Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certification

Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Sat Nov 05, 2022 5:15 am

Trump's company to get a court monitor, judge rules: Former president’s lawyers fight bid for restraints on Trump’s business empire
By Josh Gerstein
11/03/2022 02:27 PM EDT
Updated: 11/03/2022 09:37 PM EDT

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NEW YORK — A judge Thursday granted the New York attorney general’s request that former President Donald Trump’s business empire be overseen by an independent monitor.

New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron issued an order after a daylong hearing, requiring that the Trump Organization’s dealings with banks and sale of major assets be subject to supervision by a third-party expert to be named by the court.

One provision in the order requires 14-days notice to the court before Trump can dispose of any “non-cash asset” listed in a financial statement his firm prepared last year.

The judge’s order came over strenuous objections from Trump’s lawyers in Manhattan earlier Thursday, where Trump’s team pleaded with Engoron to reject Attorney General Tish James’ bid to impose potentially far-reaching supervision of Trump’s business empire as litigation proceeds over her claims that the firms engaged in vast bank and insurance fraud in real estate transactions.

Engoron said in his ruling the evidence of fraudulent valuations by Trump and his businesses was “more than sufficient” to indicate that James is likely to prevail in the lawsuit she filed in September, which is seeking strict limits on the Trump businesses’ activities in New York and a ban on the former president and his three eldest children from serving as an officer of any New York corporation.

The legal setback for Trump came after the two sides squared off in court for the first time since James drew national attention for her civil lawsuit taking on the former president and his businesses. She was quick Thursday to hail the judge’s decision as a step toward justice for Trump.

“Time and time again, the courts have ruled that Donald Trump cannot evade the law for personal gain,” James said in a statement. “Today’s decision will ensure that Donald Trump and his companies cannot continue the extensive fraud that we uncovered and will require the appointment of an independent monitor to oversee compliance at the Trump Organization. No number of lawsuits, delay tactics, or threats will stop our pursuit of justice.”

A Trump Organization spokesperson denounced the decision and suggested that the judge was aiding James politically. She is seeking a second term Tuesday.

Trump himself ripped James’ case, continuing his war of words with the Democratic attorney general of his native state.

“A puppet judge of the New York Attorney General and other sworn enemies of President Trump and the Republican Party has just issued a ruling never before seen anywhere in America. It is Communism come to our shores,” he said in a statement.

Later, at a rally in Iowa, Trump knocked James and “a radical left lunatic judge.”


“They’re weaponizing the Justice Department. They weaponized things that are not supposed to be weaponized,” Trump continued. “Companies are already fleeing New York, as you probably read … What they’re doing in New York is unbelievably sad, and it’s all coming from Washington D.C.”

During the hearing, Engoron — who has overseen earlier rounds of legal jousting between the attorney general and the former president — sounded highly skeptical of Trump’s legal arguments against imposing restrictions and oversight on the businesses during the year or more it could take for the case to go through fact-finding and trial.

Trump’s decision during a long-delayed deposition in August to repeatedly invoke his constitutional right not to incriminate himself came back to haunt him in the ruling Thursday.

“Although not dispositive on any single issue, this Court is permitted, and is here persuaded, to draw a negative inference from Mr. Trump’s invocation of his Fifth Amendment right … more than 400 times in response to questions posed to him during his deposition,” Engoron wrote.

Trump’s history of clashes with regulators and prosecutors undermined his drive to avoid court supervision: Among the decisions Engoron cited in his order was a 2016 ruling involving allegations of fraud by Trump in connection with his Trump University venture.

The judge rejected Trump’s arguments that disclaimers on his financial statements meant that banks and insurance companies were not entitled to rely on them. Engoron said those warnings were supposed to insulate Trump’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars, from responsibility, not Trump.

“The Mazars’ language…does nothing to alert its recipients that Mr. Trump himself cautions them not to rely on its contents,” Engoron wrote.


During the court session, Engoron declared that the government had to meet a “heavy burden” to get immediate relief, but he suggested Trump’s case against doing so consisted of little more than hot air, such as arguments from their attorneys without evidence to rebut the extensive collection of documents and deposition excerpts James presented from their three-year investigation.

“Let’s be real here …They submitted all these documents,” the judge said to a lawyer for Trump, Christopher Kise. “What kind of evidence do you want? This is a motion for preliminary injunction.”

An attorney from James’ office, Kevin Wallace, pressed Engoron’s point, arguing that the evidence the AG submitted should be weighed against the lack of proof offered by the other side.

“The Trump Organization didn’t field a team,” Wallace said. They didn’t put in any documents. … Most of the evidence is in their custody and they presented nothing.”

Kise, a Florida attorney who is also deeply involved in Trump’s response to the federal investigation into sensitive White House documents the former president kept at his Mar-a-Lago home after leaving office, repeatedly complained that the safeguards James is seeking now would amount to a “nationalization” of Trump’s businesses, effectively placing them into receivership.

“The order itself really borders on nationalization of a private enterprise,” said Kise, who said it would amount to “tremendous and staggering interference” in the ability of the Trump businesses to manage their own affairs. “It’s really more in the nature of seizing control of a successful corporation and interfering on a day-to-day basis with its financial arrangements.”

But the judge chided the Trump side for exaggerating the severity of the oversight the attorney general is proposing.

“Your papers kept using the word receiver. ... They’re not asking for one and that’s very different from a monitor. True or false?” the judge said to Kise.


Engoron, who issued no immediate ruling but promised to do so later Thursday, made clear his familiarity with the case. He noted that one of the claims raised by James is that Trump claimed to lenders that his Trump Tower apartment was 30,000 square feet, even though it was actually 11,000.

“Could that be a good faith disagreement ... ?” the judge asked.

“I would submit that it could be,” Kise replied, contending the claim was part of a broader financial statement that was reasonable when taken as a whole.

However, the judge ruled that the central issue wasn’t whether Trump, his family members or his employees intended to deceive anyone. The promotion of wildly inflated valuations can amount to fraud under New York law “whether or not” the figures were intentionally misstated, Engoron wrote.

During the court hearing, Kise also accused James of pursuing the injunction to score political points, looking to grab headlines as she campaigns for reelection next week.

“We’re a few days out from an election,” Kise told the judge. “I’m hoping that’s not behind the motivation and the timing here, but I’m candidly a little bit cynical about it. ... I hesitated to bring it up, but this really shouldn’t be about political theater.”

The former Florida solicitor general also said that by delving into business transactions between the Trump organization and banks and insurance companies he called “corporate titans,” James was encouraging businesses to flee the state.

“Look at what’s happening in Florida, go down to Miami, see the businesses that are moving from California, the businesses are moving from New York,” Kise told reporters. “This is why. Because there’s this extraordinary interference with the free marketplace. And it’s a dangerous precedent to set.”

Trump has fought a series of unusual and unsuccessful legal battles against James’ probe, beginning long before the attorney general’s massive suit against his business empire was filed in September.

The latest maneuver came just Wednesday in a state court in Florida, where Trump sued James for allegedly interfering with a Florida-based trust that holds many of the former president’s business assets.

As is typical with Trump suits, the complaint departs from the usual dry legalese to unleash withering rhetorical attacks on James that sounded more like fodder for political speeches.

The Florida suit details a series of sharply critical statements James made about Trump while running for office and accuses her of mounting a “political and personal vendetta” against the former president.

One shot the suit takes at James says she had no intention of fulfilling her oath of office when she took it in 2019. “Unfortunately, she must have had her fingers crossed behind her back when she did so,” the Florida suit says.

“What began as a cartoonish, thinly-veiled effort to publicly malign President Trump for personal political gain has morphed into a plot to obtain control of a global private enterprise ultimately owned by a Florida revocable trust,” the 41-page complaint says.

The Florida suit, filed in Palm Beach County, which became Trump’s legal residence in 2019, seeks to block James from interfering with the trust and even from obtaining a copy of it. It doesn’t seek a money judgment against James, but says in a footnote that a move for that sort of compensation is planned.


The Trump lawsuit rehashes a series of arguments Trump’s lawyers have previously made in other venues without success, including in proceedings before Engoron where Trump resisted efforts to force him to testify in connection with the probe. Trump finally sat for such questioning in August, invoking his constitutional right against self-incrimination more than 440 times.

Kise insisted in court Thursday that the former president has no plans to try to evade James’ suit by moving any assets out of New York. He said just two of Trump’s New York buildings, Trump Tower and 40 Wall Street, could amply cover the $250 million in disgorgement that James seeks in her suit.

Kise said Trump shouldn’t be penalized for seeking to vindicate any rights he may have under Florida law, but the attorney also seemed to distance himself from that litigation. “I don’t represent the trust in Florida,” he said. “I didn’t file it, obviously.”

Trump had also filed a federal court lawsuit last year trying to shut down James’ investigation, but a district court judge in Syracuse tossed that case in May. Trump has appealed that decision to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which is expected to hear arguments on the case early next year. He also attempted to get James’ suit assigned to a different judge, but struck out on that effort.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Mon Nov 07, 2022 5:19 am

Arizona Republican who crossed Trump sees bad omens
by Romain Fonsegrives
AFP
Wed, November 2, 2022 at 8:03 PM

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In three decades of involvement in conservative politics, Rusty Bowers has never been so worried by the gap between perception and reality that currently plagues Arizona's Republican Party.

Ahead of the November 8 midterm elections, masked poll watchers, some of them armed, have been looming over ballot drop boxes in a bid to prevent a repeat of the vote-fixing they are convinced took Donald Trump's presidency away from them in 2020.

No such conspiracy exists, says Bowers, and a party that was once more pragmatist than propagandist is now fully in thrall to unhinged theories -- and it's dangerous.

"It's intimidation," Bowers -- the 70-year-old speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives -- says of the men and women wearing paramilitary gear who set up camp at ballot boxes in parts of the southwestern state.

"If you take voting away and make it insecure, and you increase the violence, to me that's a fertile ground for fascism," he tells AFP in an interview in Arizona's state Capitol.


