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Judge Slams Biden DOJ, Raises Major Concerns About Mar-a-Lago Raid

Posted on Wednesday, September 7, 2022
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by Katie Sullivan
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AMAC Exclusive – By Katie Sullivan

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On Monday, in a major legal victory for former President Donald Trump, a U.S. District Court Judge in Florida granted Trump’s request to appoint a “special master” to review the materials taken from his Mar-a-Lago home last month. The decision is the latest sign that top officials at the Department of Justice may have acted unlawfully in organizing and executing their raid on Trump’s property, and further legitimizes concerns that the Biden administration is using federal resources to target a prospective political opponent – violating his civil rights in the process.

District Judge Aileen Cannon’s ruling means that, rather than FBI and DOJ officials reviewing the evidence seized from Trump’s property and deciding what falls under attorney-client privilege (and thus cannot be used as evidence by DOJ investigators in a potential indictment), a third-party attorney from outside the government must be brought in to make that determination. The order also stops DOJ from continuing its review “pending completion of the special master’s review or further Court order.”

In essence, Cannon held that given the unprecedented nature of the raid – a presidential administration targeting a former president and likely future opponent – the Department of Justice could not be trusted to properly sort through the thousands of materials it seized from Mar-a-Lago.

Justice Department officials had argued that the appointment of a special master was unnecessary, as they had already assigned a so-called “filter team” to determine which materials fell under attorney-client privilege. But Cannon explicitly rejected that argument, noting that even some of the more than 500 documents marked by the filter team that should have been off-limits had already been viewed by investigators, undermining the integrity of the entire investigation and casting doubt on the Biden administration’s narrative about the motivation for the raid.

The fact that DOJ appointed a filter team should itself raise concerns from every American about both the politicization of the Department and potential civil rights violations. For one thing, filter teams themselves – which are a creation of DOJ – have been the subject of great debate in the courts since their creation three decades ago. Federal judges have variously held that filter teams have inherent conflicts of interest, carry an “inevitable” risk of disclosure of privileged material, and amount to leaving “the government’s fox in charge of guarding the Law Firm’s henhouse.” Currently, the U.S. Supreme Court is deciding whether to review the decision of a lower court in which the central issue is whether DOJ’s use of filter teams violates the U.S. Constitution.

Internal DOJ guidelines – which are themselves predicated on the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures – also outline specifically that search warrants “should be drawn as specifically as possible, consistent with the requirements of the investigation, to minimize the need to search and review privileged material to which no exception applies.” Those guidelines also stipulate that when it comes to searching a property that may contain privileged documents – such as someone’s home – investigators must identify the “least intrusive” approach to obtain information.

It appears that in Trump’s case, neither of these guidelines (and perhaps the Fourth Amendment) were followed. Sending 30 armed agents to ransack Trump’s home hardly seems the “least intrusive” option. The search warrant the FBI obtained for the Mar-a-Lago compound also went far beyond Trump’s semi-official and partially government-funded office (a privilege afforded to all former presidents) and allowed agents to rifle through every nook and cranny of the 62,000 square-foot compound, from Melania Trump’s closet drawers to Trump’s 16-year-old son’s room. The inventory of materials taken reveals that the search was hardly contained to things relevant to the Justice Department’s investigation, listing news articles dating back to the 1990s and even articles of clothing. Passports, tax accounting information, and even medical charts were seized from Trump’s home, all under the auspices of recovering “classified” information.

That the Justice Department would now so vigorously oppose the appointment of a special master after clearly exceeding the scope of their investigation should also be puzzling to any objective observer. As Judge Cannon herself noted in the decision, “Ultimately, what is the harm in appointing a special master?” Trump’s attorney, Christopher Kise, echoed that sentiment, asking a basic but critical question of the Biden DOJ: “What is the harm they are so worried about?”

