Department of Justice will appeal the ruling granting Trump a ‘special master’ over stolen documents

Department of Justice will appeal the ruling granting Trump a ‘special master’ over stolen documents

The ruling from Judge Aileen Cannon, which grants Donald Trump an unprecedented “special master” and enjoins the Department of Justice from using the documents Trump stole in their criminal investigation, will be appealed. The ruling was always ridiculous and posed a threat to both the law and national security.

Now the Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced that it will appeal Cannon’s ruling to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeal is notably signed not just by Assistant Attorney General for the 
National Security Division Matthew Olsen, but by Jay Bratt, the chief of the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section. This would certainly seem to give a very good view into the reasons why the DOJ feels it’s vital to move this case forward.

Regardless of the distortions and outright lies involved in Cannon’s ruling, there is no guarantee that the 11th Circuit will overturn her decision. Six of the court’s 11 members were appointed by Trump, and all of them were Federalist Society choices meant to tip the balance of the court. The court could choose to uphold Cannon’s ruling, or to send the case back for more proceedings at the district court level. In any case, the appeal is unlikely to rapidly make the documents available to the DOJ.


Thursday, Sep 8, 2022 · 9:12:13 PM +00:00

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Mark Sumner

The DOJ has followed up with a request for a partial stay on Cannon’s injunction against using the documents, especially in a national security context. It has simultaneously filed a notice that it will appeal unless granted relief by Sep. 15.

The appeal of Cannon’s ruling is likely to be just one of several actions taken over the coming weeks. Either the DOJ or the National Archives could choose to take actions to clarify control of the documents in D.C. court. The intelligence community will continue to work through the implications of what Trump has done. Republicans will continue to pretend this is no big deal.

And if, through some outbreak of reason, the 11th Circuit rapidly strikes down Cannon’s outrageous gift to Trump, there’s no doubt about what will come next: Trump will appeal.

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