On Tuesday a judge this week ordered the self-appointed poll watchers to keep their distance from the drop boxes. But a toxic political climate that has swirled since the last election has persisted, and ensnared Bowers.

In November 2020, after campaigning for Trump in the presidential race, Bowers watched with dismay as Joe Biden's vote tally in Arizona squeaked past those of the GOP incumbent.

A mere 10,000 ballots separated the two candidates, but under the first-past-the-post rules, the state's electoral college votes all went to Biden, helping tip the Democrat over the national line and into the White House.

Multiple investigations, including a recount organized by the Republican Party, found no evidence of wrongdoing; nothing to throw any doubt on the results.

Image

In line with his constitutional duty as leader of the state House, Bowers readied to certify the results. And that should have been that.

But then his phone rang.

On the other end, Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani set about assuring Bowers that an old Arizona law -- which he has never found -- allowed the Republican-controlled assembly to change the state's electors, the people responsible for formally electing the president after the election, in defiance of the popular vote.

"I said, 'Mr. Trump, I voted for you, I walked for you, I campaigned for you, I was at your campaigns with you, but I will do nothing illegal for you,'" he recalls.

"When they asked me to break my vow to the Constitution, it's like saying: 'We want you to throw away your religion, your faith, the foundation of who you are.'"

- 'RINO coward'? -

Bowers stuck to his guns, and Arizona's electoral college votes went to Biden.

As it has for others before and since who have taken a principled stand in defiance of Trump, that decision tipped his world upside down.

Bowers is no wilting liberal; he is fiercely pro-life, wants the southern US border strictly controlled, and wears his Mormonism proudly.

Image

Since Trump smeared him as a "RINO coward" -- a Republican In Name Only -- Bowers has been besieged by death threats and a torrent of abusive emails.

The father-of-seven was called to Washington to testify before the committee investigating the January 6 US Capitol assault about the pressure he came under to rig the election.

For weeks, Trump supporters and far-right militia members demonstrated in front of his home, sometimes armed, sometimes carrying signs that accused him of paedophilia and other insults favored by QAnon conspiracists.

Even as the physical intimidation died down, Bowers found himself the target of a political assassination.

Like many who cross Trump, he was faced with a far-right challenge in the Republican primary for a state senate seat.

He lost.

But until he leaves office in January, Bowers says he will keep fighting.

A Republican state bill introduced this session would have given the Arizona House authority to summarily dismiss the results of a popular election, Bowers said, calling it "dangerous legislation."

"It doesn't say they may 'if....', it doesn't say they may 'when....', or why. Nothing, no criteria," according to Bowers.

"I killed it," he says.

Whether it stays dead is another matter.


Arizona voters are being offered Republican candidates for governor, secretary of state and US senator who all subscribe wholly to Trump's election denialism.

"The strength of the leadership of the current party is just anger," Bowers says, adding it is "leaning towards the Mussolini model," referring to Italy's WWII-era Fascist leader.

And that, he concludes, is not good for the country as a whole, whose polity is hanging by a thread.

"It's a very shallow civilization," he says, gesturing with his thumb and his forefinger squeezed tightly together.


"About that thick."
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Fri Nov 11, 2022 2:44 am

Trump Lawyers Sanctioned by Judge on Clinton Conspiracy Suit
by Erik Larson
Bloomberg News
November 10, 2022 at 2:41 PM MST Updated on November 10, 2022 at 5:05 PM MST

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** Judge orders lawyers to pay $66,000 for filing conspiracy suit
** The same federal judge dismissed Trump’s suit in September

Image
Attorney Alina Habba Photographer: Amir Hamja/Bloomberg

Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers who accused Hillary Clinton and dozens of other people of engaging in a conspiracy to harm his reputation were sanctioned by a federal judge who excoriated them for filing a “frivolous,” politically motivated lawsuit.

Alina Habba, one of Trump’s most outspoken attorneys, and other lawyers involved in the case were ordered Thursday to pay $50,000 to the court and $16,274 in legal fees and costs to one of the defendants, Democratic political operative Charles Dolan, who was involved in Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

“The rule of law is undermined by the toxic combination of political fundraising with legal fees paid by political action committees, reckless and factually untrue statements by lawyers at rallies and in the media, and efforts to advance a political narrative through lawsuits without factual basis or any cognizable legal theory,” wrote US District Judge Donald Middlebrooks in West Palm Beach, Florida.


“It should be no surprise that we will be appealing this decision.” Habba said in a statement.

Middlebrooks, a Bill Clinton appointee, dismissed Trump’s suit in September, calling it a “manifesto.” The judge was even harsher in his ruling on Dolan’s motion for sanctions, saying the failings of the lawsuit were “basic and obvious” and that the lawyers’ conduct was “willful, not simply negligent.”

“Thirty-one individuals and organizations were summoned to court, forced to hire lawyers to defend against frivolous claims,” the judge wrote. “The only common thread against them was Mr. Trump’s animus.”

Trump’s suit repeated many of his grievances over the FBI’s 2016 investigation into whether his presidential campaign was colluding with Russia to influence the election that year, alleging the entire probe was the result of a Democratic-led conspiracy to undermine his presidency and tarnish his reputation. Along with Clinton, he named former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey, Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta, British intelligence ex-agent Christopher Steele and many others.

Clinton and other defendants are also seeking sanctions against Trump and his lawyers. That group filed a joint motion for fees and costs totaling more than $1 million. The judge hasn’t ruled yet on that request.


Middlebrooks noted in his ruling Thursday that the many flaws in Trump’s complaint, filed in March under the civil version of a racketeering law normally used against organized crime, were correctly highlighted by Clinton in her motion to dismiss the suit. But when Habba amended the suit in an effort to address its shortcomings, she merely added irrelevant detail and new defendants, the judge said.

“This cannot be attributed to incompetent lawyering,” Middlebrooks wrote. “It was a deliberate use of the judicial system to pursue a political agenda.”

Trump and Habba have repeatedly attributed rulings against them to a broader effort by allegedly partisan judges to unfairly punish the Republican in court. Habba previously asked Middlebrooks to recuse himself from the suit because he was appointed by the lead defendant’s husband -- a request the judge denied.

The case is Trump v. Clinton, 22-cv-14102, US District Court, Southern District of Florida.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Fri Nov 11, 2022 5:45 am

Judge orders Newt Gingrich to testify in Georgia 2020 election probe
PBS News Hour
Politics
Nov 9, 2022 3:39 PM EST

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich must comply with a subpoena seeking his testimony in front of a special grand jury in Georgia investigating whether then-President Donald Trump and others illegally tried to influence that state’s 2020 election results, a Virginia judge ruled Wednesday.

Gingrich, who lives in northern Virginia, had argued that the federal law that normally requires states to honor out-of-state grand jury summonses should not apply in this case because the special grand jury lacks the power to indict. He also argued that the subpoena would be unnecessarily duplicative and burdensome because he has already agreed to testify in front of a congressional select committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and that his testimony in both matters would essentially be the same.

But Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Robert Smith sided with prosecutors who said the subpoena should be enforced. The judge said the law doesn’t parse out a difference between regular grand juries and special grand juries, as Gingrich’s lawyer argued.

“I think I have to read the statute as written,” the judge said.

Gingrich’s lawyer, John Burlingame, said he expects to appeal the ruling. If the appeal fails, Gingrich will be required to testify to the special grand jury on Nov. 29.


Gingrich declined comment after the hearing.

Gingrich, a Republican, is one of several high-profile Trump allies who have unsuccessfully tried to avoid testifying.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis opened the investigation early last year, shortly after a recording of a call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was made public. In that call, Trump urged Raffersperger, the state’s top elections official and a fellow Republican, to “find” the votes needed to overturn his narrow loss in the state to Democrat Joe Biden.

The scope of the investigation has broadened considerably since then, and Willis, a Democrat, has sought the testimony of dozens of witnesses, including numerous Trump attorneys, advisers and associates since the special grand jury was seated in May. It is among several cases that have the former president in potential legal jeopardy as he prepares to launch a 2024 presidential campaign.

Because Gingrich lives outside Georgia, Willis had to use a process that involves asking a judge where he lives to order him to appear.

Willis filed that paperwork in court in Atlanta last month, and Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who’s overseeing the special grand jury, certified that Gingrich is a “necessary and material witness for the investigation.” In her petition seeking Gingrich’s testimony as a witness, Willis said she relied on information made public by the House committee that’s investigating the Jan. 6 attack.

The petition says Gingrich was involved along with others associated with the Trump campaign in a plan to run television ads that “repeated and relied upon false claims about fraud in the 2020 election” and encouraged members of the public to contact state officials to push them to challenge and overturn the election results based on those false claims.

Gingrich was also involved in a plan to have Republican fake electors sign certificates falsely stating that Trump had won the state and that they were the state’s official electors even though Biden had won, the petition says.


At Wednesday’s hearing, Burlingame said the information sought by the Georgia special grand jury overlaps entirely with the congressional investigation, so there’s no need to require Gingrich to testify twice, since the Georgia prosecutor can obtain the transcript of Gingrich’s upcoming testimony to the congressional committee.

“They’re very thorough,” Burlingame said of the congressional investigators. “It almost sounds like the Fulton County district attorney is concerned that the professional attorneys for the select committee aren’t going to be doing a capable job. Your Honor, I assure you they will.”

Fairfax County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Kyle Mandelbaum acknowledged there may be overlap in the two investigations but said it would be wrong to assume they have identical interests.

“The grand jury in Fulton County is specifically looking at the question of whether or not Georgia law was violated which is not necessarily the focus of the January 6 committee’s investigation,” Mandelbaum said.

The subpoena provides him immunity for his testimony and covers his lodging and transportation costs, Mandelbaum said.


Special grand juries in Georgia are generally used to investigate complex cases with many witnesses. They can compel evidence and subpoena testimony from witnesses, but they cannot issue indictments. Once its investigation is complete, a special grand jury can recommend action, but it remains up to the district attorney to decide whether to then seek an indictment from a regular grand jury.

