Justice Department and Trump’s Lawyers Headed For Legal War Over Mar-A-Lago Docs and Presidential Power

Joint filings by the Justice Department and Donald Trump’s legal team at the behest of Trump-appointed Judge Aileen Cannon show that the widening gap between the two sides appears to make further legal battles inevitable. from. After Cannon asks both parties to put forward important points on which they may or may not agree on Cannon decided to use a special master to review the documents seized on the Mar-A-Lago search warrant, the DOJ and Trump’s attorneys submitted a six-page application. It is short because the parties disagree about everything, from the candidates recommended to be the special masters, to the scope of the person’s jurisdiction, to who should even pay for the special masters.

The DOJ’s proposed candidates are two retired judges: Barbara Jones, formerly a federal court judge in the Southern District of New York, who recently served an exceptional master’s degree in adjudication. review documents seized in a search warrant executed at the office of Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Michael Cohen; and Thomas Griffith, formerly a federal appeals court judge in Washington, DC

Trump’s attorneys recommend: Raymond Dearie, formerly chief justice of the federal court in the Eastern District of New York, with experience on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA court); and Paul Huck, who worked with a current Trump attorney for then-Republican Florida Governor Charlie Crist. Huck is married to Judge Barbara Lagoa, a federal appeals court judge on 11th Street — the same appellate court that will hear any appeals in this case.

Of these candidates, Huck looks utterly damaged by conflicts of interest, as he has worked with Trump’s current attorney and his wife sits on the same appellate court that could hear him. appeal in the present case. Jones, Griffith and Dearie are all reasonable options, and the parties have until September 12 to give their views on each other’s picks. If they can’t agree, then the decision is entirely in the hands of Judge Cannon – something the DOJ may want to avoid since she can pick Huck.

The two sides also disagreed on how long it would take to complete the special person’s review. The DOJ wants it done by October 17, but Trump’s lawyers want three months to review it. Delays are often beneficial to defense in criminal investigations. And in this case, if Cannon allows three months, it freezes DOJ investigations until after the midterm elections from which she issued an injunction barring the DOJ and FBI investigators from viewing review any of the documents in Mar-A-Lago until they are specifically completed by the owner. evaluate.

The workflow process is also contested by the parties with Trump’s attorneys wanting to have exclusive rights to speak with special employers to exclude the DOJ and submit classified documents they wish to review in person, without needing to do so. DOJ sees them. The DOJ countered that the ability to view categories of documents — often listed in document identification logs without disclosing the content — would ease the master’s workload especially since the DOJ could agree to several categories will reduce the need for large volumes of old documents. communication, and thus improve the “perceived fairness and transparency of the process”. The DOJ also wants Trump and his team to pay for the special jet because Trump is the one who wants one. In contrast, the Trump team was not surprised to want to go to the Netherlands at the expense.

The breadth and depth of these disagreements between the DOJ and Trump’s attorneys seem to make further legal battles and appeals inevitable.

But the most important disagreement between the two sides was the specific employer’s scope of work. DOJ argues that masters in particular: (1) should not consider documents with classification problems; (2) claims of Executive Privilege should not be adjudicated but should be submitted directly to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); and, (3) should consult with NARA regarding the determination of the President’s record. Trump’s attorneys disagree with all of this, arguing that the DOJ’s erroneous belief that the document’s classification is permanent and that Trump’s interest in any presidential records means he cannot denied control and access to them.

The breadth and depth of these disagreements between the DOJ and Trump’s attorneys seem to make further legal battles and appeals inevitable. In particular, the disagreement over the extent of special powers of the president comes to the heart of what is at stake in appointing the special president, as it is seen as a proxy battle over opinion. Trump’s idea of ​​an expanded presidential power can go against the rest of the executive branch. Ironically, as England goes through the archaic process of establishing a new king, this dispute in a Florida courtroom is actually a battle over whether the President of the United States is a public servant or an emperor. . In 1776, the US entered the war to solve that question and won. But this principle requires defending it again today and every day.

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