Cannon Fodder: Liberal Media and Pundits Unleash Torrent of Attacks on Judge Who Approved Special Master

When U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon issued an order for the appointment of a special master, she instantly became the latest jurist targeted by a furious mob of media and pundits. Rather than simply disagree with her order, these critics attacked Cannon personally and ethically, including lawyers and law professors. It is a familiar pattern but the fury shown in the last two days is chilling for our federal judges who have seen increasing attacks, including an alleged attempted assassination of Justice Brett Kavanaugh.  Nevertheless, legal and media figures seemed to rush to outdo each other in the most extreme statements about a judge with a distinguished background.

MSNBC host Joy Reid hosted a frenzy of condemnations of this “corrupt” judge. Reid said that Cannon is little more than an extension of Trump like other possessions stolen by the former president.

As always, MSNBC regular (and columnist for Above the Law and The Nation) Elie Mystal struggled to outdo a panel assembled to attack this jurist:

“She’s biased and corrupt. Like, I don’t know what to tell everybody anymore. Like, I’ve been saying this since he took office. When you allow Republicans to control the courts you get nothing. Trump judges do not believe in the rule of law, they do not believe in precedent, they do not believe in facts, they do not believe in logic—they just believe in whatever’s going to help Donald Trump, and they’ve proven it again and again and again.”

Mystal recently criticized Biden’s controversial MAGA speech because it  did not go far enough: in his view all Republicans are white supremacists, not just MAGA Republicans. Now he is claiming that all Trump appointees (even those who have ruled against Trump) “do not believe in the rule of law…do not believe in facts…do not believe in logic.”

MSNBC clearly wants Mystal’s brand of commentary. It recently declined to even express discomfort with launching a racist attack on Georgia’s senatorial candidate Herschel Walker. Mystal previously caused uproars for claims from accusing a senator of wanting to murder Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to his continued attacks on a high school student even after he was cleared of a false race-based story. He has called the Constitution “trash” and previously stated that white, non-college-educated voters supported Republicans because they care about “using their guns on Black people and getting away with it.” He has also lashed out at “white society” and explained how he strived to maintain a “whiteness free” life in the pandemic.

Mystal, however, has competition on this occasion from AEI’s Neil Ornstein who suggested that Judge Cannon is now engaged in obstruction by simply ordering a third-party review. The over-wrought response to this order is par for the course over the last six years.

Lawyers like former top Obama official Neal Katyal, said that Judge Cannon’s decision appeared designed to “protect their guy” or at the very least, “delay justice.” In other words, Cannon was acting as a political operatives rather than a judge.

Harvard Professor Laurence Tribe declared that an order to appoint a special master to review the documents is analogous to the Dred Scott decision as an abuse of judicial power. Tribe recently said that Trump could clearly be charged with the attempted murder of former Vice President Michael Pence. However, this is both legally and historically unintelligible. Tribe wrote:

“Cannon’s order will go down as part of the judicial anticannon — the body of decisions, like Dred Scott or Korematsu, that lawyers use for generations to teach students how NOT to wield the judicial power.”

Unpack that for a moment. Tribe is analogizing the appointment of a special master to assist the court to a decision declaring former slaves as outside the protection of the Constitution and the definition of a “citizen.”  Likewise, he believes it is similar to a decision, Korematsu, where Japanese Americans were put into concentration camps in World War II. One can reasonably disagree with Judge Cannon’s order, but it is designed as a check on government power and abuse. Yet, Tribe believes it is akin to a decision allowing the government carte blanche to imprison Americans based on race or nationality.

Judge Cannon was faced with a breathtakingly broad search that appears to have seized attorney-client material and personal material, including passports and personal medical information. She is allowed to conduct in camera inspections of such documents but elected to appoint a special master to conduct such reviews. While the Justice Department claimed that such an appointment would endanger national security, Judge Cannon correctly rejected that unsupportable claim. The documents will remain under secure controls of the government and the national security investigation will continue unabated.