Associated Press writer Kate Brumback in Atlanta contributed.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Fri Nov 18, 2022 4:01 am

Trump Is Back By Unpopular Demand, Ivanka Bails on Daddy & Marjorie Taylor Greene Wants VP Spot
by Jimmy Kimmel Live
Nov 16, 2022

Donald Trump is back by unpopular demand after announcing his 2024 presidential campaign at Mar-a-Lago, he entered to a song from the musical “Les Misérables,” he gave a weird rambling speech with many false statements, Fox News cut away from him before the speech was even over, his beloved NY Post threw some shade at him, many prominent members of his inner-circle were notably absent including three of his kids, Ivanka announced that she will not be involved in her dad’s political career anymore, MyPillow Mike Lindell was on the scene all fired up and raging against the machines, Jimmy was served an ad on Twitter for a “Return of the Great MAGA King” silver coin, Trump has lost the support of some big Republican donors, Marjorie Taylor Greene is hoping for the VP spot, Herschel Walker is busy talking about Vampires, and we invited the exceptionally talented P!nk to put her talent to the test in a round of “Wing It & Sing It.”



Transcript

we have so much to get to tonight
and of course I want to start with a
young presidential hopeful named Donald
Trump the the yellelephant in the room who
is backed by unpopular demand it was a
quieter if you watch this but it was
quite the scene at Mar-A-Lago last night
starting with this entrance set to a
song from the musical Les Mis Miserables
here they come it's former first lady
Melania with her husband John Valtrex
and um I can think of no better way to
kick off another Trump campaign than
with Les Miserables it's a musical about
a criminal with a hot daughter who gets
away with in the end and
sorry I should have said spoiler alert I
didn't mean to whatever the soundtrack
Trump is waddling for president again
you know he hasn't actually conceded the
last election yet if he won that you
know if he beat Joe Biden in 2020 as he
constantly says he did he shouldn't even
be allowed to run he's termed out now
that's eight years but
one of the reasons Trump is
one of the reasons he's running again is
try to to slow down the many many
criminal investigation he's at the
center of right now he's basically a
bank robber on the run from the cops and
the White House is a dumpster behind an
Arby's he's trying to hide it he gave a
weird rambling speech with so many false
statements it makes you wonder where
he's even getting them I don't know if
he's making them up but he bragged about
many imagined accomplishments and seemed
especially proud that he never got us
into a war they said during the 2016
campaign that if he becomes president
there will never be a war within weeks
and we will have wars like you've never
seen before it will happen immediately
and yet
I've gone decades decades without a war
the first president to do it for that
long a period
it's gone decades without a war even
Donald Trump thinks his four years in
office felt like decades
[Applause]
in front of Joe Biden but he seemed kind
of out of it he was so low energy we
might have to start calling him Jeb he
was reading from a teleprompter which
you know he doesn't like to do and he
turns it into a conversation with
himself he'd be like uh we promise to
build the wall and we built the wall we
did build the wall we completed the wall
and now we will build more wall like
he's he's chatting with his own words
and while he he may not have started a
war for decades Captain bone spurs has a
plan to strike fear in the hearts of our
adversaries with the mother of all
missile defense systems we need it the
power of these missiles and the power of
a word that I refuse to say
nuclear
yeah I just you just
you just refuse to say it and then
when it comes to the type of missiles he
refuses to say Trump knows how to build
him he's got the plans right downstairs
in his basement at Mar-A-Lago
Donald Trump is mentally unbalanced and
so are the dummies who follow him here
he is musing about some grandpa style
solutions to America's drug problem pay
attention to the to the crowd's reaction
here in China when I was with president
xia said president do you have a drug
problem no no no no no we don't he
looked at me like I didn't know what I
was doing
he said no we don't have a drug how come
you don't have a drug problem he said
quick trial what is a quick trial quick
I sort of knew what is a quick trial
that's where if you get caught dealing
drugs you have an immediate and quick
trial and by the end of the day you're
executed
that's a terrible thing
but they have no drug problem you're
cheering
they're cheering for quick trials and
same-day executions huh I mean how sick
do you have to be to clap for that
especially in a room full of secret
cokeheads I mean this is
by the way I do want to say if you love
these
idea of these quick trials and and
immediate execution so much what's with
all the appeals and delays from your
armies of lawyers for the many crimes
you've been charged with let's get you
right up in front of the judge by the
end of the day let Justice be done right
I mean it's
it was alumni the speech was an hour and
four minutes long at a certain point
people were trying to leave the ballroom
but security forced them to stay it was
like a room full of melanias begging to
be set free
even Fox News cut away from his speech
before it was over not only that this is
the cover of Trump's beloved New York
Post today you see the only mention is
all the way at the bottom it says
Florida man makes announcement
hahaha and then when you go to page 26
this is real this is this article little
article says been there don that and
that's that
his cholesterol levels are unknown but
his favorite steak is served with
ketchup that's the story they put in the
New York Post for real my how the word
has turned many prominent members of
Trump's Inner Circle were notably absent
last night three of his kids didn't make
it Don Jr Ivanka and Tiffany were
nowhere to be found Eric was there
hoping to be found
um it's really just Jared and Eric it's
like just like secession Jared's Tom
Erica's cousin Greg and
um at least I think that was Jared it
could have been a Sherwin-Williams extra
wide paint swatch I don't know but
Ivanka Trump announced she will not be a
part of her father's campaign she wants
to spend more time away from her family
she said uh in a statement while I will
always love and support my father going
forward I will do so outside the
political Arena most likely from the
other side of
the glass on a prison cone but I don't
know he can't do this without Ivanka
that's like rebooting Sex in the City
without Samantha I mean you need
that character only one politician
showed up last night North Carolina
representative Madison cawthorne but
that's just because he heard there was
going to be an orgy afterwards even
creepy Matt Gaetz didn't go he claimed
it was because of the weather but I hear
he was online trying to get his
girlfriend Taylor Swift tickets and um
but you know who was there none other
than that pride of Mankato Minnesota Mr
Mike Lindell Mike Mr my pillow was on
the scene all fired up and raging
Against the Machines well nowadays it's
like I'm sorry you don't get to uh you
know get to another and you certainly
can't look inside our machine come on
that's proprietary technology in there
my brain if you told me there were rocks
and knives in my pillows you know what I
tell you take a look there's no rocks
and knives it's beautiful patented built
yeah and certainly that use promo code
rsvn yeah
all right just for the record there are
no rocks or knives in his beautiful
patented pillows
there used to be rocks but he might
smoke them all
and uh
there's a whole industry designed to
fleece the Trump faithful I got this ad
on Twitter this morning uh Return of the
great Maga King silver coin cherished
family heirloom your children will
dispose of immediately upon your death
this is a great Christmas gift for
someone you no longer invite to
Christmas Trump has already lost the
support of some big Republican donors
like Stephen A Schwartzman and Kenneth C
Griffin you know the rich guys when they
use the middle initial but both
Schwartzman and Griffin said they're
going to support different candidates
this time around they don't know who yet
they just know it won't be him
it's a good thing Donald Trump doesn't
care about money or he would be very
upset about that meanwhile his former
secretary of defense today said he's
unfit for office his former Secretary of
State Mike Pompeo said Republicans need
more seriousness less noise than leaders
who are looking forward not staring in
the rear view mirror claiming victimhood
even Melania this afternoon was spotted
arriving at Trump Tower in Manhattan she
hightailed it out of there but there's
still plenty of swamp creatures on board
for round two Trump picked up a key
endorsement last night before he even
threw his wig in the ring we know that
President Trump has a special
announcement tonight and I'll go ahead
and say right now president Trump has my
full endorsement and my support as our
Republican nominee in 2024. all right
well he's got one vote I think I know
why she's doing this we know Mike Pence
isn't going to be running mate again his
own vice president won't even endorse
Trump but Pence says he thinks
Republicans have better choices so maybe
this Goblin named Marjorie Taylor greene
is hoping she gets the nod
you're a real American and you deserve a
vice president who's as real as you are
someone who knows our history Kennedy
getting killed in the plane crash that's
another one of those
um Clinton murders right someone who
respects our democracy flood all the
government buildings go inside these are
public buildings we own them
someone who knows how to ask the tough
questions I've introduced a bill to ban
it and make it a felony to genital to
mutilate children's generals do you
stand by that
all right that was a lot someone who
knows other things too like words not
only do we have the DC jail which is the
DC Gulag but now we have Nancy Pelosi's
gazpacho police so many words and why
their due process rights are being so
fragrantly and horrifically violated
Bill Gates wants you to eat his fake
meat that grows in a Peachtree dish
Marjorie Taylor greene real American real
stupid
we've never studied in history how much
taxes people paid back in the ice ages
to warm up the Earth and melt the ice
Are you fucking kidding me?
I'm not green and I approve this message
also Hillary Clinton is part of a deep
State baby eating cabal
speaking of Marjorie Taylor greene male
fertility is on the decline according
new study researchers found worldwide
sperm counts fell by more than 51
percent since 1973 which is why we need
Herschel Walker in the Senate more than
ever before you know down in Georgia
herschel's gearing up for his runoff
with Rafael Warnock and he's doing it by
tackling the issues voters believe
matter the most the other night I was
watching this movie I was watching this
movie called Fright Night Street night
or some kind of night but it was about
vampires I don't know if you know
vampires and cool people are they not
but I'm gonna tell you something that I
found out a werewolf to kill a vampire
did you know that uh Senator your time
has expired uh I didn't I know that did
you know that Guillermo? no I didn't we
didn't know that all right we learned
something thanks
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Wed Nov 23, 2022 12:25 am

FBI Had Informants in Proud Boys, Court Papers Suggest
by Alan Feuer and Adam Goldman
The New York Times
November 14, 2022

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The FBI had as many as eight informants inside the far-right Proud Boys in the months surrounding the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, recent court papers indicate, raising questions about how much federal investigators were able to learn from them about the violent mob attack both before and after it took place.

