago. Any potential appeal by the government could slow down proceedings even further.

Judge Cannon issued the order in a ruling on Labor Day, after surprising some legal observers with a ruling last Saturday that revealed her temporary inclination to grant Trump’s push for a special master. 

Trump’s team made its initial demand in a filing in federal court in Florida, after another judge ruled to issue a heavily redacted release of the affidavit that helped justify the warrant for the FBI to search the former president’s private club.

Judge Aileen Cannon was appointed by Trump and confirmed in 2020

Judge Aileen Cannon was appointed by Trump and confirmed in 2020

The government responded to Trump’s Florida suit with a blistering 36-page filing of and revealed new information about the extent of classified material that agents found at Mar-a-Lago.

They also included an FBI photo of documents marked ‘Top Secret’ taken from Trump’s office spread out on a carpet. 

The judge said her order should not impede a classification review or intelligence assessment. 

That comes after Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines told two congressional committees she would report to them on the national security documents uncovered at Mar-a-Lago.

The judge told lawyers for Trump and the government to confer and submit a list of possible special master candidates, as well as a schedule for review and compensation.

Former President Donald Trump's lawyers demanded a special master to review material seized by the FBI, and sought return of personal items that belong to Trump

Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers demanded a special master to review material seized by the FBI, and sought return of personal items that belong to Trump

A photo of documents seized during the August 8 search of Mar-a-Lago was published on Tuesday night by the Justice Department

A photo of documents seized during the August 8 search of Mar-a-Lago was published on Tuesday night by the Justice Department

The judge held back a ruling on Trump’s request for return of property taken during the raid.

The FBI seized 33 boxes with over 100 classified records during its raid – and found classified documents stashed in Trump’s office, according to the filing. 

Some were marked ‘TOP SECRET//SCI’ with bright yellow borders and one was marked as ‘SECRET//SCI’ with a rust-colored border. 

The government, in its own filings, tore into Trump’s request, and said its own taint teams had already nearly completed a review for attorney-client privilege. It also said there was no precedent for a special master to review executive privilege, and argued that the privilege resided with the current executive: President Biden.

‘Upon full consideration of the parties’ arguments and the exceptional circumstances presented, the Court deems the exercise of equitable jurisdiction over this action to be warranted,’ Judge Cannon wrote.

She agreed with the government that there has been no showing of ‘callous disregard for Plaintiff’s constitutional rights’ through the search, which came after months of back-and-forth and following a subpoena for other documents.

But she also cited documents uncovered by a Privilege Review Team that seized materials include ‘medical documents, correspondence related to taxes, and accounting information.’

She said the government acknowledged seizing some personal effects ‘without evidentiary value,’ with ‘upwards of 500 pages of material potentially subject to attorney-client privilege.’

She cited a ‘Detailed Property Inventory’ where the government said agents seized ‘approximately 11,000 documents and 1,800 other items from the office and storage room’ at Mar-a-Lago.

Her ruling also cited the risk of government leaks. 

‘In addition to being deprived of potentially significant personal documents, which alone creates a real harm, Plaintiff faces an unquantifiable potential harm by way of improper disclosure of sensitive information to the public,’ she wrote. 

The judge also showed a sensitivity to Trump’s reputation should he be indicted or even just based on the search of his home.

‘As a function of Plaintiff’s former position as President of the United States, the stigma associated with the subject seizure is in a league of its own. A future indictment, based to any degree on property that ought to be returned, would result in reputational harm of a decidedly different order of magnitude,’ she wrote.

In one passage the judge noted the ‘limits’ of her determination, stating that Trump ‘may not be entitled to return of much of the seized property or to prevail on his anticipated claims of privilege. That inquiry remains for another day,’ she added.

She also rejected a government analogy that Trump’s push to get back documents owned by the U.S. government were akin to a drug dealer in a case who pleaded guilty to dealing cocaine, then sought the return of $140,000 seized during a raid.

‘Plaintiff has not pled guilty to any crimes; the Government has not clearly explained how Plaintiff’s hands are unclean with respect to the personal materials seized; and in any event, this is not a situation in which there is no room to doubt the immediately apparent incriminating nature of the seized material, as in the case of the sale of cocaine,’ she wrote.

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