Justice Department Opposes Any Special Master and Alleges That “Obstructive Conduct Occurred” at Mar-a-Lago

Last night, Department of Justice filed in opposition to the appointment of a Special Master in Florida. It used the filing to add new facts and allegations to the public record, including the statement that “obstructive conduct occurred” at Mar-a-Lago by concealing or moving documents. The Department makes many of the same claims that it used to opposed the release of a redacted affidavit, claims shown to have been misleading and exaggerated after the magistrate ordered the release.  Notably, this filing contained details that were likely redacted in the affidavit but just released on the public record.

In the most direct challenge to the former President’s public claims, the Justice Department claimed that he and his staff had failed to turn over classified material and that the Department had no choice but to search areas outside of the storage room. Indeed, it says that it found three classified documents in Trump’s desk without indicating the level of classification or subject matter.

It also said that the Trump staff barred the FBI from looking at documents in the storage room after turning over classified information to them.

“As the former President’s filing indicates, the FBI agents and DOJ attorney were permitted to visit the storage room. See D.E. 1 at 5-6. Critically, however, the former President’s counsel explicitly prohibited government personnel from opening or looking inside any of the boxes that remained in the storage room, giving no opportunity for the government to confirm that no documents with classification markings remained.”

The filing also adds new disclosures on past claims of declassification by Trump. It states that “[w]hen producing the Fifteen Boxes, the former President never asserted executive privilege over any of the documents nor claimed that any of the documents in the boxes containing classification markings had been declassified.” That was in January 2022.  It then alleges that, in the June 3, 2022 meeting, “neither counsel nor the custodian asserted that the former President had declassified the documents or asserted any claim of executive privilege.” It is not clear if or when the Trump team made the declassification claim.

The filing also includes this notable allegation:

“The government also developed evidence that government records were likely concealed and removed from the Storage Room and that efforts were likely taken to obstruct the government’s investigation.”

The Justice Department told the court that it was vindicated in its suspicions and that

“the FBI, in a matter of hours, recovered twice as many documents with classification markings as the ‘diligent search’ that the former President’s counsel and other representatives had weeks to perform calls into serious question the representations made in the June 3 certification and casts doubt on the extent of cooperation in this matter.”

It is not clear from the filing if the FBI has evidence of intentional acts of concealment as opposed to negligence in keeping track of such material. However, stating that the FBI believes that “obstructive conduct occurred” is very serious, particularly if the FBI also believes that this conduct was knowingly or intentional obstructive.

The main point of the filing was to address the court’s indication that it wanted a special master appointment. I have supported such an appointment, even at this late date.  Indeed, I felt that this was one of the four failures of Attorney General Merrick Garland in not taking proactive steps to assure that public that this was not a pretextual raid to collect sensitive material for other investigative purposes. It would still have considerable value in the case.

The special master could divide these documents into groups of classified material, unclassified but defense information, and unclassified material outside of the scope of the alleged crimes. The last category would then be returned. That accounting could also offer basic descriptive information on the material without revealing their precise content or titles. The special master could describe material as related to national defense or nuclear weapons (as was previously leaked government sources). The government has already leaked that there was nuclear weapons material being sought. Confirming such general details can be done without giving details on the specific information or even titles for the documents to protect national security. In national security cases, including cases where I have served as counsel, such indexes and summaries are common.

Notably, this filing includes the picture which is being widely distributed. It can, however, leave an obviously misleading impression.

The picture could be seen by many that secret documents were strewn over the floor when this appears the method used by the FBI to isolate classified documents.  However, putting that initial concern aside, there is a question as to the purpose of the attachment. It seems entirely superfluous in releasing this one picture. The picture is Attachment F and the textual reference on page 13 simply says

“Certain of the documents had colored cover sheets indicating their classification status. See, e.g., Attachment F (redacted FBI photograph of certain documents and classified cover sheets recovered from a container in the “45 office”).”

It is curious that the DOJ would release this particular picture which suggests classified material laying around on the floor. The point is to state a fact that hardly needs an optical confirmation: the possession of documents with classified cover sheets. Indeed, the top of roughly half of the documents are redacted in the photos. The government could simply affirmatively state the fact of the covered pages and would not likely be challenged on that point without the inclusion of this one photo.

For critics, the photo may appear another effort (with prior leaks) to help frame the public optics and discussion. Clearly the court did not need the visual aid of a picture of documents with covers. It seems clearly intended for public consumption.

It is possible that the FBI was showing that these files with intermixed in that box with the framed Time covers.  If so, that is an appropriate combination if it is being used not to show the covers as cited in the text but the commingling of documents raised in other parts of the filing. We simply do not know.

The arguments raised by the Justice Department are not just familiar but transparently weak. The government argues that Trump lacks standing because the records belong to the United States, not him. However, that is the point. The court is trying to determine who has a right to these documents. The Justice Department itself recognizes that it may have gathered some attorney-client privileged documents in this ridiculously broad search. It allowed the seizure of any box containing any document with any classification of any kind — and all boxes stored with that box. It also allowed the seizure of any writing from Trump’s presidency.

Moreover, the court itself has ample authority to appoint a special master to help sort through such material.