The existence of the informants came to light over the past few days in a flurry of veiled court filings by defense lawyers for five members of the Proud Boys who are set to go on trial next month on seditious conspiracy charges connected to the Capitol attack.

In the papers, some of which were heavily redacted, the lawyers claimed that some of the information the confidential sources had provided to the government was favorable to their efforts to defend their clients against sedition charges and was improperly withheld by prosecutors until several days ago.

In a sealed filing quoted by the defense, prosecutors argued that hundreds of pages of documents related to the FBI informants were neither “suppressed” by the government nor directly relevant to the case of the Proud Boys facing sedition charges: Enrique Tarrio, the group’s former leader; Joseph Biggs; Ethan Nordean; Zachary Rehl; and Dominic Pezzola.

Because all of the material remains under a highly restrictive protective order, it is not possible to know what the informants told the government about the Proud Boys’ role in the Capitol attack or how that information might affect the outcome of the trial.

A closed court hearing was held Monday to discuss the informants in U.S. District Court in Washington. Lawyers for the Proud Boys have asked Judge Timothy Kelly, who is overseeing the case, to dismiss the indictment — or at least delay the trial to give them more time to investigate the newly revealed informants.

Kelly made no decision at the hearing, according to a notice placed on the docket after the proceeding ended. Because it was sealed, journalists were not allowed in the courtroom.

The dispute about the informants in the Proud Boys came on the heels of revelations that the FBI also had a well-placed source in the inner circle of Stewart Rhodes, leader of the Oath Keepers militia, another far-right group that took part in the Capitol attack.

Last week, lawyers for Rhodes and four other Oath Keepers who are being tried on sedition charges planned to call the informant — Greg McWhirter, the group’s former vice president — as a defense witness, believing that his testimony would bolster their case. But on the eve of his planned appearance, McWhirter suffered a heart attack and the defense put other witnesses in his place.

Questions about informants reporting to the government from inside extremist groups have been raised repeatedly throughout the Justice Department’s sprawling investigation of the Capitol attack. They have included concerns about why the informants were not able to give the government advanced warning about plans to storm the Capitol that day or seemingly to corroborate accusations after the fact that the groups conspired in plotting the attack.

Former FBI officials say there might have been gaps in what bureau intelligence analysts had told agents to ask their informants. Analysts at the bureau are supposed to help agents connect the intelligence dots to provide a clearer picture of threat activity. The FBI’s intelligence directorate was created after 9/11 to help thwart terrorism and other threats.

It remains unclear what sorts of questions the FBI was asking its informants in the Proud Boys and how focused the bureau was on the group’s activities to undermine the results of the elections as Jan. 6 drew near. Previous court papers have suggested that some Proud Boys — including Biggs — were recruited by the FBI before the election to provide information about their adversaries in the leftist movement known as antifa.

Last year, The New York Times revealed the existence of an informant in the Kansas City chapter of the Proud Boys who took part in the storming of the Capitol with a group of his compatriots. After the attack, the informant told his handlers in interviews that he was not aware of a premeditated plan to break into the building on Jan. 6, although as a relatively low-level member of the group it is possible that he was simply not privy to the making of such plans.

Right-wing media figures and Republican politicians have often sought to use the issue of FBI informants in extremist groups to suggest that the bureau had a hand in guiding or encouraging the attack on the Capitol in a way that entrapped other rioters. No evidence has surfaced suggesting that the FBI played any role in the attack.

But the lawyers for the Proud Boys have made entirely different claims, arguing that the information the confidential sources provided to prosecutors appears to be exculpatory and could contradict the government’s chief allegation in the case: that their clients went to Washington on Jan. 6 with a plan in place to storm the Capitol and disrupt the transfer of power from President Donald Trump to Joe Biden.

The newly disclosed material called into question “whether a Proud Boy conspiracy plan to obstruct the Biden-Harris vote certification or to commit sedition ever existed or could have existed,” J. Daniel Hull, Biggs’s lawyer, wrote in papers filed Monday.

The notion of whether there was a predetermined plan to attack the Capitol or whether the violence that erupted there Jan. 6 was more spontaneous will be one of the key disputes when the Proud Boys’ trial — now scheduled to start Dec. 12 — goes in front of a jury. To prove seditious conspiracy, prosecutors will have to show that the defendants knowingly entered into an agreement to use force to stop the lawful transfer of power after the 2020 election.

If the information provided by the informants is indeed exculpatory, the lawyers for the Proud Boys could in theory call some of them to testify at the trial and rebut the government’s charges.

A similar dynamic has been playing out in recent days in the Oath Keepers sedition trial, which could go to the jury as early as this week. A central part of the defense’s strategy in the case has been to introduce evidence that the Oath Keepers had no explicit plan to attack the Capitol.

© 2022 The New York Times Company
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Wed Nov 30, 2022 5:14 am

Trump hosted Holocaust denier at Mar-a-Lago estate during visit with Kanye West, a week after announcing 2024 run
by Maeve Reston and Kristen Holmes
CNN
Updated 8:53 AM EST, Sat November 26, 2022

Former President Donald Trump hosted White nationalist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes and rapper Kanye West at his Mar-a-Lago estate this week, demonstrating his continued willingness to associate with figures who have well-publicized antisemitic views as he embarks on another White House run.

West, who has legally changed his name to Ye, posted a video Thursday on Twitter in which he claimed that Trump “is really impressed with Fuentes,” who has repeatedly made antisemitic and racist comments as chronicled by the Anti-Defamation League.

Fuentes, West said in the Twitter video, “is actually a loyalist” to Trump, unlike others who he said abandoned the former president after the 2020 election.

In a text message conversation tweeted by West on Thursday, he and Fuentes said they both met with the former president. A source familiar with the dinner confirmed to CNN that Trump on Tuesday met with Fuentes and West, who became engulfed in controversy after repeating antisemitic conspiracy theories and making other offensive claims during an appearance on a podcast in October.

The source said that Fuentes was a guest of West, who attended the dinner along with Karen Giorno, who ran Trump’s 2016 Florida campaign, and another unidentified man. The group feasted on a Thanksgiving dinner for roughly two hours at Trump’s outdoor patio table.

Trump was engaged with Fuentes and found him “very interesting,” the source said, particularly Fuentes’ abilities to rattle off statistics and data, and his familiarity with Trump world.

During the dinner, Fuentes told Trump that he was familiar with “Trump’s base,” which preferred Trump being natural and himself, speaking off the cuff and ad-libbing. Trump said that his advisers don’t like that, and want him reading from the teleprompter.

At one point during the dinner, Trump declared that he “liked” Fuentes.

According to the source, the dinner grew tense at various times, including after West asked Trump to join his 2024 campaign ticket for president as vice president, which Trump “laughed off.” The source could not pinpoint the exact moment the former president’s mood shifted.

Trump acknowledged the dinner in a post on Truth Social Friday stating: “This past week, Kanye West called me to have dinner at Mar-a-Lago. Shortly thereafter, he unexpectedly showed up with three of his friends, whom I knew nothing about. We had dinner on Tuesday evening with many members present on the back patio. The dinner was quick and uneventful. They then left for the airport.”

Trump repeated later Friday that he “didn’t know” Fuentes and had offered West business as well as political advice.

“I told him he should definitely not run for President, ‘any voters you may have should vote for TRUMP,’” the former president wrote on Truth Social. “Anyway, we got along great, he expressed no anti-Semitism, & I appreciated all of the nice things he said about me on ‘Tucker Carlson.’”

The White House on Friday condemned Fuentes’ appearance at Mar-a-Lago.

“Bigotry, hate, and antisemitism have absolutely no place in America - including at Mar-A-Lago. Holocaust denial is repugnant and dangerous, and it must be forcefully condemned,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement to CNN.

David Friedman, Trump’s former Ambassador to Israel, also condemned the former president’s association with West and Fuentes.

“To my friend Donald Trump, you are better than this. Even a social visit from an antisemite like Kanye West and human scum like Nick Fuentes is unacceptable. I urge you to throw those bums out, disavow them and relegate them to the dustbin of history where they belong,” he said in a pair of tweets Friday afternoon. “Antisemites deserve no quarter among American leaders, right or left.”

West’s recent antisemitic remarks caused companies that he was affiliated with – including Adidas and Balenciaga – to sever their relationships with him. He has made numerous inflammatory statements over the years, including assertions that slavery was a “choice” and “racism is a dated concept.”

The Anti-Defamation League has identified Fuentes as a White supremacist and he has been banned from most major social media platforms for his White nationalist rhetoric. Fuentes was present on the grounds of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, and he has promoted Trump’s unsubstantiated claims about fraud in the 2020 election. The House select committee investigating the events of January 6 issued a subpoena to Fuentes in January.

West tweeted late Tuesday night that he had kept Trump waiting during his first visit to Mar-a-Lago due to rain and traffic. And Right Wing Watch, a project of the left-leaning group People for the American Way, [https://www.pfaw.org/] posted Tuesday footage of West and Fuentes walking through the Miami airport together. That footage was included in the video West posted on Twitter.

This story has been updated with new reporting about the dinner.

CNN’s Betsy Klein contributed to this story.

*************************

Watch Rachel Maddow Highlights: Nov. 28
MSNBC
Nov 29, 2022



4:03

[Rachel Maddow] We've got the leading presidential contender for the Republican nomination in 2024, this holiday weekend, having a nice Thanksgiving dinner with Kanye West, the rapper who just lost all of his corporate sponsorship deals when he started saying he was going to go "Defcon 3 on the Jews". The leading Republican presidential candidate, their last president, Donald Trump, just hosted Mr. West this weekend, and also this man for what was apparently a very nice Thanksgiving dinner at the former president's home.

[Nick Fuentes] When you look at these things like abortion, it's popular. People like abortion. Hate it, but it's true. And you can thank the Jewish media for that. Abortion's popular; sodomy's popular; you know, being gay is popular; being a feminist is popular; sex out of wedlock is popular; contraceptives are. It's all popular. That's not to say it's good. That's not to say I like that. "Popular" means the people support it, which they do. And, uh, it sucks, and it is what it is. But that's why we need dictatorship. That's, unironically, why we need to get rid of all that. We need to take control of the media; we need to take control of the government, and force the people to believe what we believe.