If Republicans do as many expect and retake control of the House of Representatives this fall, they may do well to open investigations of their own to solicit answers to these questions and more from the Biden administration. While disheartening, it is not difficult to imagine what such an investigation may reveal. Did DOJ consult with members of the White House staff prior to filing this warrant? Likewise, did DOJ consult with outside Democrat lawyers such as Mark Elias? Did the White House seek the counsel of pollsters, like they did to determine when mask mandates should be lifted? It already seems quite evident that DOJ did not follow its own internal protocols in this case – why not, and who is responsible for that breach of duty? Moreover, if there were any violations of Trump’s civil rights, Republicans should ensure that those responsible are held accountable under Title 18 Section 242 of the U.S. Code, which criminalizes such acts.

As bad as things may seem now, it could get even worse should the Biden administration choose to move forward with a grand jury indictment of Trump. A grand jury must only find that there exists evidence of probable cause before issuing an indictment, a much lower standard of proof than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard required for conviction in a criminal trial. If a grand jury returned an indictment, the DOJ would have full discretion over whether to issue a summons or warrant to compel Trump to appear in a D.C. Court. If there were an indictment and the Attorney General Merrick Garland chose the latter course of action, former President Trump could be marched out of Mar-a-Lago in handcuffs – no doubt in front of dozens of CNN news cameras.

In what is looking to be just the latest iteration of the “Russia hoax”, the Biden DOJ is attempting to play investigator, judge, and jury, constituting a dangerous overreach of executive authority and a blatant violation of former President Trump’s civil rights. Americans of both political parties are right to be deeply alarmed and frightened by this development, the most shocking violation of “democratic norms” by an administration seemingly hell-bent on using the power of the federal government to silence all dissent.

Katharine “Katie” Sullivan was as an Acting Assistant Attorney General and a senior advisor to the White House Domestic Policy Council under President Trump. She previously served 11 years as a state trial court judge in Colorado.

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Rik
Rik
1 year ago

I like where the author states that “top officials in the D of J may have acted unlawfully”. . . . WHEN HAS ANYBODY IN THE “LYIN” BIDEN ADMINISTRATION ACTED “LAWFULLY” since he assumed his DICTATORSHIP?

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 year ago

Probe past raids as well: Manafort, Stone, Flynn

Joseph
Joseph
1 year ago

They will never get my great president Trump. He is smarter than all of these leftist thugs put together. People must vote in heavy numbers in 2022 to take the House so that we can then control these investigations. Please vote and vote in large numbers to overcome the fraud. MAGA

Adonis
Adonis
1 year ago

They already reviewed all stolen documents? Have you ever seen any governmental agency, especially DOJ, being so quick and efficient? What do they have to hide? Don’t they claim the raid was justified and legal? Let someone outside of corrupt DOJ and FBI take a look.

granky
granky
1 year ago

The DOJ and FBI have lost any credibility. In fact, the whole deep state federal government appears to be a powerful out of control monster we have allowed to take control of almost everything. We need to take back control.

David
David
1 year ago

I wonder if any of the seized documents contained proof of fraud in the 2020 election.

J. Farley
J. Farley
1 year ago

The Biden Administration whether we want to admit it or not has suspended any and all liberties that Americans have enjoyed for over 240 years, where Conservatives are concerned,
Conservatives are getting the shaft, and no one is standing up for us, NOT: The ACLU, not the News Media, and the courts with few exceptions are aiding and abiding the destruction of our Constitution and this Supreme Court led by Chief Justice John Roberts is joke.
Everything that Americans have enjoyed Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Speech, and the Press, Freedom of Self-defense Freedom of being secure in your Home and Person, and from Self Incrimination, and your Freedom of Equal treatment is only a Distant memory— Unless you are a Biden, a Clinton, a Democrat, a Marxist, a Communist, a Fascist (Sorry I repeated myself several times) You are then part of the protected class.
As I predicted, it looks like the Republicans are going to shoot themselves if the foot, They need to get off Mar-A-Logo and Abortion, and talk about the things that effect everyday Americans, — The Economy, Jobs, Illegal Immagration, Soaring Prices, Protecting the Constitution, Energy, unless the RNC, and some of the Republicans that are running for office get a firm grip on their ears and pull briskly their heads will became Lodged in a Dark smelly place.
God Save America

Martin
Martin
1 year ago

Too bad they didn’t act as fast going over Hunter Biden’s laptop. Him and his old man would be in jail. But the law only applies to Conservatives unfortunately.