The government and its allies, in my view, misconstrue the impact of Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(g), which provides

” A person aggrieved by an unlawful search and seizure of property or by the deprivation of property may move for the property’s return. The motion must be filed in the district where the property was seized. The court must receive evidence on any factual issue necessary to decide the motion. If it grants the motion, the court must return the property to the movant, but may impose reasonable conditions to protect access to the property and its use in later proceedings.”

However, the Special Master is being used by the Court to determine the status, classification, and categorization of the documents. The Court has the inherent authority to seek such assistance in an independent review of material. Special masters are fairly common helping courts establish the record for ruling on the merits of motions. It may turn out that most or all of this material is properly held by the government, but a Special Master can help establish the record for that decision, including the status of material acknowledged as potential attorney-client material.

The Justice Department also makes the same type of arguments used to oppose the release of a single line of the affidavit in redacted form.  It claims that both its investigation and national security would be harmed. That is even less compelling here. A special master would be reviewing documents in a secure facility and would presumably have a clearance. Many of us who have handled national security cases have been cleared for TS/SCI material.

Notably, however, the Justice Department states in a footnote that “the government is prepared, given the extraordinary circumstances, to unseal the more detailed receipt and provide it immediately to plaintiff.” That sounds like (as with the redacted affidavit) that they clearly can release more information, particularly to avoid a Special Master appointment.

The use of such arguments after the release of the redacted affidavit only undermines the arguments further. The Justice Department insisted that the court should not release a single line of the affidavit and that any substantive disclosure would unleash a parade of horribles, from damaging national security to sacrificing witnesses.

For those of us who have litigated cases against the Justice Department, it was an all-too-familiar claim by a department notorious for over-classification and over-redaction arguments. For a week, media pundits mouthed the same exaggerated claims and challenged those of us who argued that it was clearly possible to release a redacted affidavit; liberals suddenly shuddered at the thought of doubting the Justice Department.  Then the government produced a redacted version that caused no such harms while confirming important facts in the case.

Notably, some of the details in this filing on meetings before the August raid may have been part of the affidavit but redacted.

The Department also claims that it does not need to return personal material to the former president because the evidence of “commingling personal effects with documents bearing classification markings is relevant evidence of the statutory offenses under investigation.”  That is again transparency weak. The government has recorded or documented such intermingling and make a record for any trial without refusing to return material that is neither classified nor otherwise subject to government confiscation or removal.

The Department also makes other incomplete or dubious arguments. For example, it asserts that no executive privilege claim can be made by a former president: “The former President cites no case—and the government is aware of none—in which executive privilege has been successfully invoked to prohibit the sharing of documents within the Executive Branch.” That is because this issue has not been fully litigated. It has been a long debate over the ability of former presidents to claim privilege. Indeed, under the Presidential Records Act, such assertions are honored over documents in its possession.

What is clear from this filing is that Merrick Garland will not change his refusal to seek modest steps to assure the public that this investigation is neither pretextual nor political. Instead, he is “all in” on these sweeping and untenable claims of the need for absolute control and secrecy. What is missing is real leadership to address the deep concerns of millions of Americans over the past records of the Department and its current investigation.  Instead, Garland has required courts to force the release of a redacted affidavit and the possible appointment of a special master.

What is clear is that Garland’s “trust us” mantra has done little to assuage concerns. Indeed, that seems almost comical to many people, given the Crossfire Hurricane debacle and the fact that this investigation is being handled by the same section.

The court should reject the arguments against the appointment of a special master and allow for an independent review of these documents.

Here is the filing: doj-response-to-trump-special-master

This column was edited to add the language from Rule 41 and the basis for such motions.

428 thoughts on “Justice Department Opposes Any Special Master and Alleges That “Obstructive Conduct Occurred” at Mar-a-Lago”

  1. As of now, the point is moot.
    The DOJ has announced it will not do anything till after the mid-terms, citing policy that may effect elections.

    Now, will we see more “leaks” to the NYT?

    1. No, the DOJ did not “announce[] it will not do anything till after the mid-terms, citing policy that may effect elections.”

      The DOJ policy is that prosecutors will not file charges or engage publicly in any major investigative action that would impact a candidate, party, or election within 60 days of the election. But they can and do take other actions. Also, Trump has not declared that he’s a candidate. Would the DOJydecide that some action involving Trump might affect the GOP or the election? Hard to know.

      They didn’t follow this policy with Clinton in 2016.

      Bloomberg seems to be the initial source of your claim. They said “Federal prosecutors are likely to wait until after the November election to announce any charges against Donald Trump, if they determine he broke laws, according to people familiar [with the case].” Notice that that’s not an announcement from the DOJ. Are Bloomberg’s sources correct? We don’t know.

  2. This absurd drama foisted on us reminded me of a quote from F.E. Smith (Earl of Birkenhead)

    “Judge Willis…after a long wrangle with F.E. Smith, whom by this time he must have come to loathe, upon a point of procedure asked plaintively: “What do you suppose I am on the Bench for, Mr. Smith?” ‘It is not for me, Your Honour, to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence.”

  3. The point is- Any other ex-president would simply say the documents were removed from the safe to prep for a book and no one would care. No FBI raid. No criminal probe.

    1. The point is: no other former President has acted this way. They have all turned their documents over to NARA at the end of their presidency as the law requires.

      1. Which “law” removes power from the executive branch and transfers it to the legislative branch?

        That act would require a constitutional amendment.

      2. How could you possibly know that? Former presidents could have had reams of classified material. Nobody would have cared. Nobody would have even looked into it.