[Rachel Maddow] "That's why we need a dictatorship; force people to believe what we believe. We need a dictatorship, unironically." So that clip is from People For the American Way [https://www.pfaw.org/]. They have a project called Right Wing Watch, where they monitor and document what's going on on the ultra right, on the far right fringe. And that's a great public service all of the time. I'll tell you, it becomes a fire alarm system for the whole country when someone from that fringe, someone from that far out on the political spectrum, ends up having a Thanksgiving dinner with the Republican party's leading candidate for president.

[Nick Fuentes] Here's the pathway. We have one more election where white people can make the decision. The white people got to make the right decision, and then Trump's got to get in there and never leave. That, to me, at this point, is a pathway. It's time to shut up, elect Trump one more time, and then stop having elections. We have got to talk about the fundamentals of our worldview, and what it would look like to build a society based on our distinct worldview. It looks like a society where women don't have the right to vote. And it looks like a society where boys and girls get married as teenagers and start having kids. And they don't use birth control. And they don't use contraceptives. And they have big families. And a high birth rate. And it looks like women wearing veils at church. And it looks like women not being in the workforce. Banning gay marriage is back on the menu. Banning sodomy is back on the menu. Banning contraceptives is back on the menu. And basically, we're having something like Taliban rule in America in a good way. We're having something like a Catholic Taliban rule in America. Who cares? You know, enough with the Jim Crow stuff. Who cares? Oh, to drink out of a different water fountain! Big fucking deal. Oh, no! They had to go to a different school! Their water found in that famous picture was worse! Who cares? Grow up. Drink out of the fucking water fountain. It's water. It's the same, you know. And even if it was bad, who cares? Who cares? It's better, it's better in general. We all agree.

[Rachel Maddow] "It's better; it's better. Jim Crow segregation. It was better." Almost all of that was posted by "People for the American Way, [https://www.pfaw.org/] their project Right Wing Watch which monitors stuff like this on the far right which is usually only of interest to people who study the far right, but it suddenly becomes totally relevant to everyone else in the country when a guy like that suddenly ends up invited to the home of the Republican party's leading presidential candidate, to have a private Thanksgiving dinner with him. That guy and former president Donald 8:02 Trump. I should tell you, he is also a holocaust denier. I'm not going to show you those clips of him denying the Holocaust, but they're there. He not only explicitly calls for the imposition of a dictatorship in this country, he's explicitly praised Hitler. He says Jewish people should not be allowed to participate in the U.S government. And now he's having a nice private dinner with the man most likely to be the next Republican nominee for president of the United States. So yeah, you know, "back to work on this split screen," you know. And in politics we've got sort of normal, or normal-ish, questions right now about what are the Democrats going to get done in the lame duck period? And are they working enough of the days in the lame duck period? Are they acting with enough urgency given that they're about to lose control of half of Congress? Will there be a government funding bill in time to avert another dumb government shutdown? Will the house Republican leader get enough votes to become speaker on the first ballot. Remember, we've got all these sort of normal politics headlines here on Earth One, but it's all simultaneous and adjacent to the "Deathcon 3 on the Jews" guy, and the Holocaust denier, eating turkey and stuffing with the leader of the Republican party at his home. And I feel like since this came to light over the holiday weekend, most of the talk among political circles has been about whether or not this is bad for Trump, whether or not this is going to reflect poorly on him as the leader of the Republican Party, whether this is something that might hurt him in some way, whether this might be a mistake for him, or whether this will slide off him too. Okay. The reason groups like 'People for the American Way" monitor guys like this, and keep track of what they are saying and doing, is not just because a guy like this might have an incidental effect someday on some real politician who interacts with them. No, the reason that it is worth keeping track of Holocaust denying racist agitators who advocate race war and -- I kid you not -- burning women alive in America, the reason you monitor guys like that is not just because of their potential future impact someday on other people who have power, it's because of their power, and because of the damage that they want to do. And guys like that Neo-Nazi agitators getting a big proverbial hug, getting a private audience with the Republican party's likely next-Presidential-nominee, yes sure, that reflects on that political candidate, and on his party, but more importantly it's great for the Nazis, right? It's a super charging thing for them, for their perceived legitimacy, their reach, their ability to get their message out to people, to operate, to recruit, and to do what they want to do, which in this guy's case is turning the United States of America into a Whites-Only-No-Jews-Allowed fascist Homeland under a dictator who he would please like to be Donald Trump. It is hard to have regular everyday normal politics alongside this kind of politics too. But that's where we are. And the violent ultra right will benefit greatly from this moment, whether or not any right-wing politicians do as well.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Fri Dec 02, 2022 2:35 am

Appeals Court Scraps Special Master Review in Trump Documents Case: The panel’s decision removed a major obstacle that had hindered the Justice Department’s investigation into Mr. Trump’s handling of sensitive government documents.
by Alan Feuer and Charlie Savage
New York Times
Dec. 1, 2022
Updated 8:44 p.m. ET

The Justice Department is investigating former President Donald J. Trump’s handling of about 13,000 documents and photographs that were hauled away from Mar-a-Lago by the F.B.I. in August.

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court on Thursday removed a major obstacle to the criminal investigation into former President Donald J. Trump’s hoarding of government documents, ending an outside review of thousands of records the F.B.I. seized from his home and freeing the Justice Department to use them in its inquiry.

In a unanimous but unsigned 21-page ruling, a three-member panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta shut down a lawsuit brought by Mr. Trump that has, for nearly three months, slowed the inquiry into whether he illegally kept national security records at his Mar-a-Lago residence and obstructed the government’s efforts to retrieve them.

The appeals court was sharply critical of the decision in September by Judge Aileen M. Cannon, a Trump appointee who sits in the Southern District of Florida, to intervene in the case. The court said Judge Cannon never had legitimate jurisdiction to order the review or bar investigators from using the files, and that there was no justification for treating Mr. Trump differently from any other target of a search warrant.

“It is indeed extraordinary for a warrant to be executed at the home of a former president — but not in a way that affects our legal analysis or otherwise gives the judiciary license to interfere in an ongoing investigation,” the court wrote.

Limits on when courts can interfere with a criminal investigation “apply no matter who the government is investigating,” it added. “To create a special exception here would defy our nation’s foundational principle that our law applies ‘to all, without regard to numbers, wealth or rank.’”

The panel’s ruling is set to take effect next Thursday. If there is no stay for an appeal before then, the review by the independent arbiter, or special master — Raymond J. Dearie, a judge who sits in the Eastern District of New York — would abruptly end. At that point, Judge Cannon would also be required to dismiss Mr. Trump’s lawsuit.

It was unclear whether Mr. Trump would appeal the appeals court’s decision. Lawyers for the former president did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Trump had already asked the Supreme Court to overturn an earlier ruling by the appeals court that excluded 103 documents marked as classified from Judge Cannon’s review, but the justices rejected his request without any noted dissents.

All three of the judges on the panel that ruled on Thursday were appointees of Republican presidents — and two of them, Andrew L. Brasher and Britt Grant, had been placed on the bench by Mr. Trump himself.

The decision came on the same day that the chief federal judge of the Federal District Court in Washington ruled that the two top lawyers in Mr. Trump’s White House, Pat A. Cipollone and Patrick F. Philbin, must testify before a grand jury investigating Mr. Trump’s role in an array of efforts to overturn the 2020 election, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Mr. Trump faces legal jeopardy on multiple fronts, even as he begins a third bid for the White House. A special counsel, Jack Smith, is now overseeing two of the most prominent inquiries, one into Mr. Trump’s bid to cling to power after the 2020 election and the documents investigation. A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.

The appeals court’s ruling on Thursday was not a surprise. During a hearing on Nov. 22, a panel of the court indicated its deep skepticism of the legality of the unusual intervention by Judge Cannon.

“The law is clear,” the appeals court wrote on Thursday. “We cannot write a rule that allows any subject of a search warrant to block government investigations after the execution of the warrant. Nor can we write a rule that allows only former presidents to do so.”

The ruling was an embarrassing development for Judge Cannon, a young jurist who found herself in the middle of a politically sensitive case.

She had not yet served two years on the bench when, in September, she shocked legal experts — and the government — by temporarily barring the Justice Department from using any of the seized materials in its investigation of Mr. Trump and installing a special master to review them and recommend how she should rule on the status of any documents the government and Mr. Trump’s lawyers could not agree on.

Judge Cannon’s appointment of Judge Dearie was especially unusual because she gave him the power to sift through the documents not only for those protected by attorney-client privilege, which is fairly common, but also to evaluate claims by Mr. Trump that some were protected by executive privilege.

There is no precedent for a current or former president to successfully invoke executive privilege to keep the Justice Department — a part of the executive branch — from viewing executive branch materials in a criminal investigation. The appeals court ruling did not reach that issue, however, since it ended Judge Cannon’s review on jurisdictional grounds.

During the early stages of the special master review, Mr. Trump’s lawyers asserted that he personally owned significant numbers of documents that the government said were public property under the Presidential Records Act. Those documents included dossiers about applicants for clemency that Mr. Trump received as president.

The appeals court said it was not considering or endorsing that theory. It said only that even if Mr. Trump could assert ownership over large numbers of the files, it did not mean he could demand their return at this stage of the investigation or that Judge Cannon had jurisdiction to adjudicate such a claim.

Shortly after Judge Cannon’s initial order came down, prosecutors asked the 11th Circuit, based in Atlanta, to reverse it and restore their ability to examine some of the most sensitive documents: a batch of about 100 that were marked as classified. The prosecutors said they needed quick and unfettered access to those materials to fully understand the potential hazards Mr. Trump had caused in storing them at Mar-a-Lago.

Within a week, the appeals court ruled in favor of the government. In their decision, the appellate panel — which included the same two Trump-appointed judges who issued the ruling on Thursday — indicated that it thought that Judge Cannon had committed a basic error and should not have gotten involved in the case at all.

