Federal appeals court slam-dunks Trump Judge Aileen Cannon who would endorse Special Master

Good trial attorneys learn early on never to ask a question you don’t already know the answer to — and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals clearly knew the answer to the question it asked at the beginning of its slam-dunk testimony on Trump – Appointed Judge Aileen Cannon’s decision to appoint a Special Master in this Mar-a-Lago matter.

Court of Appeals Judges Pryor, Grant and Brasher Interviewed:

“This appeal requires us to determine whether the district court had jurisdiction to prevent the United States from using lawfully seized records in a criminal investigation. The answer is no.”

With that simple order, the Court of Appeals has put a likely end to Donald Trump’s meritorious attempt to interfere in a criminal investigation through a civil complaint. While Trump can still try to challenge the case before the entire 11th Circuit – and then the Supreme Court – the entire 11th Circuit is unlikely to take it. Nor is this the type of case the Supreme Court is likely to take, given its lack of conservative ideological questions.

His legal team treated his status as a former president as a reason why he shouldn’t face what every other citizen expects from a search warrant and criminal investigation. That’s an argument that even the currently politicized conservative majority on the Supreme Court is unlikely to want to come across as supporting.

After months of treating Trump with great patience and deference by repeatedly requiring him to return documents to the archivist, both upon polite requests and subpoenas, the DOJ was apparently alarmed at the potential disclosure of national security documents in Trumps vacation home and was granted a search warrant to search his home. The search warrant found over 100 documents marked as confidential, secret or top secret.

Trump responded with his tried-and-true habit of using civil litigation to delay and crush his opposition through costs and delays — a tactic that has worked well for him in noncriminal cases.

But criminal cases are different because it’s not about money or property disputes, it’s about crime. That’s why Judge Aileen Cannon’s decision to interfere in the criminal investigation into whether Trump mishandled sensitive national security documents, including potentially classified documents, was so dangerously unwarranted. Their legal argument was unfounded and threatened to derail not only the Mar a lago affair but “future criminal investigations of all kinds.”

To be clear, Judge Cannon was attempting to stop a national security investigation by barring the DOJ from accessing the documents seized in the search warrant through so-called “equitable remedies” — the powers judges use to obtain interim measures to issue decrees.

The 11th circuit appellate judges specifically recognized the danger in Judge Cannon’s lawsuit, noting that Trump’s arguments for a special master “would allow any subject of a search warrant to invoke the equitable jurisdiction of a federal court” — in other words , any criminal accused could attempt to use civil processes to intervene in criminal matters. In fact, the appeals court brushed aside the numerous arguments made by Trump (and disputed by the DOJ) about the definition of personal records versus those covered by the Presidential Records Act, executive privilege, attorney-client privilege, and whether Trump de-classified documents — even ignoring Trump’s claim that he can break the secrecy with the power of thought alone — to simply focus on whether Cannon had no authority at all to hear the case.

Her reversal of Judge Cannon’s decision came in an unsigned per Curiam opinion, indicating unanimous approval of her decision. Her language was harsh but brutal in her rebuke of Cannon’s overstepping of her bounds, reminding her and Trump that federal courts have jurisdiction limited by the constitution and law and cannot extend their powers just “by court order.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, a Trump-appointed judge seems to share Trump’s belief that power can only be exercised by decree.

In Cannon’s case, she believed that power comes only from being a judge. In Trump’s case, he believed that power came only because he was a past president. Both were proven wrong today. When our system works as it should, no one, including federal judges and former presidents, is above the law.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/federal-appeals-court-slam-dunks-on-trump-judge-aileen-cannon-who-okd-special-master?source=articles&via=rss Federal appeals court slam-dunks Trump Judge Aileen Cannon who would endorse Special Master


Hung is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Hung joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: hung@interreviewed.com.

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