        1. Congress clearly does care, whence their having enacted the PRA and the statutes that were used in the search warrant.
          NARA clearly does care.
          The FBI does care.
          The DOJ does care.

          And some members of the public, including me, would care if other Presidents were breaking these laws.

          1. AND HOW would they know if other Presidents have broken any laws unless they went/go after them…? AND THAT is the whole point – for 6 years they have persecuted Trump, gone after him for ‘BS” Lies.. and are we supposed to believe that now they have suddenly stopped lying (as proven with the entire Russia Collusion-MuellerTheatre thAT THERE NEVER WAS ANY COLLUSION, etc…) and that suddenly to-day they are telling the truth. ?.. ..and leaking fake news stories to the MSM about the danger of Nat’l Security shows there is no danger, or they would not be leaking anything…. All of this also protects the family of the Manchurian Candidate.

            1. Gee, don’t you think they’d hear from whistleblowers if Carter, Clinton, GHW and GW Bush, and Obama didn’t turn over all of their records?

              1. Gee, don’t you think they’d hear from whistleblowers

                Evidence say no.

                There are a couple that have come forward finally.

                But after the soft coupe of RUSSIA, it is clear to me the FBI is corrupt all the way down to the person answering the phones. All the corruption was in plain sight, and the most egregious offenders get promoted. I cant imagine a process that would change the culture of the vile .

                We also have a letter from Garland this week. telling his employees that are not allowed to talk to Congress.

                1. Whistleblowers are supposed to speak to their IG, and the IG forwards the concern to Congress after investigating. Didn’t you learn this in Impeachment #1?

                  1. So the Whistle Blower laws are unconstitutional?

                    We have seen corrupt IG’s

                    Like the IC IG that investigated Trumps phone call. Care to explain how the intelligence community IG, whose responsibility is to investigated procedures or accounting of the IC got involved With something that had no connection to the IC procedures or accounting?

                    1. “So the Whistle Blower laws are unconstitutional?”


                      “something that had no connection to the IC procedures”

                      LOL that you make that false claim.

                  2. “Whistleblowers are supposed to speak to their IG, “

                    ATS, sometimes circumstances are such that it is necessary for one to follow a different path. That different path can be seen by those with common sense. If you don’t understand that, you can ask and I will explain.

    2. Ah I see we’re in stage 4 of goal post shifting:

      “Trump never took any sensitive documents to Mar-a-Lago! Fake news!”

      “Ok, he took some sensitive documents but he declassified them first. Witch hunt!”

      “Even if the documents were classified, they weren’t super important. Deep state!”

      “Some of the documents were TS/SCI but all other ex-presidents do it so it’s not a big deal. Just look at Hillary!”

      1. but all other ex-presidents do it so it’s not a big deal.

        All other presidents have declassified documents and taken them with them, it’s a matter of history. An honorable DoJ knowing the PRA is civil, not criminal law, would not get involved.

  4. Please, someone tell my why you support trump who does not care if you live or die? He loves you for the money you send him. And what does he with the the money exactly? He sure hasn’t given hardly anything to those who he is supporting for election. Just the other day he said we should install him as president now because of all the fraud in 2020. What fraud? All the trump supporters that voted twice? Arizona did a recount, a partisan recount, ran by republicans, They said Biden won by more than they originally thought. So where is the fraud? 60 court cases, not one piece of evidence supporting fraud.

    Right after the search at mar a logo he said the FBI planted evidence, then the story changed to its mine and I declassified it. Where is the evidence that he declassified it? Numerous of his closest advisors when he was president said no such order existed. And the point isn’t about classification anyway. These were government papers that in June he swore did not exist at his residence. He was given a subpoena to produce documents, he refused to comply, thus the search warrant.

    What have I accused him of that is not true?

    I just do not for the life of me understand why anybody would support this man for anything. Please someone tell me why he deserves support.

    1. You want to know why I support Trump? I couldn’t care less about what he did with classified documents that were kept at MAL. I also didn’t care what Presidential audio tapes Bill Clinton kept in his sock drawer. What I care about is how the country is doing. Biden is destroying the country with trillions in government boondoggles, soaring inflation, IRS crackdowns, higher taxes and pushing us into WW3. Everything was better under Trump. Trump worked hard to get peace deals in the Middle East. Russia would never have invaded Ukraine if Trump was President. The economy was doing well with stable prices before the pandemic. If i could go back to the economy of 2019, I’d happily do so.

      1. Uh elle1001:I can tell you fall for the Judicial Watch garbage. The “audio tapes” Judicial Watch sent an FOIA request for were copies of interviews done by an historian who interviewed Bill Clinton. The NARA certified that these were NOT “presidential records” because they were just interviews an historian did for a book he was writing. The author gave Bill Clinton a courtesy copy. The NARA never had copies because they had nothing to do with presidential business.