Mr. Trump appealed this early ruling to the Supreme Court, which declined to block it in a terse order with no dissents. Not long after, the Justice Department returned to the 11th Circuit yet again and this time asked the court to shut down the special master’s review altogether.

The ruling on Thursday did precisely that, cutting short Judge Dearie's work before he even completed his review of the materials. During his brief tenure as a special master, Judge Dearie expressed skepticism about claims by Mr. Trump’s lawyers that the documents he was examining were in fact privileged and thus could be withheld from the Justice Department’s investigation.

In recent weeks, several witnesses connected to the investigation have appeared in front of a grand jury in Federal District Court in Washington. On Thursday, that included three close aides to Mr. Trump, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The aides included Dan Scavino Jr., Mr. Trump’s former social media guru, William Russell and William B. Harrison, who worked for Mr. Trump when he was in the White House, the people said.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Fri Dec 02, 2022 2:47 am

Secretary of State's Office confirms it has received Cochise County certification
by Mary Jo Pitzl and Ryan Randazzo
Arizona Republic
December 1, 2022

Compelled by a court order, the Cochise County Board of Supervisors certified the results of the Nov. 8 election Thursday on a 2-0 vote.

The vote means all Arizona counties have agreed to send their results to the Secretary of State's Office and ends a weekslong election drama spooling out of the southeastern Arizona county.

The board's two Republican supervisors since October have raised doubts about the reliability of vote tabulation machines. Their actions resulted in a series of losing court battles, the most recent coming Thursday, when a judge ordered them to canvass the election results and get the results to the Arizona secretary of state by 5 p.m.

The Secretary of State's Office confirmed Thursday evening that it had received the Cochise certification, which will allow it to proceed with the statewide canvass, scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday. The canvass is the official proclamation of the winners from the November election and sets in motion the work on three automatic recounts required by law.

Supervisor Tom Crosby did not attend the board meeting ordered by Pima County Superior Court Judge Casey McGinley, although Crosby was present two hours earlier for the court hearing. He later told The Republic he stayed away on the advice of the board's newly hired attorney.

Crosby, along with Supervisor Peggy Judd, had ignored repeated legal advice that their actions were illegal, forcing the board to seek outside counsel to represent them.

"I don't like to be threatened," Judd said before casting her vote to certify. She said she was relieved to not be threatened with jail time, as had been intimated in a Mohave County supervisors' meeting earlier this week. However, defying a court order risked contempt charges.

Judd defended her actions, saying it was important to ensure elections are "fair and good," and balked at making the motion to certify the results. Instead, she deferred to Ann English, the board's chair and a Democrat who has opposed her colleagues' moves.

"I'm not done fighting. I couldn't even make the motion," Judd said.

The vote came after a one-hour court hearing at which McGinley ordered the board to convene a meeting Thursday afternoon to canvass the election results.

He reprimanded the board for its failure to fulfill the obligation to do so earlier this week. The hearing lasted less than a half-hour and proceeded without an attorney representing the board.

McGinley rejected Crosby's request to continue the hearing until Tuesday so the board's attorney — hired two hours before the hearing — could "get up to speed."

“The board has exceeded its lawful authority,” McGinley said, adding the law “unambiguously requires” a vote within 20 days of the election. That date was Monday, Nov. 28.

He said there is only one exception to that deadline: if votes are missing or still being tabulated. That was not the case in Cochise County, he said.

McGinley is not new to the Cochise election issue. On Nov. 7, he ruled that the board had broken the law by pursuing a 100% hand count of every ballot cast in the Nov. 8 election.

Crosby and Judd in Thursday's hearing leaned on an insistence that they needed more information about whether ballot tabulation machines were certified by an accredited laboratory. They set a Friday meeting to explore the issue further and then consider canvassing results.

English told the court that meeting was a tactic to delay certification and further air election conspiracy theories.

Attorneys for the Arizona Alliance of Retired Americans said that point was underscored by comments Judd made to the New York Times earlier this week. Judd said the machine complaints were a pretext to mask their real concern, which was Election Day problems in Maricopa County.

English called the planned Friday meeting "a sort of smack down between the Secretary of State and the election deniers," citing the agenda laid out by Crosby. The Secretary of State's Office said earlier this week it would not participate.

English called the plan "a circus that doesn’t have to happen. I’ve had enough. The public has had enough."

Hours earlier, the board held an emergency meeting and hired attorney Daniel McCauley on a 2-1 vote. But McCauley did not appear in court, telling the supervisors he needed until at least Tuesday to get familiar with the case.

English voted against the action, saying it was "too little, too late" to hire a lawyer so close to the hearing who was not familiar with the case.

She said she previously hoped to have legal representation, but hiring a lawyer so late essentially only would allow a lawyer to go to court and ask for a continuance, which she said was not in the county's best interest.

in casting her "yes" vote on the attorney hire, Judd said, "I can’t talk. It hurts. But yeah. I’m OK with doing it. I feel it’s better than doing nothing. Sorry. We did work pretty hard to try to figure that out when Mr. Blehm wasn’t available."

The supervisors on Tuesday voted to hire attorney Bryan Blehm to defend them and the county government against two lawsuits, even though they had not discussed the matter with him. On Wednesday, they were caught flat-footed when Blehm declined the offer, as did another attorney he had recommended.

The three supervisors were present in the Bisbee courtroom as McGinley considered requests from Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, as well as the retiree group, to order the board to certify election results. That certification, by law, was due Monday. But on a 2-1 vote, the board voted to delay a decision until week's end.

'This craziness has to stop':'This craziness has to stop': Ex-prosecutors recommend charging Cochise County supervisors

While McAuley, the board's emergency legal hire, was not in court, he did file a motion to move the case from state to federal court. That motion came after McGinley had concluded the hearing and called a 15-minute recess so he could ponder his decision.

The motion was never addressed. And even if it had been, it would have presented an impossibility: It wanted the case moved to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arizona. There is no such court.

The drawn-out drama also brought another late claim, one that likely will be dismissed since the certification has occurred.

On Wednesday, the county was hit with a claim seeking $25,000 in damages for the board's inaction on certification. Paul Sivertsen, a Cochise County resident, said the board's failure to certify dismissed his vote and disenfranchised his rights as a voter.

Hobbs has said if Cochise does not submit its certification in time for Monday's statewide canvass, the county's 47,000 votes would not be counted. A court order could avert that scenario.

Sivertsen is seeking the compensation because, he said in a news release, he believes monetary fines are the only way to prevent "future anti-democratic and unlawful maneuvers."
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Fri Dec 02, 2022 3:21 am

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
by the United States Court of Appeals For the Eleventh Circuit
12/01/2022

USCA11Case: 22-13005 Date Filed: 12/01/2022 Page: 1 of 21

[PUBLISH]

In the United States Court of Appeals
For the Eleventh Circuit

No. 22-13005

DONALD J. TRUMP,
Plaintiff-Appellee,
versus
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Defendant-Appellant.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
D.C. Docket No. 9:22-cv-81294-AMC

Before WILLIAM PRYOR, Chief Judge, GRANT, and BRASHER, Circuit Judges.

PER CURIAM:

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

Former President Donald J. Trump
brought a civil action seeking an injunction against the government after it executed a search warrant at his Mar-a-Lago residence. He argues that a court-mandated special master review process is necessary because the government’s Privilege Review Team protocols were inadequate, because various seized documents are protected by executive or attorney-client privilege, because he could have declassified documents or designated them as personal rather than presidential records, and—if all that fails—because the government’s appeal was procedurally deficient. The government disagrees with each contention.

These disputes ignore one fundamental question—whether the district court had the power to hear the case. After all: “Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. They possess only that power authorized by Constitution and statute, which is not to be expanded by judicial decree.” Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511U.S. 375, 377 (1994) (citation omitted).

This case was such an expansion. Exercises of equitable jurisdiction—which the district court invoked here—should be “exceptional” and “anomalous.” Hunsucker v. Phinney, 497 F.2d 29, 32 (5th Cir. 1974).1 Our precedents have limited this jurisdiction with a four-factor test. Richey v. Smith, 515 F.2d1239, 1243–44 (5th Cir. 1975). Plaintiff’s jurisdictional arguments fail all four factors.

In considering these arguments, we are faced with a choice: apply our usual test; drastically expand the availability of equitable jurisdiction for every subject of a search warrant; or carve out an unprecedented exception in our law for former presidents. We choose the first option. So the case must be dismissed.

I.

As Plaintiff’s presidential term drew to a close in January 2021, movers transferred documents from the White House to his personal residence, a South Florida resort and club known as Mar-a-Lago. Over the course of that year and into the next, and consistent with its responsibilities under the Presidential Records Act, 44 U.S.C. §§ 2201–2209, the National Archives and Records Administration sought to obtain missing presidential records that its officials believed were in Plaintiff’s possession.

The government first sought the voluntary return of the records. In January 2022, after months of discussions, Plaintiff transferred fifteen boxes of documents to the National Archives. Inside were “newspapers, magazines, printed news articles, photos, miscellaneous print-outs, notes, presidential correspondence, personal and post-presidential records, and a lot of classified records.”
Affidavit in Support of an Application Under Rule 41for a Warrant to Search and Seize ¶ 24, In re Sealed Search Warrant, No. 22-mj-08332 (S.D. Fla. Sept. 9, 2022) (“Warrant Affidavit”) (quotation omitted).

The Department of Justice was alerted about the classified materials in February 2022. Id. It then sought access to the fifteen boxes so that the “FBI and others in the Intelligence Community” could examine them to assess “important national security interests,” including “the potential damage resulting from the apparent manner in which these materials were stored.” The National Archives later advised Plaintiff that it planned to provide the FBI access to the records in roughly one week. When he requested a delay of up to eleven days, the National Archives agreed.

