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BIG: Special Master Appointed Re MAL Raid
TGP passes the story on, with a link to CBSNews’ Steve Portnoy. Notably, Portnoy points out that Judge Cannon takes at least two swipes at the government and makes some additional important statements. First, she questions the FBI’s reliability—offering two examples to support her skepticism. And Second, she strongly suggests that DoJ’s arguments against Trump’s executive privilege “overstate the law.” A Third important point: Cannon blocks any further investigation until the special master reports. Finally, Cannon reveals, among other things, that the FBI Raiders seized Trump’s medical records. Medical records? Passports? This is further confirmation of SWC’s view, shared by many, that 1) the warrant itself was overbroad and that 2) the search as conducted was overbroad. The implication is that the whole thing should be tossed out.
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Here’s an unroll of Portnoy’s twitter thread:
JUST IN: Judge Aileen Cannon grants 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."
MORE: To DOJ's argument that the FBI's privilege review team has sifted out potentially-privileged material, Cannon writes, "The Court is not so sure."
Cannon notes two known instances of investigators later sorting aside docs that might be privileged.
Judge Cannon sets aside DOJ's argument that Trump cannot assert executive privilege against the current executive branch.
"In the Court's estimation, this position arguably overstates the law," Cannon writes.
"The Supreme Court did not rule out the possibility of a former President overcoming an incumbent President on executive privilege matters," Cannon says in her ruling, saying DOJ has overstated the 1977 case Nixon v GSA.
Judge Cannon BLOCKS prosecutors from continuing their criminal investigation until the special master completes his/her work:
"[T]he Court does not find that a temporary special master review under the present circumstances would cause undue delay [to the investigation]."
MORE from Cannon's order:
-- Docs seized from Mar-a-Lago includes Trump's "medical documents, correspondence related to taxes, and accounting information"
-- Cannon says as Trump is a former president, "the stigma associated with the subject seizure is in a league of its own."
"[T]his 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," Judge Cannon writes.
Both sides have until this Friday to submit a list of proposed candidates to serve as special master, Cannon says.
Big victory for Trump. So far. I’ll admit that I was uneasy about the judge’s delay, but it seems she wanted to be thorough.