The DOJ is not done with district judge Aileen Cannon, or Donald Trump for that matter. First, they appealed the stay, which the Eleventh Circuit promptly lifted. Next, the agency moved the Court of Appeals for an expedited ruling, which was also promptly granted. Now, we get to the heart of the DOJ’s efforts: Overturning Cannon’s order appointing the special master.
The agency made its filing Friday, and the opening line of its brief says it all: “This appeal stems from an unprecedented order by the district court restricting an ongoing criminal investigation by prohibiting the Executive Branch from reviewing and using evidence-including highly classified government records-recovered in a court-authorized search.” Even a first-year law student knows that Cannon overstepped her authority. This is only the beginning, and Donald Trump still can’t keep his big mouth shut.
As expected, Trump (tried to) hit back at the House Select Committee subpoena. Former prosecutor Glenn Kirschner discussed Trump’s letter, which he called “sharply self-incriminating.” Like a broken record, Trump started his letter with: THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF 2020 WAS RIGGED AND STOLEN!” Of course, we all know that Donald Trump thrives on that lie, even if he is the only one who believes it. Kirschner wishes he could be “the lucky prosecutor” who gets to act against Trump, “and it’s coming,” Kirschner assured us. Trump’s continued lie violates 18 U.S.C. 371, “conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud the United States,” and his conspiracy continues today.
Every time Trump tells the lie, he makes his conspiracy ongoing, further burying himself in his criminal acts. Don’t think for a second that Kirschner is the only one who sees this. Why do you think the DOJ is slowly, methodically wiping out Cannon’s order? They want to move forward with what they have, and let’s face it: None of us knows what they truly have. One big issue is playing right into the DOJ’s hands: the fact that they served a subpoena for classified documents, and Trump’s people blatantly lied.
The DOJ now has video evidence of Trump’s attempted concealment of records which he had no right to possess. In other words, he obstructed the retrieval of those records by trying to hide them. With no authority whatsoever, Trump took those documents to his private residence and then tried to prevent the government from retrieving them. He had them intermingled with newspaper clippings and other junk, revealing that he was actively going through those records when he had no right to them at all. The mere fact that the DOJ continues to refer to its “ongoing investigation” as the basis for keeping some information out of the public eye speaks volumes.
The agency also hints at what crimes Trump has committed in its brief by discussing Trump’s efforts to “obstruct the investigation” and the magistrate’s belief that Trump actively participated in “unauthorized retention of national defense information and obstruction of justice.” The DOJ pointed out to the Court of Appeals that district courts do not have authority to circumvent federal investigations, and that will likely be the crux of the court’s decision, which should be forthcoming shortly.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years