        How is the country doing? Biden reversed the 10% unemployment Trump caused due to his utter incompetence in handling the pandemic. We now have essentially full employment. In case you forgot–2 years ago the country was mostly shut down: schools, factories, businesses and restaurants were closed down while your “president’ was lying about COVID: “it’s only one person coming from China….15 cases will soon be 0 cases….you’ll be back in church by Easter….Hydroxychloroquine will cure COVID.” These are just a few lies that, according to estimates, caused 130,000 unnecessary extra American deaths. Trump started a trade war with China after he couldn’t bully President XI, which caused a shortage of computer chips and consumer goods that has disrupted the supply chain and is contributing to inflation. Trump’s tax breaks for the wealthy caused our national debt to soar to record levels, which is also contributing to inflation for just the interest payments alone. Now, schools, businesses and factories are open again. Anyone who wants a job can find one. There is a backlog of consumer goods due to the shut downs that were Trump’s fault, and that is contributing to inflation, which is already easing. Biden is the one who got COVID under control by marshaling the assets needed–sourcing ultra-cold freezers, PPE, syringes, and the logistics to get the vaccine deliered. Trump did none of these things, but tries to take credit for COVID being under control now.

        Maybe I missed it–was there a war in the Middle East for which Trump brokered a “peace deal”? Hell to the no. It was Jared Kushner, looking to borrow from the Saudis because his properties are also under water, who formalized a TRADE deal between UAR, Bahrain and Israel, all of whom were already trading with each other before. As usual, Trump lied about this, exaggerated its importance–a trade agreement isn’t a “peace agreement” and took credit for it.

        Are you now a mindreader? How do you know whether Putin would have invaded Ukraine if Trump could have cheated his way back into office a second time? Trump’s weakness is what emboldened Putin. There’s nothing weaker than a man with a huge ego who constantly lies and has to be the center of attention. Trump trashed the EU and NATO, and pledged to pull the US out of NATO if he got the chance. Trump deferred to Putin at Helsinki, even over his own intelligence agencies, and lobbied to try to get Russia back into the G-7, but failed. Putin was gambling that Trump had so damaged our relations with EU and NATO allies that a successful opposition to his invasion of Ukraine couldn’t be mounted by Ukraine’s allies, of which the US is a major one. Biden has healed these rifts, so now Sweden and Finland have petitioned to join NATO–something Trump could never have done.

        1. Thank you, your lengthy response only touched on a few of the thousands of lies trump has spewed in the past 6 years. But I fear trumps supporters will hear none of it. Sad, so sad that so many people believe such utter BS.

    2. So where is the fraud? 60 court cases, not one piece of evidence supporting fraud.


      So how many of those cases were dropped on the Phony Crap judges call “Lack Of Stand” as the judges are lazy or biased? (LoS) Where is it in USC & it’s history?

      How many of those 60 court cases were heard on the Merits, None Right!

      So why would anyone support your lying azzes & position’s you people continue repeating that are false.


      Just another case of 1000’s……..


      1. Several of the judges were trump appointees. The Arizona recount was a political hatchet job done by the Republicans and they found Biden had more votes.

        So what evidence is there that was not shown in court? Please, name something, anything. There are several civil lawsuits pending where voting machine companies are suing for defamation. So far, the judges have not thrown out those lawsuits. Why? time will tell how successful they are but the accusations thrown against these companies were just out of this world whacked.

        The judges threw out the cases because the litigants (trumps team) brought nothing into court. On the steps outside of court they screamed about all the fraud. Inside the court they sheepishly said, sorry judge, we don’t have anything, but we think our guy won because, well because we think he won. How many of trumps lawyers are facing or have faced discipline because they brought frivolous cases?

        Trumps call to Georgia to get 12,000 more votes was what? just kidding around? The President of the United States tells an election official to find enough votes to declare him the winner. That is fine with you?

        How about loosing an election and then coming up with better ideas than the guy that won. Instead the guy looses and he threatens violence.

        Please tell me, what position have I laid out that is false?

        1. As I understand things Just the State Legislature is in charge of Setting the Rules For The State, not the SoS or the Gov.

          If the SoS/Gov change the rules, as they did in many case, it is not legal.

          What did that one Idiot State Judge say at the time?, if we followed the Law we would have to throw out around 400000 Votes in Penn as they would be ILLEGAL!.

          IE: One point, among others, Pennsylvania Law, as I understand it, says that election results can’t be certified when there are more votes then registered Voters.


          In many cases the easiest way to show the Massive Nation-Wide Election Fraud is just the simple Signature Match.

          The 2020 Election Results in no way could have withstood that anywhere in the US.

          1. Arizona did a recount, a partisan recount done by republicans. They found Biden had more votes than originally counted.

            I know, I know, trump won huuuuuuugly.

            1. Election Integrity Arizona: Liz Harris Recaps Her Canvass Results, the Audit, and Drops a HUGE Bomb!
              By Brian Lupo
              Published August 24, 2022 at 4:06pm
              Gab Share
              Gettr Gettr

              At the Moment of Truth Summit last weekend, Arizona State House candidate Liz Harris had the opportunity to present some of the results from the canvass her team conducted after the 2020 election. The Gateway Pundit has previously reported on some of these incredible findings.



              Criminal Complaint Filed with Wisconsin Elections Commission Against Shady Claire Woodall-Vogg over Illegal Ballot Collections in Back Alley
              By Jim Hoft
              Published August 25, 2022 at 12:44pm
              Gab Share
              Gettr Gettr

              In the early hours of November 4, 2020, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a batch of 143,379 ballots, all for Joe Biden were dropped into the state totals.

              Last August we unearthed an email that shows the culprits behind the ‘drop’ were laughing about what they had done after the ballot drop!

              We all now know about the many states that dropped huge numbers of ballots stealing the race for Joe Biden. On the morning of November 4th, America woke up to see the results of the massive fraud in multiple swing states.