When the new deadline arrived in April 2022, Plaintiff requested yet another extension. He also informed the National Archives that if it declined to grant it, he would make a “protective assertion of executive privilege” over the documents. The National Archives rejected that assertion as unviable—saying the “question in this case is not a close one”—and informed Plaintiff’s representatives that it would give the FBI access to the records. Plaintiff did not follow through with any effort to block the FBI’s review of the documents. So the FBI reviewed the records in mid- May, more than three months after it first learned that classified documents had been stored at Mar-a-Lago. It found 184 documents marked at varying levels of classification, including twenty-five marked top secret. Warrant Affidavit ¶ 47.

In the meantime, the FBI had developed evidence that even more classified information likely remained at Plaintiff’s residence. The Department of Justice obtained a grand-jury subpoena for all documents or writings bearing classification markings that were in Plaintiff’s custody or control, and Plaintiff’s counsel was served with the subpoena in early May.

Plaintiff did not assert claims of privilege or declassification in response to the subpoena. But he did seek more time to produce the requested documents, and the government eventually extended the compliance deadline to June 7, 2022. A few days before the deadline was set to expire, Plaintiff’s representatives produced an envelope wrapped in tape, which was consistent with an effort to comply with handling procedures for classified documents. Warrant Affidavit ¶¶ 58, 60. It contained thirty-eight classified documents, seventeen of which were marked top secret. Id. A declaration accompanying the documents certified that a “diligent search was conducted” of the boxes moved from the White House and that “[a]ny and all responsive documents” had now been produced.

Even so, the FBI developed more evidence that other classified documents remained at Mar-a-Lago.
In August 2022— over one-and-a-half years after the end of Plaintiff’s presidential administration, six months after the first transfer of boxes to the National Archives, and three months after the subpoena was served—the Department of Justice sought a search warrant. It presented an FBI agent’s sworn affidavit to a Florida magistrate judge, who agreed that probable cause existed to believe that evidence of criminal violations would likely be found at Mar-a- Lago.
Warrant Affidavit at 1, 32; Notice of Filing of Redacted Documents at 2, In re Sealed Search Warrant, No. 22-mj-08332 (S.D. Fla. Aug. 11,2022)(“Search Warrant”). The magistrate judge issued a search warrant for the offices, storage rooms, and potential storage sites at Plaintiff’s residence, and authorized the seizure of:

All physical documents and records constituting evidence, contraband, fruits of crime, or other items illegally possessed in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 793, 2071, or 1519,including the following:

a. Any physical documents with classification markings, along with any containers/boxes (including any other contents) in which such documents are located, as well as any other containers/boxes that are collectively stored or found together with the aforementioned documents and containers/boxes;

b. Information, including communications in any form, regarding the retrieval, storage, or transmission of national defense information or classified material;

c. Any government and/or Presidential Records created between January 20, 2017, and January 20, 2021; or

d. Any evidence of the knowing alteration, destruction, or concealment of any government and/or Presidential Records, or of any documents with classification markings.


Search Warrant at 4. The warrant affidavit described a set of protocols proposed by the government to create a “Privilege Review Team.” Warrant Affidavit ¶ 81. The team was made up of agents who were not otherwise participating in the investigation; they were tasked with reviewing certain seized documents to protect Plaintiff’s attorney-client privilege. See id. ¶¶ 81–84.

The FBI executed the search warrant on August 8. Agents seized approximately 13,000 documents and a number of other items, totaling more than 22,000 pages of material. Despite the certification from Plaintiff that “[a]ny and all” documents bearing classification markings had been produced, fifteen of the thirty-three seized boxes, containers, or groups of papers contained documents with classification markings, including three such documents found in desks in Plaintiff’s office. All told, the search uncovered over one hundred documents marked confidential, secret, or top secret.

Plaintiff requested a copy of the warrant affidavit, an opportunity to inspect the seized property, a detailed list of what was taken from the residence and where it was found, and consent to the appointment of a special master “to protect the integrity of privileged documents.” The government denied those requests shortly after the search.

A few weeks later, Plaintiff filed a new action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, which he styled as a “Motion For Judicial Oversight And Additional Relief.” The motion asked the court to (1) appoint a special master; (2) enjoin review of the seized materials until a special master was appointed; (3) require the United States to supply a more detailed list of the items seized; and (4) order the United States to return any item seized that was not within the scope of the search warrant. The motion was a civil filing and did not explain how the district court had jurisdiction to act on all of its requests. It did, however, claim to be a precursor to an eventual motion under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(g). That rule permits a “person aggrieved by an unlawful search and seizure of property or by the deprivation of property” to “move for the property’s return.” Fed. R. Crim. P. 41(g).

The district court could not identify a sufficient jurisdictional basis for the filing, so it requested a jurisdictional brief. Days later, Plaintiff responded that the district court had “equitable and ancillary jurisdiction,” as well as “anomalous jurisdiction,” to enjoin the government and appoint a special master. He also suggested that Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 53 may create an independent cause of action to appoint a special master, but cited no authority for that theory. As for the requested injunction against the United States, Plaintiff noted that the “law’s ambiguity” meant that “principles of fairness” supported exercising jurisdiction over the entire motion.

The next day—August 27—the district court issued an order declaring “its preliminary intent to appoint a special master” and requiring the government to provide Plaintiff with a more detailed list of seized items. The court stated that it had jurisdiction pursuant to the court’s “inherent authority” and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 53(b)(1), which reads: “Before appointing a master, the court must give the parties notice and an opportunity to be heard. Any party may suggest candidates for appointment.”

After a response from the government that included a description of its privilege filter process, the district court issued a September 5 order directing the appointment of a special master under soon-to-be developed procedures, and barring the government from using any of the seized documents “pending resolution of the special master’s review process.” The order was issued “[p]ursuant to the Court’s equitable jurisdiction and inherent supervisory authority.”


Three days later, the government filed a notice of appeal. It also filed a motion for a partial stay of the injunction so that it could continue using the seized documents bearing classification markings in its criminal investigation. The district court rejected the partial stay on September 15. It also issued an order naming the special master and setting out his specific duties.

The government sought a partial stay from this Court the next day. We granted the stay, concluding that the district court likely had no equitable jurisdiction to issue an order relating to the classified documents. Trump v. United States, No. 22-13005, 2022 WL 4366684, at *1, *7 (11th Cir. Sept. 21, 2022). Plaintiff applied for relief in the Supreme Court, but that request was denied. Trump v. United States, No. 22A283, 2022 WL7255980, at *1(U.S. Oct. 13, 2022).

On October 5, this Court approved the government’s request for expedited briefing in its appeal of the September 5 order blocking review of the seized documents and directing the appointment of a special master. Now, with the benefit of oral argument, we conclude that the district court lacked jurisdiction to consider Plaintiff’s initial motion or to issue any orders in response to it.

II.

Because federal courts lack general jurisdiction, it “is to be presumed that a cause lies outside” of our “limited jurisdiction.” Kokkonen, 511 U.S. at 377. The “burden of establishing the contrary rests upon the party asserting jurisdiction.” Id. We review an exercise of equitable jurisdiction for abuse of discretion. See Richey, 515 F.2d at 1243. And review of a preliminary injunction includes the power to dismiss the entire action based on jurisdiction or the merits. Munaf v. Geren, 553 U.S. 674, 691 (2008).

III.

Only the narrowest of circumstances permit a district court to invoke equitable jurisdiction. Such decisions “must be exercised with caution and restraint,” as equitable jurisdiction is appropriate only in “exceptional cases where equity demands intervention.” In re $67,470, 901 F.2d 1540, 1544 (11th Cir. 1990); see also Hunsucker, 497 F.2d at 32. This is not one of them.

“It is a familiar rule that courts of equity do not ordinarily restrain criminal prosecutions.” Douglas v. City of Jeannette, 319 U.S. 157, 163 (1943). To avoid unnecessary interference with the executive branch’s criminal enforcement authority—while also offering relief in rare instances where a gross constitutional violation would otherwise leave the subject of a search without recourse—this Circuit has developed an exacting test for exercising equitable jurisdiction over suits flowing from the seizure of property. Richey v. Smith instructs courts to consider four factors: (1) whether the government displayed a “callous disregard” for the plaintiff’s constitutional rights; (2) “whether the plaintiff has an individual interest in and need for the material whose return he seeks”; (3) “whether the plaintiff would be irreparably injured by denial of the return of the property”; and (4) “whether the plaintiff has an adequate remedy at law for the redress of his grievance.” 515 F.2d at 1243–44 (quotation omitted).

Plaintiff’s jurisdictional brief in the district court dispatched with all four of these inquiries in a single paragraph. But Richey’s inquiry is not as simple as that filing made it out to be.

When we examine Plaintiff’s arguments about the Richey factors, we notice a recurring theme. He makes arguments that— if consistently applied—would allow any subject of a search warrant to invoke a federal court’s equitable jurisdiction. That understanding of Richey would make equitable jurisdiction not extraordinary, “but instead quite ordinary.” United States v. Search of Law Office, Residence, and Storage Unit Alan Brown, 341F.3d 404, 415 (5th Cir. 2003) (quotation omitted). Our precedents consistently reject this approach. We have emphasized again and again that equitable jurisdiction exists only in response to the most callous disregard of constitutional rights, and even then only if other factors make it clear that judicial oversight is absolutely necessary.

A.

We begin with whether Plaintiff has shown a “callous disregard” for his constitutional rights. Whether that sort of violation has occurred is the “foremost consideration” for a court when deciding whether it may exercise its equitable jurisdiction in this context. United States v. Chapman, 559 F.2d 402, 406 (5th Cir. 1977). When considering this factor, our precedent emphasizes the “indispensability of an ‘accurate allegation’ of ‘callous disregard.’” Id.(quoting Richey, 515 F.2d at 1243) (alteration adopted); see also Hunsucker, 497 F.2d at 34 n.10 (collecting cases). Absent that, courts will not intervene in an ongoing investigation—and rightly so. Because the vast majority of subjects of a search warrant have not experienced a “callous disregard” of their constitutional rights, this factor ensures that equitable jurisdiction remains extraordinary. Otherwise, “a flood of disruptive civil litigation” would surely follow. Deaver v. Seymour, 822 F.2d 66, 71(D.C. Cir. 1987). This restraint guards against needless judicial intrusion into the course of criminal investigations—a sphere of power committed to the executive branch.