As I have discussed, there are good-faith objections to the order and it may be curtailed or even overturned on appeal. However, while rare at this stage, special masters are routinely appointed to assist judges in creating a record for further orders. Moreover, the investigation can go forward without the use of the documents in establishing what was known about the contents of the boxes and whether there were acts of concealment.

The attacks on Judge Cannon follow a familiar pattern. It is not enough to disagree with a judge. You must attack the jurists as unethical or corrupt — and standout in your rhetoric. Notably, some of these same experts denounced Trump for attacking jurists as “Obama judges” or ideologues when they ruled against him. Now it appears perfectly acceptable in dealing with Trump appointees. At the time I criticized Trump repeatedly for such attacks. However, Democrats quickly adopted the same rhetoric that they once denounced. Now Judge Cannon is fair game for legal experts to impugn her integrity and ethics. 

Just for the record, Judge Cannon has an inspiring and impressive background. She was born in Cali, Columbia and her mother fled the dictatorship of Fidel Castro. Yet, she would graduate from Duke University in 2003 and the University of Michigan in 2007 with a Juris Doctor magna cum laude (and Order of the Coif). She worked at the Justice Department as a prosecutor as well as a leading law firm as well as serving as an appellate judicial clerk.

389 thoughts on “Cannon Fodder: Liberal Media and Pundits Unleash Torrent of Attacks on Judge Who Approved Special Master”

    1. I’ll be waiting for the inevitable indictment of judge aileen cannon for obstruction of justice, conspiracy in theft of classified documents & government property, conspiracy under the Espionage Act, conspiracy to defraud the US, etc. BTW you need to get your facts right.. Among many inaccuracies in your piece, a US passport is not personal property belonging to the passport holder. Says right in it – it is & remains the property of the US government.

      1. Turley is a know-nothing partisan hack and is not regarded in academia as a historian. Rather he is a seditious sack of shit and a cocksucking traitor

  1. Interesting how none of the liberal whiners are complaining about about Magistrate Bruce Reinhart’s past anti-Trump twitter posts and comments.

  2. U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon must be sanctioned and disbarred for obstruction of justice and interference with our esteemed two-tier system of justice.

    Pedo-Attorney-Magistrate Bruce Reinhart correctly approved the DOJ’s unsupported open-ended fishing expedition to seize by force any and all documents and property of their choosing without limitation. If the DOJ-FBI were not granted these rights, how else could they intimidate Trump and find a way to manufacture another crime to incriminate Trump with? To deny the DOJ-FBI this right is blatantly unfair and biased.

    The DOJ-FBI absolutely must be permitted, without restriction, to find a way to manufacture crimes to use against Trump. Only in this way can our empyrean legal principles set forth by the revered legal scholar Lavrentiy Beria be properly carried out.

    “Show me the man, and I’ll show you the crime.” – Lavrentiy Beria, head of Joseph Stalin’s Secret Police.

  3. The DOJ has filed an appeal and a request that the order be stayed pending appeal. See entries 68 and 69 on the case docket.

    1. “The DOJ has filed an appeal and a request that the order be stayed pending appeal. See entries 68 and 69 on the case docket.”

      What was their excuse? “Irreparable harm”. Use a Swat Team to arrest nearly 80-year-old Roger Stone. Look at the video of his arrest. The DOJ wishes to create alarm while Biden is hoping for violence.

    2. They’ve also asked to unseal the notice of the status of the Privilege Review Team’s filter process, and Judge Cannon has told Trump to submit by 9/12 a response to the Motion for a Partial Stay Pending Appeal.

  4. “Trump judges do not believe in the rule of law, they do not believe in precedent, they do not believe in facts, they do not believe in logic—they just believe in whatever’s going to help Donald Trump, and they’ve proven it again and again and again.” Ellie Mae Q-Tip said that.
    What he didn’t say is whether or not that statement included all the election lawsuits tossed in Nov and Dec of 2020 and Jan of 2021 and the subsequent lawsuits summarily dismissed by TRUMP JUDGES? You can’t have it both ways you ignorant black bast ard!