    3. I did not vote for Trump in 2016 or 2020. As I have stated on this blog before, I gave monies to the Tulsi Gabbard campaign, twice. Would of a third time had she not dropped out. If she ran as an independent in 2024, I would not only vote for her, contribute to her campaign, but consider volunteering. Side note, Gabbard stayed in longer than so-called top tier Harris.
      Do I necessarily support him?
      But to the lengths of which the MSM, the DOJ, the FBI and others have gone since he was in the WH, and even now, I see this as a dangerous level of corruption.
      Had there not been an established Clinton private email server precedent, then I would be all in on Trump getting charged. But that is not what has happened. Rather we have a double standard. Two sets of rules. And that is what has many American pissed off. It is not just limited to Clinton and Trump but the various “rules for tee, but not for me,” during the COVID lockdowns (re: CA gov and the French Laundry for one example).
      Watching the DNC embracing wokeism, everything from defund the police (re: 2020 Summer of Love, Fiery but mostly peaceful protests, the number dead, injured, and financial costs, two of those protesters Harris gave money too to bail out are now facing murder charges), student bail outs, to sexualizing children as young as the age of six, teaching children to hate themselves or others based off skin color, I am alarmed.
      As I have stated on this blog before, I do NOT want Trump to run in 2024 as I think that will be bad for the country.
      However, if he does and can, I will have to vote for him. As the alternative of the disastrous Biden admin of nearly everything, who also claims to be the President of unity while calling those who voted for Trump as semi-facists, and his and the DNC embrace of wokeism is even worse for the country.
      On more than a few occasions on this blog I have stated that we should not go down the path of a civil war. But I fear that is the direction we are heading. And both sides are to blame.
      Push comes to shove, if I am forced to choose a side, I choose the side of liberty. The Constitution. Rule of Law. From my perspective, that is not the leftists. Not the DNC. While Biden declares the GOP to be a threat to democracy, again from my perspective, it is Biden and the DNC who are the greatest threats.

      As I have stated before on this blog, I see wokeism and all those who embrace it, as the greatest threat to America.

    4. As someone who supported Bill Clinton twice and John Kerry in 2004 I will tell you why I supported Trump in 2020 after being skeptical in 2016:

      1. He opposed bipartisan neo con foreign policy: Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Ukraine. He reoriented US policy in the Middle East away from Iran creating the best opportunity in my lifetime for regional peace between Israel and the Sunni Arab states.

      2. He recognised the threat posed by China and began to do something about it.

      3. He believes this country should have a secure southern border and implemented policies that staunched the flow.

      4. He opposed letting climate alarmism drive policy and helped establish energy independence.

      5. He took measures to oppose “wokism” in many areas relating to race and gender.

      6. He declared school choice to be the civil rights issue of our time.

      7. He reduced federal regulation of the economy.

      8. Through Schedule F he sought to rein in the administrative state.

      9. He appointed justices more likely to interpret than to make law and to respect the separation of powers and federalism.

      I would still support Trump over any Democrat, given the current ideology of the Democratic Party. I do think DeSantis would be a stronger candidate.

      1. Daniel: Precisely. There are probably fewer people who liked Trump and/or his personality, than (vis-a-vis) those who voted for him because of his platform. That’s the way it should be. It’s nice if you get both.
        (Conversely, I would bet that few people voted for less-than-honest Biden because they liked him OR his platform, -they voted for him in order to beat Trump and restore control for Democrats.)

  5. If Trump shot a child execution-style in Times Square on live TV, Turley and the MAGA apologists here would be falling over themselves to defend him.

    1. Why are you people supporting the Biden’s Incest & Pedophilia & their friends doing the same , Raping Dogs & selling out US State Secrets to our enemies like the Chinese & others?????

      Trump’s Bad just isn’t enough of a reason for your people’s Treason/Rape/Etc…

      But tell us, we’re interested in your excuse.

  6. Now the Justice Department and some on this blog are saying that they have already sifted through the documents so no special master is required. You know, the Justice Department that told you that the Hunter laptop was just Russian disinformation. You know the 51 folks from the Justice Department who signed a letter telling you that the laptop was another Russian plot. This is the Justice Department that you should trust without reservation when it tells you that they have already “sifted” through the documents. Some on this blog should go check out their purchase sight unseen of ocean front property in Arizona.

    1. Sandy, so lying to the nation by the Justice Department concerning Hunter Biden is a weak argument. Now they admit that they were wrong. Please point out what points in my argument are not factual when even the FBI, The NewYork Times, The Washington Post and the Justice Department have admitted that they mislead the nation. Instead of pointing out where I err you present a one line none argument with an inference that I lack intelligence. It must hurt your fingers to type and your brain to compose.

      1. “It must hurt your fingers to type and your brain to compose” says the guy who elsewhere claims “I am not repeating your habit of calling people juvenile names.”

        BTW, you should learn the difference between an inference and an implication.

    2. My favorite is the outrage that the photos aren’t necessary. I learned in law school that courts existed long before cameras. ALL photographic evidence is superfluous. All good lawyers know how to use photographic evidence to the best effect.

      He is literally whining that the DOJ has good lawyers, who do competent work.

  7. I might have missed this if someone else has asked, but it absolutely deserves an answer. Why hasn’t the Justice Department leaked pictures of Epstein’s client list?

