Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Since I First Read About This On Twitter

I had trouble getting a handle on what SM Dearie was doing.  But it comes down to something quite simple: You see, the "declassification" issue is a red herring which Trump's lawyers have never brought up in court (because they'd face sanctions for lying to the court).  So I was a bit confused as to why Dearie was bringing it up, and insisting it was important.  Well, it's rather simple:  "personal" records would not be classified, period.  Presidential records could be.  The beginning point of the analysis of which is which, is to determine which ones Trump claims were "declassified," thus, arguably, making them "personal."  Not that Dearie is accepting that argument ab initio, as Cannon clearly did; but because Dearie can't begin to analyze and then classify (i.e., put into categories; not "classify" under national security law) documents into groups until he can understand the nature of the documents.  He can't, in other words, do the job the judge assigned to him without settling the classified/declassified issue first.

So he's told Trump he needs to know what Trump claims he declassified.  And Trump's lawyers don't want to do it, because: sanctions.  They know it's bullshit.  They know they can't prove it.  They're not going to so much as submit an affidavit from Trump saying he declassified them in his mind prior to January 20, 2021, because they'd be sanctioned for submitting false evidence and trying to mislead the court.

Trump's lawyers, IOW, are a clown car of idiots who should have seen this trainwreck coming from a long way off.  That's one of the primary jobs of a lawyer: anticipate trouble for your client and counsel them on how to avoid it; help them to avoid it, if they accept your counsel (you can't do it despite their objections).  These lawyers have walked Trump into a box.  Dearie is holding a hearing today; and they have a deadline to respond to the 11th Circuit that....well, just expired.  And Dearie is also wondering why Rule 41 doesn't apply (since Trump wants the documents back), and Rule 41 requires the issue of possession be resolved before the official who issued the search warrant.

Which wasn't Cannon.  Which raises the fundamental issue of jurisdiction:  what relief can Cannon give Trump, if there is no authority for her to grant it?

This case is neither a maze nor a Gordian knot.  It's just a stinking pile of crap.  Which, by the say, is a pretty good metaphor for anything Trump tries to do. And the funniest part:  all the pundits and non-lawyers who said this was another "delaying tactic" by Trump; and how slow Dearie would be.  And now Trump is already complaining that Dearie is moving too fast.  My view, as a retired person?  Dearie is retired, and he wants to get back to doing whatever he was doing in retirement.  This job is Xmas money for him, and he wants it over with so he can enjoy the holidays with family.

Screw Trump.

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