  5. Math matters! Millions of Obama voters were robbed of about 100 federal judges and a U.S. Supreme Court pick. The federal judiciary has been distorted since Obama. To compound this lopsided court, then Republicans in Congress pushed through Trump’s judges at breakneck speed.

    When you have Mitch McConnell and Republicans gaming the system like this, it sometimes results in outrage from the millions of Obama voters that got cheated! Don’t now pretend the system is legitimate when it benefits your guy.

    1. robbed? appointment of a federal judge requires consent from the Senate. there are no particulars rules the Senate must follow, except 51 votes. McConnell and Republicans refused to consent to Garland and whatever fantasy number of judge you believe were not appointed. This is called THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION. you really need to control the bed wetting.

  6. The bias is rank with this one.
    Laws are just a suggestion with the left.
    Laws are anvil harsh for the right.

  7. The Leftists DO NOT want a Special Master! Look how upset they are that there’s now a barrier to their corruption. You wonder why they’d be so upset if they weren’t in the middle of (yet another) scam.

  8. Have any Obama judges ever been stalked and attacked at all? Democrat/Liberal media playbook is obvious.

  9. One correction you said “Japanese Americans were put into concentration camps in World War II” They were put in internment camps. Very different.

  10. Every single person I know now sees the hypocrisy of DC, justice people who run to microphones, leak to buds at WaPo, put their foot on the scale of justice, and prejudice cases. Leaking pics to media this past week. Really?

      1. Evidence is leaked all the time. It can be top secret material or it can be a leak for political reasons. The FBI is known to leak both true and untrue things for political reasons.

        Some people wish to deny things because they prefer to skirt the truth rather than look directly at it. It sounds like you prefer to skirt the truth.

  11. William “Mr. Deep Deep State Swamp” Barr was called out of retirement from service to the Deep Deep State Swamp through the Sam P. Bush (i.e. railroad/steel industrialist among Rockefellers, Harrimans, the Fed, Coolidge et al.), Prescott Bush, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush dynasty (and I do mean nasty, pre-“kinder and gentler”) (poor Jeb, right?).

    He was attached as AG, and “Deep Deep State Swamp” mole, to the Trump administration after the disaster known as Jeff Sessions. Unfortunately, Advice and Consent by the Deep Deep State Swamp Senate gives the Deep Deep State Swamp the power to force inimical AGs et al. on the President. The Check and Balance for that is the “manifest tenor” of the Constitution, which the Supreme Court must impose, by sworn oath and through Judicial Review, on every act of the Executive and Legislative branches.

    It doesn’t.

    The singular America failure has been and remains the judicial branch, with emphasis on the supreme court. The “Sovereign” in America is the Constitution; it must be accurately and faithfully brought to bear by the judicial branch and supreme court.

    It hasn’t been.

    Plaque on the walls at the “Deep Deep State Swamp” DOJ, FBI, CIA et al.:

    “The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.”

    – Lenin

  12. Recalcitrant views and their protagonists have always had a place in our society. Recently; however, a tiny minority who express such anti-social ideas, have been given disproportional attention. Why?

  13. We have the technical ability for law enforcement to find the posters threatening the judges. All we have to do is enforce the laws, or at the minimum interview them.
    Broken windows policing can start before the windows get broken. The bloodlust of todays left is downright scary.

    1. “The bloodlust of todays left is downright scary.”

      – Chuckiechan

      “It’s the [continuum], stupid!”

      – James Carville

      Reacquaint yourself with the Bolshevik slaughter of the Romanovs; the desire for wealth and personal power under any and all banners has been around for a long, long year.