Honey
Honey
1 year ago

The very fact that the DoJ argued that they had to black out a lot to protect people’ s identities from danger and then they left Kash Patel’s name for all the world to see proves that they are lying about everything.
And if that weren’t enough, all of those selected leaks to the press about more that is in what they collected should make it impossible forever not to see them as the bad actors they are and no one should trust one word they say anymore.

Clean house at the DOJ. Fire a lot of the Deep State.

Vote Republican in November for everyone, even dogcatcher.

ops
ops
1 year ago

A vote for any Democrat is a vote against America!!

Laura
Laura
1 year ago

The judge is absolutely right. An objective attorney is required here to review these documents. The DOJs vigorous opposition should raise eyebrows. Trumps 4th Amendment rights have been violated. This can not become precedence. If it does, this same thing could happen to any American citizen for absolutely no reason at all.

PHG
PHG
1 year ago

I have followed the revelations of DJT over the last 5-6 years regarding what seem to be his outrageous claims of plots by government officials (along with the MSM) to “get him.” Each time, my jaw dropped thinking that he was the one being outrageous. I certainly wanted (past tense) to have faith in the integrity of governmental institutions. With history as a guide, and the gruesomely difficult extraction of the facts, DJT is most often spot on, eg. Russia, Russia, Russia. My faith in governmental institutions is at an all time low.

Larry W.
Larry W.
1 year ago

Why would the justice department be unhappy with a special master? Because this is another set-up like the Russia hoax. The justice department refuses to abide by the guidelines that have been in place so that investigations are done properly and fairly. It’s completely obvious they are being used for biased political gain and they don’t seem to care.

Myrna Wade
Myrna Wade
1 year ago

The motive for the raid was to investigate the entire property and retrieve anything that could be used to undo Trump. They thought they still had enough reputation to pull this off. DOJ and FBI have many citizens doubting that they have pure motives.
The idea that President Trump is dangerous was announced at least twice before the surprise raid.
It appears to have been an attempt to initiate 60 days of campaigning with as much power as possible. The FBI did this just a little more than 60 days out to be just outside the bounds with implied charge “to be announced.”
I hope the special Master will be appointed and interfere with the plot.

mytake
mytake
1 year ago

There is no reason or excuse for ransacking Trump’s home. There are definitely corrupt, traitorous and “power-mad” people in the DOJ so it is not a legal or constitutional DOJ anymore.

Art
Art
1 year ago

DOJ aka DEPARTMENT OF JACKBUTTS. THESE POLITICALLY DIRECTED AND PROTECTED FOLKS HAVE PRACTICED PREVIOUSLY ON #45’S ASSOCIATES IN A GROUP OF WAR GAMES TO TEST THEIR THEORIES. TIME TO TAKE ON 45!!!! WE HAVE A FANTASTIC LIGHT SHOW AT HIS RESIDENCE, A SHOW OF FORCE TO ASSAULT A PRIVATE RESIDENCE,AND VIOLATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS. NOW WE HAVE LEAKS,LIES,AND A CLEANUP ON AISLE 5.

WHAT A SUPERSIZED BAG OF PATHETICISM!!!!! THE SWAMP IS OVERFLOWING. MAYBE THE CZECH REPUBLIC HAS IT CORRECT.

Kay
Kay
1 year ago

We have no secrets in this administration as the leaks about what was supposed to be in the boxes just goes on and on to wet the appetite of the listener. We could never win a war with all the whistleblowers who want to keep any secret open to social media. What a disgrace and all to keep President Trump polarized in the press.

bigeasy
bigeasy
1 year ago

I agree with the Judge granting the need of a “special master!” Too bad this couldn’t have been used when when the illegal Russian collusion dossier was being flown around the air waves and in print as being gospel – or perhaps before each illegal impeachment “trial!”
If ever an individual was treated as “already convicted” in the Press and by the many mouths of those who opposed him President Trump certainly fits the bill!
The actions of the current administration and the Democrat led Congress all points to their continuing fear that former President, but soon to be once again CANDIDATE Trump is ready to clean their respective clocks…and lead the charge to TAKE BACK AMERICA ONCE AND FOR ALL!
Time to unite behind Donald Trump once again!
This time it’s for all the marbles!

mytake
mytake
1 year ago

Good for this judge who obviously follows the law and the constitution. God bless her! We need more like her who stand up for what is right. Now Biden is on a temper tantrum and rage like a power mad idiot puppet. Anyone who thinks this is a good President with the People in mind doesn’t get it at all. He is trying to insite violence and divisiveness. He has no respect for our country or the people. He and his administration must go. He is trying to goad conservatives into a reaction of some sort that will make them look bad and validate his lying propaganda against them and Trump supporters.