The callous disregard standard has not been met here, and no one argues otherwise. The district court’s entire reasoning about this factor was that it “agrees with the Government that, at least based on the record to date, there has not been a compelling showing of callous disregard for Plaintiff’s constitutional rights.” None of Plaintiff’s filings here or in the district court contest this finding.

Instead, he says callous disregard of his constitutional rights is not indispensable to Richey’s test. That is an incorrect reading of our precedent, as well as inconsistent with the longstanding principles outlined above. Chapman, 559 F.2d at 406. And the fact that Richey considers three other factors in its test does not suggest otherwise. To the contrary, these factors underscore how rare this exercise of jurisdiction should be—even a callous disregard of constitutional rights is not enough, on its own, to allow for the type of relief that Plaintiff seeks.2 As we did in Chapman, we will consider the remaining factors for the sake of completeness.

B.

The second Richey factor is “whether the plaintiff has an individual interest in and need for the material whose return he seeks.” 515 F.2d at 1243. Plaintiff’s jurisdictional brief mischaracterized this standard, referring to “the parties’ need for the seized material” (emphasis added). He is wrong to suggest that jurisdiction somehow depends on the balance of interests between the parties—the relevant inquiry is if he needs the documents.

Plaintiff has made no such showing. His jurisdictional brief in the district court asserted that the government had improperly seized his passports and that its continued custody of “similar materials” was “both unnecessary and likely to cause significant harm.” But the passports had already been returned before he filed his first motion, and his jurisdictional brief did not explain what “similar materials” were at issue or why he needed them.

The district court was undeterred by this lack of information. It said that “based on the volume and nature of the seized material, the Court is satisfied that Plaintiff has an interest in and need for at least a portion of it,” though it cited only the government’s filings and not Plaintiff’s. But that is not enough. Courts that have authorized equitable jurisdiction have emphasized the importance of identifying “specific” documents and explaining the harm from their “seizure and retention.” See, e.g., Harbor Healthcare Sys., L.P. v. United States, 5 F.4th 593, 600 (5th Cir. 2021) (Harbor did “far more than assert vague allegations” by pointing to “thousands” of privileged documents that the government retained for four years). Neither the district court nor Plaintiff has offered such specifics.

Indeed, Plaintiff does not press the district court’s theory on appeal. Instead, he argues that the Presidential Records Act gives him a possessory interest in the seized documents. This argument is unresponsive. Even if Plaintiff’s statutory interpretation were correct (a proposition that we neither consider nor endorse), personal interest in or ownership of a seized document is not synonymous with the need for its return.3 In most search warrants, the government seizes property that unambiguously belongs to the subject of a search. That cannot be enough to support equitable jurisdiction.

Having failed to show his own need, Plaintiff attempts—as he did in the district court—to reverse the standard, arguing that the government does not need the non-classified documents for its investigation. This is not self-evident, but it would be irrelevant in any event. Plaintiff’s task was to show why he needed the documents, not why the government did not. He has failed to meet his burden under this factor.

C.

Richey next asks “whether the plaintiff would be irreparably injured by denial of the return of the property.” 515 F.2d at 1243. In his jurisdictional brief, Plaintiff suggested only that the government’s “continued custody” of documents “similar” to his passport was “likely to cause significant harm.” And again, the district court stepped in with its own reasoning. It identified potential irreparable harm that could arise based on (1) improper disclosure of “sensitive information” to the public; (2) the United States’s retention and potential use of privileged materials; and (3) the stigma associated with the threat of future prosecution.

Plaintiff has adopted two of the district court’s arguments
, dedicating a single page of his brief to discussing the first and third theories of harm. On the first argument, Plaintiff echoes the district court and asserts that he faces an “unquantifiable potential harm by way of improper disclosure of sensitive information to the public.” It is not clear whether Plaintiff and the district court mean classified information or information that is sensitive to Plaintiff personally. If the former, permitting the United States to review classified documents does not suggest that they will be released. Any official who makes an improper disclosure of classified material risks her own criminal liability. See, e.g., 18 U.S.C. § 798. What’s more, any leak of classified material would be properly characterized as a harm to the United States and its citizens—not as a personal injury to Plaintiff.

As for records that may otherwise be “sensitive,” it cannot be that prosecutors reading unprivileged documents seized pursuant to a lawful warrant constitutes an irreparable injury for purposes of asserting equitable jurisdiction. Here too, Plaintiff’s argument would apply to nearly every subject of a search warrant. The district court’s unsupported conclusion that government possession of seized evidence creates an “unquantifiable” risk of public disclosure is not enough to show that Plaintiff faces irreparable harm.

Similar reasoning guides our approach to the other potential injury identified by Plaintiff: the threat and stigma of future criminal prosecution. No doubt the threat of prosecution can weigh heavily on the mind of anyone under investigation. See Richey, 515 F.2d at 1243 n.10; see also Deaver, 822 F.2d at 70. But without diminishing the seriousness of the burden, that ordinary experience cannot support extraordinary jurisdiction. Alan Brown, 341 F.3d at 415; see also Cobbledick v. United States, 309 U.S. 323, 325 (1940). The third Richey factor also weighs against exercising equitable jurisdiction.

D.

Finally, Richey asks “whether the plaintiff has an adequate remedy at law for the redress of his grievance.” 515 F.2d at 1243– 44. In deciding this factor for Plaintiff, the district court’s answer was that he “would have no legal means of seeking the return of his property for the time being and no knowledge of when other relief might become available.” This is not a sufficient justification. To start, Plaintiff invokes Rule 41(g) in his brief on appeal, but only to say that it has been applied in other cases. The only argument that he has plausibly made relating to that rule is for the return of documents “not within the scope of the Search Warrant.” There is no record evidence that the government exceeded the scope of the warrant—which, it bears repeating, was authorized by a magistrate judge’s finding of probable cause. And yet again, Plaintiff’s argument would apply universally; presumably any subject of a search warrant would like all of his property back before the government has a chance to use it.

Plaintiff’s alternative framing of his grievance is that he needs a special master and an injunction to protect documents that he designated as personal under the Presidential Records Act. But as we have said, the status of a document as personal or presidential does not alter the authority of the government to seize it under a warrant supported by probable cause; search warrants authorize the seizure of personal records as a matter of course. The Department of Justice has the documents because they were seized with a search warrant, not because of their status under the Presidential Records Act. So Plaintiff’s suggestion that “whether the Government is entitled to retain some or all the seized documents has not been determined by any court” is incorrect. The magistrate judge decided that issue when approving the warrant. To the extent that the categorization of these documents has legal relevance in future proceedings, the issue can be raised at that time.

All these arguments are a sideshow. The real question that guides our analysis is this—adequate remedy for what? The answer is the same as it was in Chapman: “No weight can be assigned to this factor because [Plaintiff] did not assert that any rights had been violated, i.e., that there has been a callous disregard for his constitutional rights or that a substantial interest in property is jeopardized.” 559 F.2dat 407. If there has been no constitutional violation—much less a serious one—then there is no harm to be remediated in the first place. This factor also weighs against exercising equitable jurisdiction.

IV.

None of the Richey factors favor exercising equitable jurisdiction over this case. Plaintiff, however, asks us to refashion our analysis in a way that, if consistently applied, would make equitable jurisdiction available for every subject of every search warrant. He asks us to ignore our precedents finding that a callous disregard for constitutional rights is indispensable. He asks us to conclude that a property interest in a seized item is a sufficient “need” for its immediate return. He asks us to treat any stigma arising from the government’s access to sensitive personal information or the threat of potential prosecution as irreparable injuries. And he asks us to find that he has no other remedy apart from equitable jurisdiction, even though he faces no remediable harm. Anyone could make these arguments. And accepting them would upend Richey, requiring federal courts to oversee routine criminal investigations beyond their constitutionally ascribed role of approving a search warrant based on a showing of probable cause. Our precedents do not allow this, and neither does our constitutional structure.

Only one possible justification for equitable jurisdiction remains: that Plaintiff is a former President of the United States. It is indeed extraordinary for a warrant to be executed at the home of a former president—but not in a way that affects our legal analysis or otherwise gives the judiciary license to interfere in an ongoing investigation. The Richey test has been in place for nearly fifty years; its limits apply no matter who the government is investigating. To create a special exception here would defy our Nation’s foundational principle that our law applies “to all, without regard to numbers, wealth, or rank.” State of Georgia v. Brailsford, 3 U.S. (3 Dall.) 1, 4 (1794).

* * *

The law is clear. We cannot write a rule that allows any subject of a search warrant to block government investigations after the execution of the warrant. Nor can we write a rule that allows only former presidents to do so. Either approach would be a radical reordering of our case law limiting the federal courts’ involvement in criminal investigations. And both would violate bedrock separation-of-powers limitations. Accordingly, we agree with the government that the district court improperly exercised equitable jurisdiction, and that dismissal of the entire proceeding is required.

The district court improperly exercised equitable jurisdiction in this case. For that reason, we VACATE the September 5 order on appeal and REMAND with instructions for the district court to DISMISS the underlying civil action.


_______________

Notes:

1 See Bonner v. City of Prichard, 661 F.2d 1206 (11th Cir. 1981) (en banc) (adopting as binding precedent all published cases of the former Fifth Circuit decided prior to the close of business on September 30, 1981).

2 Plaintiff’s lawyers claimed at oral argument that the special master process is necessary to determine whether a constitutional violation happened. This justification finds no support in our precedent and would result in a dramatic and unwarranted expansion of equitable jurisdiction.

3 During discussion of this factor at oral argument, Plaintiff’s counsel noted that the seized items included “golf shirts” and “pictures of Celine Dion.” The government concedes that Plaintiff “may have a property interest in his personal effects.” While Plaintiff may have an interest in these items and others like them, we do not see the need for their immediate return after seizure under a presumptively lawful search warrant.
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