      “Sympathy for the Devil”

      Please allow me to introduce myself
      I’m a man of wealth and taste
      I’ve been around for a long, long year
      Stole many a man’s soul and faith
      And I was ’round when Jesus Christ
      Had his moment of doubt and pain
      Made damn sure that Pilate
      Washed his hands and sealed his fate

      Stuck around St. Petersburg
      When I saw it was a time for a change
      Killed the Czar and his ministers
      Anastasia screamed in vain
      I rode a tank, held a general’s rank
      When the Blitzkrieg raged and the bodies stank

      I watched with glee while your kings and queens
      Fought for ten decades for the gods they made
      I shouted out, “Who killed the Kennedys?”
      Well, after all, it was you and me
      Let me please introduce myself
      I’m a man of wealth and taste
      And I laid traps for troubadours
      Who get killed before they reach Bombay

      Just as every cop is a criminal
      And all the sinners saints
      As heads is tails, just call me Lucifer
      ‘Cause I’m in need of some restraint
      So if you meet me, have some courtesy
      Have some sympathy and some taste
      Use all your well-learned politesse
      Or I’ll lay your soul to waste, mm, yeah

      Pleased to meet you
      Hope you guess my name
      But what’s puzzling you
      Is the nature of my game

      – The Rolling Stones

  14. I am surprise that the Bill Clinton sock drawl that contain videos were ruled private proprerty has not been brought up . And when the NYT get photos from the the Epstein raid of his island I will believe the FBI is on the up and up .

  15. Pls correct me if I’m wrong…the presidential records act only applies to a handful of living people…..Carter….Gw bush…Clinton…oBama….and Trump. They law heretofore has not been used against any still alive and in reality able to run again ….until now. And it doesn’t apply to vice presidents per se…..who can keep or not keep. …shot on their kids laptop. But this “law” we now want equally applied….when it only pertains to five people….is being applied against one person. Aggressively….and the belly ache… or I wouldn’t get a special master…..bull puckeye. Last I looked I wasn’t a former potus…..where some law said all my records were govt property in the first instance. The question is is it….govt property in the first instance…..that’ll have to come up. This isn’t just about ….attorney client or clergy or marital or exexecutive priviledge…this is about our republic…..a d if in the first instance the congrass can 40 plus years ago by a law…..lay waste to the 4th and call truly the potus a mere puppet.

    1. The Presidential Records Act says in part “(2) The term “Presidential records” means documentary materials, or any reasonably segregable portion thereof, created or received by the President, the President’s immediate staff, or a unit or individual of the Executive Office of the President whose function is to advise or assist the President, in the course of conducting activities which relate to or have an effect upon the carrying out of the constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties of the President. … Vice-Presidential records shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter in the same manner as Presidential records.”

      So the law applies to many people, not just former Presidents. It applies to Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner and Mark Meadows and …., and similarly for the staff of previous Presidents and VPs.

      1. Does it….if it did they should get there copy they need in the archives from all those other peoole….And be done with it….for some reason they think trump is the only one holding in his scrap book ….the Times headlines. It’s called overbroad……And over broad must survive strict scrutiny. And none this does. The archives already has the times front pages…..But now they want to call that publication….a “govt” record by bootstrapping that trump held out it in his memorialbialbl a copy. As Collin Powell famously said to Charlie Rose…..’are you trying to shrink wrap me?'”. The archives already has most this info….they just want endless speculation into the mind who kept a scrap book. Id be more convinced if the bars told the paper…..told the times….your front page is presidential records…..oh wait it’s already records they keep… the integral and the derivative fall square back on the fbi shennigans. But I am not science…..I am the rule of law! So when you pick on me you are picking on the rule of law.

  16. Meanwhile, the world is in a dire balance, the southern border is a disaster, drugs are flowing freely, safety of everyday citizens has eroded, the government turned its ire on parents, inflation has hurt every American, and the President is actively dividing Americans.

    The top echelon of the FBI and more recently has tarnished further their reputation. This was a vengeance raid against the former President by Biden out of pure spite. The magistrate selected to issue the warrant was biased and indicated so in his 22 June 2022 recusal.,The FBI went in with a giant vacuum and sucked up whatever they found.,They failed to employ a taint team, thereby tainting the search.

