I swear to God, this is what happens when you let Larry the Cable Guy try practicing brain surgery. It seldom goes well, especially for the patient.
A quick recap. Trump got his schlock McMansion searched. After 3 weeks of fleecing the sheeple online, somebody finally got it through Trump’s concrete skull that letting the DOJ be the ultimate arbiter of what documents were OK to look at was a bad idea.
What Trump needed was a Special Master. But in order to get one of those, first he needed a judge. His motion should have gone before the judge that issued the search warrant, it was his active matter. And highly unlikely that Trump would get the relief he craved there.
The next most logical site would have been a DC federal court, since the White House, the DOJ, and the National Archives are all located there. But DC district court judges were all busy locking away Trump’s street thugs for desecrating the Capitol and mauling cops. Not much mercy there either.
So Trump finally settles on the Walmart choice, a totally unqualified, 41 y.o. freakin’ federal magistrate that he appointed in the last months of his term. And true to form, she accepted jurisdiction over a motion that she was pathetically unqualified to litigate.
And federal magistrate Aileen Cannon came through in the clutch. She ruled today not only that Traitor Tot was entitled to a Special Master, but that the Special Master could rule on matters of executive privilege regarding the papers. Then she shot the moon and ordered the DOJ to stop investigating Trump while the Special Master was working.
Congratulations, magistrate Cannon. That watery whooshing sound you hear is your career advancement opportunities getting flushed down the toilet. Even if you stay on the bench for another 30 years, you will be derisively known in the legal profession, and history, as Trump’s lap poodle judge. And it won’t take long to cement that reputation either. I guarantee you that the next time Trump opens his big, fat, New York mouth, he’s going to crow to an audience somewhere about how his judge did the right thing.
Which creates a huge problem for Chief Justice John Roberts. The DOJ has no choice but to appeal the decision. If Cannon had showed the common sense that God gave a piss ant, and ruled a Special Master could look at documents pertaining to attorney-client privilege, Garland could care less. There are only a handful of those. But the DOJ can’t afford to let a lowly magistrate start making rulings on executive privilege, especially since the SCOTUS has already ruled against Trump twice on the issue.
This case is headed to the Supreme Court. But first it will likely make a pity stop at the conservative 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. The best that Roberts could hope for is that the 11th Circuit overturn’s the ruling of their new resident imbecile. Because if they do, that allows the Roberts court to decline to hear the case on appeal, leaving the 11th Circuit ruling as the final word.
But if the 11th Circuit plays GOP political games, and upholds Cannon’s senseless argle-bargle ruling, then it’s off to SCOTUS we go. And an untenable situation for Roberts. Trump has already taken great glee in referring to it as My Supreme Court, in honor of his turning a 5-4 swing court into a far right runaway train. A bad decision here would mar Roberts for all history for running Trump’s far right Supreme Court. Not the legacy he was planning.
But Roberts has one wild card in his deck going for him. Trump has taken great pride in boasting about his Supreme Court. But Supreme Court justices are not lowly federal magistrates. They value highly at least the illusion of their independence. And Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett have all taken turns slapping down Trump’s dick in decisions, especially where executive privilege is concerned.
This is going to be fun watching itself play out. And one more thing to watch for. When the DOJ appeals the ruling, watch for them to ask for a temporary stay blocking the judge’s ruling from taking effect. Because while a judge can enjoin the prosecution from continuing to examine and investigate documents under review, no federal magistrate has the power to order the DOJ to stop investigating a suspect. That was nothing more than craven, cowardly chickenshit nonsense. Don’t touch that dial.