  8. The primary goal of this exercise is obfuscation, delay, divert media attention, and to do whatever can be done prevent evidence from being used in Trump v. Clinton et al.

  9. This Trump-worshipping partisan calls himself an attorney. Either he no longer practices or he’s being intentionally deceitful to make his MAGA audience around. As an actual non-criminal defense attorney, I will just say his ruminations here, full of grievance and whining about warrants, do not address the issue of obstruction or illegal possession of US government property.

    Reality Winner went to jail for less than 1% of what Trump did here and Turley is trying to make him a king, above the law that applies to the rest of us.

    1. Couldn’t have said it better myself. It’s scary how many Americans have been taken in by such an obvious con man.

    2. Reality Winner was not president or subjected a witch hunt for years, but, in fact, plead guilty to her crimes. Your bias is greater than what you accuse Turley of, even if you are an “actual” attorney. Not a very knowledgable one, however. What will happen when the next president decides Biden has no Executive Privilege? Will your tune change?

    3. timbu16 sleepily yet condescendingly reminds us that ‘the law applies to the rest of us…’ yet… we’ve seen Not to Hunter & his Dad, nor to Paul Jr. & his Mom.. ad infinitum..! also interesting that ‘the law’ could not find any evidence in the 6 years of Trump bashing, including a very expensive Mueller Investigation packed with the brightest minds of many attorneys… and now.. suddenly… last shot… voila… behind Trump’s back…in his home without him there, and carrying with them God knows what in their padded vests…. and we should believe this esteemed ‘actual non-criminal defense attorney’ that Trump stole documents that were ‘found’ (against all logic as he could have photographed/copied what he wanted before leaving the WH…) exactly like he colluded with Russia…i.e., that now the swamp is no longer lying as before….

    4. Absolutely, Thank you for pointing out Reality Winner. She did the right thing and served time. Trump was hoarding documents for? To sell them to the highest bidder? To show them to “guests” so he could show how important he is/was?

    5. The issues of obstruction or illegal possession of government property is yet to be determined; as is, whether the DOJ violated the fourth Amendment in execution of an overly broad general warrant without probable cause. Garland refuses to reveal a clear basis for the general warrant, or why it took 30 FBI agents to descend on a private residence in the dark of early morning instead of a subpoena. Garland had no way to know if Trump was hiding documents without knowing what they were. The pretext that the documents were at risk because of, “national security implications,” is specious at best. What was Trump going to do with them, trigger the death star.” This is the modus operandi of a Justice Department with absolutely no respect for justice.

      1. Trump’s lawyers can make that argument to the court. But I doubt that the judge will agree with you/them.

  10. This matter is like a tyrannical theater of the absurd written by Kafka or Orwell. Why the draconian move when the courts were available? What benefit would President Trump get from holding onto the documents? What motive is justice trying to impinge on President Trump, or is just bidirectional cover to snoop?

  11. The material/classified documents have already been sifted through. Hoping for a Special Master to come in and un see evidence that’s already been seen is a ridiculous idea…

    Jon, I’m really worried about you. You’ve been relegated to trying to defend the single most guilty (of multiple crimes) president in the history of the country. Even worse, you’ve acquiesced to playing attack dog on order against the offspring of the current president. These aren’t enviable roles…, what could’ve possibly happened to bring you here? When I think of the greatest crash and burns in the history of the country, Trump’s will be either number one or number two on the list…, but I’m thinking you might’ve made top 50.

    Here’s what Andrew Weissman said after the DOJ release last night..:

    “”There is only one verdict consistent with this proof; we ask you to return a verdict of: guilty on espionage related charges (793/2071); guilty on contempt of GJ subpoena (402); guilty on obstruction related charges (1001/1519) guilty on unlawful retention of govt docs (641),” Weissman said.

    Time to read the room, Jon.

  12. It does little to assuage concerns. I do not any longer have faith in any of this. The dems are going to do their level best to steal the midterms, they hate freedom and personal autonomy, and that is pretty much all that is. This is probably our last chance to save our country, and even the Professor admits that in his own, sideways way. I really hope people vote accordingly. There are nearly 400 million of us counting on it, whatever the foolish may believe. This is it, the time is right now. The bullets in the 21st century Civil War are dollars. Let us not go back to Robespierre and literally chopping off heads, please, because it is increasingly clear that this is our choice. Any non-Dem, according to pundits, is now a member of a terror cell, and that is freaking scary in a free country where there are actually more than two parties, if anyone can be bothered to notice.

    1. James,
      You think things are crazy now. or come the mid-terms?
      Late this year and into next year it is going to get even worse if the global energy and food shock does in fact come to pass.
      Toss in all this political tension, civil strife with even higher energy and food prices.
      People are going to look for someone to blame.
      Some people will blame the “other” side.
      Does not help when, as you point out, “Any non-Dem, according to pundits, is now a member of a terror cell . . .”
      Some have noted this seems to be the new, feisty Biden on Twitter as he goes after MAGA GOP members.
      So, mean tweets are okay now?

  13. I think it is pretty much a crock. Anything do with “nuclear codes” has certainly been changed, but “nuclear” is a word that gets attention. Ask Putin.
    I do believe probable cause was set aside to frame Trump again. I think Garland is too weak to push back, and is being pushed around by the same players in the Russia hoax who hid Hunter’s laptop and are now trying to save themselves.