    This administration is on a path to weaken the tenets of the American way of life, where the individual citizen is revered and the government under their control by representative government. Where is the ACLU? Silent. It took the government 20 months to decide to act, what’s another 20 months to sort this out in court? Oh, that’s right, a midterm election is coming up.

    “When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand, we apply too late the remedies which then might have effected a cure. There is nothing new in the story. It is as old as the Sibylline books. It falls into that long dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience and the confirmed unteachability of mankind. Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong — these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.” Winston Churchill House of Commons, 2 May 1935

  17. I’m not a Trump supporter, but there are a few things I agree with him on. First and foremost he was and is right when he called the mainstream media the Enemy Of The People. That’s precisely what they are. The media and big tech control speech and the political narrative in this country and something needs to be done to change that. They have too much power to spread disinformation and propaganda to further their agendas.

  18. Put me down in the Andrew McCarthy column, not to mention Bill Barr, with regard to the lack of judicial reasoning by the Judge. Her opinion says there should be a Special Master because Trump desires the return of personal property as opposed to government property — which is not the reason for a Special Master. And it wasn’t the point of the hearing.

    Attorney-client privileged communications between Trump and White House counsel ARE government records. While they should be kept from prosecutors and investigators, they are NOT Trump’s property.

    Then she brings up the fact that there have been leaks. That has nothing to do with the hearing either.

    1. The constant leaks relate to the injunction, not the Special Master issue. Once the Special Master decision was made, you then need the injunction to prevent leaks to make the first decision meaningful. No idea if the Special Master issue was decided correctly but they are two serial things, not the same

      1. Trump sought an injunction until the Special Master completed his review. Didn’t have anything to do with leaks. There isn’t any legal reason for the injunction — particularly as Trump lawyers waited a ridiculous amount of time to ask for the Special Master. This was either a bogus delaying tactic, or Trump needs a new set of competent lawyers who will do things in a timely manner.

  19. lots of examples of people having classified files and not having anything happen to them. Even when they pass them to newspapers. Comey comes to mind right off. What happened to him? Daniel Ellsberg leaked classified papers to newspapers also and he never was prosecuted. Of course, we all know how many classifications Hillary had in her possession and on faxes in her house on an insecure, hacked server but no one raided her house or even took her phones to inspect!!! So everyone screaming for justice, should realize what they are after is Trump, not justice. Justice is when all are treated the same for the same offense. And when the Constitution is followed.

    1. Gen Petraeus…shared classified with his biographer. ….who had a clearance …he got probation???? WasnT it sandy burger who stole stuff already in archive ..from the archive and classified….what did he get? … And that boot legging took intent! As did first lady clinton keeping all those FBI files to herself. They suffered likely “unquantified” reputational harm. Definitely the general did because of the also allegations of an affair. Thing is here under the “presidential records” fair for everyone is in a league of less than 50 ppl… even less since its only been a law since Nixon Era….so there are different laws for presidents….allegedly…
      That make the particularities of the 4th – a general warrant circumstance as to former presidents…..who happen to still be alive for which no statute of limitations has run.. Or so it appears. You’re right Walter they are just after Trump. Here and now bc he is a political rival…not banned by the constitution for another term….and apparently not enjoying his own constitutional rights against a general warrant….bc the current regime. … Claims to a magistrate that his scrap book keepsakes belong to the govt…..this man despite his “warts” has paid already a pretty steep price for being number 45. And I love him more as a human being everyday. I am so proud of my countrymen….for standing behind him as he calls out all the shenanigans and nonsense which is destroying my country.

    2. With all the Raid stuff, are we talking about Law? Presidential Records Act? With all the Leaks, DOJ people rushing to Cable News and their favorite bathroom WaPo, aren’t we MORE TALKING Spin, PR? I Worked in Corp Communications. PR is always done a TIMELY way. (Nov?). Hmmm. Unlike law, think Durham.

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