Gabe Hanzeli
Gabe Hanzeli
1 year ago

Phuc joe biden

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Max
Max
1 year ago

Let’s face the facts. When has the Biden administration, the DOJ or FBI actually followed the rulings of a superior court? The real question is how false material has been planted among the documents seized during the raid? The Leftist powers will do as much damage and falsification as possible to discredit Pres. Trump so he will be unable to run for a second term.

LauraC
LauraC
1 year ago

Yup, you Dems keep supporting this illegal crap. You’re next. Read history. They always get around to the little guy. If Trump isn’t afforded his rights under the Constitution, neither will you be.

Tim Toroian
Tim Toroian
1 year ago

I guess the FeeBees know they can’t be trusted which would explain DOJ’s objection to a Special master.

Michael Lewis
Michael Lewis
1 year ago

The Democrats and RINOs and the lame stream media are so afraid of the former President they will do anything to stop his candidacy in 2024. After all, Trump did the exact opposite of the clowns in power on every front and America prospered!

tofbs
tofbs
1 year ago

WILL SOMEBODY FINALLY DO SOMETHING? PUT BRANDON AND HIS HERD OF
TURDS WHERE THEY BELONC

Joe E. Escobedo
Joe E. Escobedo
1 year ago

Great Article and Thank you Judge Cannon your common sense and courage!

Rey
Rey
1 year ago

Time to expose these Democrats in power and the Democrat party for who they really are. Communists who hate Americans amd our way of life.
They hate our Federal institutions as they stand for the protection of every American.
Time to get them all out of office.
Vote for Repúblicans always.
Protect free and safe elections while
doing it.

TxFrog
TxFrog
1 year ago

In reports right after the raid, it was reported that Trump’s lawyers were not allowed to observe the search. That seems like a clear violation of his rights, but I haven’t heard much about it recently. Is it not illegal to deny counsel the ability to watch the searh? How can we know anything they recovered wasn’t planted? It just seems like that should get the whole trove of material ruled inadmissable.

Larkenson
Larkenson
1 year ago

Today worrying yourself sick about liberals and conservatives is just as stupid as worrying yourself sick over the Whig Party in 1853. Politics will be an entirely different thing as Whites come to REALIZE that they are a threatened minority. That is what is happening now. Diversity is a code word for White Genocide.

Philip Hammersley
Philip Hammersley
1 year ago

I REFUSE to vote for ANY Democrat. If they wear that label willingly with their current leaders, they are NOT FIT to be in office regardless of what they say!

Barrett Smith
Barrett Smith
1 year ago

Biden is running…er I mean shuffling scared.

j c
j c
1 year ago

I am sticking with Trump – he is the only one we can trust.

Mary
Mary
1 year ago

Invasion of privacy, tampering and seizure of private documents, etc, etc..when was it considered legal in this country to RAID a private citizen’s home and STEAL their belongings…oh boy, this is huge…so glad the judge was on Mr. Donald J. Trump’s side. I hope the Biden administration goes down big for this and chokes on a chicken bone..(and I am being polite).

Randy SJ Williams
Randy SJ Williams
1 year ago

For me and millions of others, a big problem is understanding the labyrinthine legal rules and processes that allow this kind of political horsepucky. America doesn’t have a two-tiered system of Justice. it’s a goldarned multi-factored matrix!!!

JohnLeeHooker
JohnLeeHooker
1 year ago

When the putrid stench of cultural decomposition is in the air, the maggots come out to feed on the rot.