  14. The do j is now in a never ending cycle of cover ups that it can’t escape from at this point. The raid has blown up in their faces. There is no crime. Ironically, this abuse of government power will most likely catapult Trump into his next presidency.

    1. This joker of an ex-president has co-mingled personal documents with government property that is at various levels of secrecy status. He is incompetent to know what is top secret, and for whatever reason it is top secret.

        1. iowan, sorry to ruin your day: Trump is no longer President.

          And Trump’s lawyers are not claiming that he declassified these docs while President. Also, the point of declassification is to make the docs available to the general public. It’s a contradiction in terms to declassify something without notifying the government and the American people that it was declassified and is now public info.

          L. Luppen: “The lie Trump is telling is that he formally withdrew government-wide protections for information that could be used to burn human sources of intelligence, presumably putting them at much greater risk of being murdered. That’s his defense of his conduct. … We have to get comfortable dismissing the lie. If he’d, let’s say, released this stuff on the web during his administration, his possession of the docs would lose its quality of making him a powerful being and he wouldn’t have wasted his time smuggling it all down to Mar-a-Lago. It’s abundantly clear the value of the hoard to Trump was its secrecy and his control over it. Blanket transparency of the sort national security journalists seek, or even broader sharing within govt, would have been contrary to his purposes. It’s just a big obvious lie.”

          1. L. Luppen: “The lie Trump is telling is that he formally withdrew government-wide protections for information that could be used to burn human sources of intelligence, presumably putting them at much greater risk of being murdered

            Nobody has presented such evidence.
            The President can declassify. Period.

            Do you have proof the documents are not classified

            1. That he CAN does not mean he DID.

              It is not my responsibility to prove that he didn’t. It is Trump’s responsibility to prove that he DID. His lawyers have NOT claimed that he DID.

              “Nobody has presented such evidence.”

              Correct! That’s why Luppen calls it a LIE. Trump is claiming that he DID, but Trump has not presented evidence of it, nor stated it under oath.

  15. “It is curious that the DOJ would release this particular picture which suggests classified material laying around on the floor.”

    Not curious at all. The intent of the corrupt Biden/Garland DOJ is crystal clear.

  16. First of all the FBI didn’t know what it had before their review team had a chance to sift thru the seized documents.

    So the FBI’s inventory receipt, provided to the Trump’s attorneys that were not permitted to observe the raid, didn’t detail what was seized stolen after all? And it wasn’t until their own “taint team” sifted through the alleged evidence that we are to believe any or all of these documents were cached at MAL before the FBI raid? If the FBI/DOJ ever had a reason to agree to a special master, it would be a case that was airtight, free of corruption and involving a former President and potential opponent of the sitting President.

    1. Olly,

      “ So the FBI’s inventory receipt, provided to the Trump’s attorneys that were not permitted to observe the raid, didn’t detail what was seized stolen after all?”

      The receipt was an inventory of the boxes which were taken. The FBI then gave the taint team the boxes to sift thru the material within and determine what would be government property AG’s what is attorney client privilaged material. That’s the process

      1. The receipt was an inventory of the boxes which were taken.

        So without an onsite Trump lawyer witnessing what was put in those boxes, then what removes the shadow of a doubt that every piece of evidence allegedly obtained from the MAL raid was actually possessed by Trump at MAL?

        And if the DOJ has every confidence that their taint team properly did their job, then why object to a special master confirming that?

        1. “if the DOJ has every confidence that their taint team properly did their job, then why object to a special master confirming that?”

          Because it slows down the investigation, since they wouldn’t be able to proceed until the Special Master is done with his/her review.

          1. Because it slows down the investigation, since they wouldn’t be able to proceed until the Special Master is done with his/her review.

            🤔 Slows it down? Is there a statute of limitations they’re concerned about? I wasn’t aware the DOJ is operating under a deadline here. Additionally, does it seem like the FBI/DOJ showed any concern for speed when it took over 2 months for the FBI to get an approval from Garland to get the warrant, get it signed by the judge and then wait a weekend to execute it?

            Yeah, no. I don’t believe they’re concerned with a special master “slowing down” their investigation. Burying it would be a more reasonable explanation.

            1. Yeah, clearly it takes no time at all to debate whether to search the premises of a former President and to plan that, once the decision was made to do it. I couldn’t say whether this occurred relatively quickly or slowly, since there is no comparison, as all other Presidents have obeyed the law on this.

              Nice to know that you believe people are never concerned about things being slowed unless they have a deadline. (sarc)

              You and I clearly have different opinions about it.

              1. Nice to know that you believe people are never concerned about things being slowed unless they have a deadline. (sarc)

                Your sarcasm cannot hide your inability explain why you believe the DOJ is concerned about slowing down their investigation.

                1. You didn’t ask me to explain why, and I am not a mind reader.
                  I believe that the DOJ is generally concerned about the pace of investigations. I could be wrong about that, of course.