Peter
Peter
1 year ago

There will be no victory until the Traitors are punished severely. We have innocent American Citizens falsely imprisoned for exercising their Constitutional rights! I will not rest and I will not let this coup’detat by deep state Traitors continue on my watch. Search for President Ulysses S. Grant speech January 29, 1877: Message Regarding Presidential Election at the UVA Miller Center. …. “it can not be impressed too firmly in the hearts of all people that true liberty and progress can exist only through a cheerful adherence to constitutional law.”

Timothy Detiveaux
Timothy Detiveaux
1 year ago

Biden, DOJ, and FBI are all corrupt. Nothing more than an organized crime organization.

Letts Brandon
Letts Brandon
1 year ago

The entire DOJ should be indicted on charges of treason while Joe Biden is hung on the Whitehouse lawn and left for the birds to strip away his flesh and the sun to bleach his bones as a warning to any other enemies of our country of what will happen if they too try to invade and take over our Government!

Jack Davis
Jack Davis
1 year ago

‘@The democrats don’t care about what’s right or wrong there determination to destroy the Constitution is becoming more evident as each day passes by.
I was totally thinking about the look in Hillary’s eyes yesterday they reminded me of a person avoiding the truth and trying to crucify Donald Trump. She was denying the fact of all her keeping and destroying of emails of classified and secret documents that she had. Her position as Secretary of State she broke the law many times yet that was acceptable as she was Hillary.
I was thinking as I watched her making her speech and watching her speaking and how the look in her eyes showed her making up issues of untruthful stories to make her look good. I’m looking forward to the day that we no longer have to see her on TV. It looks like she’s training her daughter to be like her hopefully the day will never come that she will elected to politics.
Biden has been so ruthless about the way he’s trying to destroy the Republicans it’s a shame that he is his being so rude with his speeches.
The one thing I have noticed he is speaking to very small groups however the swamp media will not point it out.
Trump was doing a great job as President the best President since Ronald Reagan.
The FBI showed up with armament all dressed up in gear like they were going after a dangerous criminal I’m tired of seeing the acts of crucifixion of a man who was turningAmerica around. The actions of the officers going through the clothes of our ex First Lady and the personal items of their son was uncalled for.
I was noticing some of the writer feelTrump should clean up his act to be President in the future.
We Shouldn’t Biden be cleaning up his act.

Edith Moses
Edith Moses
1 year ago

I believe that those Republican people that know what goes on in politics , talk to much.they are not only letting us know what could happen , but also telling the dirty Demorats what they can do to hurt President Trump. Sorry , I like the next person likes to know what is going on ,but not if it is going to hurt Trump in any way.

Robin Boyd
Robin Boyd
1 year ago

This FBI raid is just another way for Progressive Democrats to let those of US who oppose the current fascist minded regime know that none of US are safe from their DOJ. Such and attack on a former president is an attack on all citizens.

Lloyd
Lloyd
1 year ago

Sen. Graham said it correctly, That if the government indicated Trump to prosecute him there would be riots in the streets of America.

Myers
Myers
1 year ago

Garland is a dirty globalist non-Messianic Jew who must be getting his marching orders from the WEF and possibly Barack Obama. I do hope that he gets indicted somewhere down the road if the GOP takes majority of both congressional chambers. Pray for America.

LauraC
LauraC
1 year ago

Yeah, like the DOJ, FBI or any of a dozen other alphabet organizations haven’t already pawed and prodded their way through the material. This is “horse already left the barn” stuff. How will anyone tell if some things are missing, been copied or, even worse, added to the snatches documents? Who will be punished if the special master finds the DOJ and FBI were totally out of line? My guess is no one will be held to account and the fascist tactics will go on and on.

GTPatriot
GTPatriot
1 year ago

Really dosen’t matter. If this dosen’t work, the left will be onto #64 in their attempts to get Trump. Now, they have only 2 working: Jan 6 and the Mara-Lago raid. They need to be working at least
5 to 10 at one time to really stand a chance at catching the fox. Again. the left is all blow and no show.

GTPatriot
GTPatriot
1 year ago

How many of you were subjected to unlawful search and seizure today. Oh, you think there are none ? I’ll bet there were at least 1000. Lock your door, get a dog and have plenty of ammo.
The only person to save you will be you.

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