                  Moreover, they made it clear that they object on legal grounds:
                  “Plaintiff’s motion to appoint a special master, enjoin further review of seized materials, and require the return of seized items fails for multiple, independent reasons. As an initial matter, the former President lacks standing to seek judicial relief or oversight as to Presidential records because those records do not belong to him. The Presidential Records Act makes clear that “[t]he United States” has “complete ownership, possession, and control” of them. 44 U.S.C. § 2202. Furthermore, this Court lacks jurisdiction to adjudicate Plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment challenges to the validity of the search warrant and his arguments for returning or suppressing the materials seized. For those reasons and others, Plaintiff has shown no basis for the Court to grant injunctive relief. Plaintiff is not likely to succeed on the merits; he will suffer no injury absent an injunction—let alone an irreparable injury; and the harms to the government and the public would far outweigh any benefit to Plaintiff.
                  “Even if the Court had jurisdiction to entertain Plaintiff’s claims, appointment of a special master is unnecessary and would significantly harm important governmental interests, including national security interests. Appointment of a special master is disfavored in a case such as this. In any event, the government’s filter team has already completed its work of segregating any seized materials that are potentially subject to attorney-client privilege, and the government’s investigative team has already reviewed all of the remaining materials, including any that are potentially subject to claims of executive privilege. Appointment of a special master to review materials potentially subject to claims of executive privilege would be particularly inappropriate because binding Supreme Court precedent forecloses Plaintiff’s argument that review of these materials by personnel within the Executive Branch raises any such privilege concerns. Furthermore, appointment of a special master would impede the government’s ongoing criminal investigation and—if the special master were tasked with reviewing classified documents—would impede the Intelligence Community from conducting its ongoing review of the national security risk that improper storage of these highly sensitive materials may have caused and from identifying measures to rectify or mitigate any damage that improper storage caused. Lastly, this case does not involve any of the types of circumstances that have warranted appointment of a special master to review materials potentially subject to attorney-client privilege.

                  What part of that do you dispute and why?

                  1. You didn’t ask me to explain why, and I am not a mind reader.

                    That’s obvious. But it doesn’t stop you from stating what you think I believe.

                    What part of that do you dispute and why?

                    Everything after the first quotation mark. Because I’m not a Charlie Brown to their Lucy. They’re solely responsible for their own corrupted reputation and they’ll not recover it by avoiding a special master. I’ll repeat: If the FBI/DOJ ever had a reason to agree to a special master, it would be a case that was airtight, free of corruption and involving a former President and potential opponent of the sitting President.

                    1. “it doesn’t stop you from stating what you think I believe.”

                      Learn what (sarc) means.

        2. Olly,

          “ So without an onsite Trump lawyer witnessing what was put in those boxes, then what removes the shadow of a doubt that every piece of evidence allegedly obtained from the MAL raid was actually possessed by Trump at MAL?”

          Trump witnessed the whole thing thru CCTV. The recovery of all those boxes proved Trump was possessing those documents

          1. Trump witnessed the whole thing thru CCTV.

            “The whole thing?” You’ve seen the footage? I wasn’t aware it has even been released to the public. If the allegation is that Trump was mishandling the classified documents in the storage room and taking them to his office, why wasn’t the CCTV footage included in the warrant? Do you believe the FBI was unaware of where the cameras were located and thus unable to conceal any wrongdoing?

            The recovery of all those boxes proved Trump only that the FBI was possessing those documents boxes when they left.

            By only allowing FBI agents to be present during the raid, the only thing we can be certain of at this point is the FBI left with boxes.

            1. Trump’s lawyers haven’t alleged that any evidence was planted.

              Trump generally says whatever he finds convenient in the moment, and he isn’t under oath, so he can legally lie to the public about whatever he wants.

        3. “And if the DOJ has every confidence that their taint team properly did their job, then why object to a special master confirming that?”

          If they were honest and above board, they would demand a special master. Incredibly, people do not understand when doubt circulates everywhere, and if one is honest, be transparent. Their refusal of an independent party investigation proves they are lying.

          Anonymous can’t understand that because to him lying is second nature.

  17. Turley, you are also wrong in claiming that because the DOJ opposed any release of the Affidavit, but the Magistrate Judge told it to submit a proposed redacted document, that the DOJ’s arguments for opposing release of the Affidavit were “misleading and exaggerated”. First of all, you know that an Affidavit that supports a search warrant is almost never disclosed to the subject before charges are filed. Secondly, when it comes to discovery disputes that a court must resolve, a party that is ordered to disclose information has not, per se, “exaggerated” or been “misleading” in opposing release of information. All you are doing, once again, Turley, is carrying out Fox’s advocacy for Trump by attacking law enforcement, trying to cast doubt on their integrity–and what for? An election loser who stole TS/SCI documents, lied about returning them, and concealed them in various unsecure locations.

  18. My oh my. The Justice Department wanted nothing to be released from the affidavit but here we have another leak from the FBI. How convenient is this that the raid was executed on the verge of the midterm elections. It’s not October yet so we get the October surprise early brought to us by the FBI office of the Democratic Party. Maybe you will be distracted from the FBI Russia Hoax and the Hunter Biden Laptop being Russian disinformation perpetuated by the FBI. Then again, hopefully you won’t. The FBI touched a hot stove and now they are salving the wound but this is a wound that will never heal no matter how many times they pick the scab. Psst, they think your a stupid Walmart shopper.

    1. IdiotTIT, this isn’t a leak. The judge literally ordered the DOJ to file a reply by last night.

      1. Anonymous, the judge ordered that a reply to the court had to be made not a reply to CNN. Please note that I am not repeating your habit of calling people juvenile names. I am happy to leave the assessment of what you are to the discernment of other readers on this blog.

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