Trump Finally Describes How FBI Injured Him: By Taking his Celine Dion Picture

The most important part of the hearing in the stolen document case before the 11th Circuit Tuesday came when Chief Judge William Pryor asked what the 11th Circuit should do if they find for DOJ.

It seemed to me that because this is an appeal from an injunction for purposes of appellate jurisdiction, what we would do if you’re right we would vacate the injunction, vacate this order on the ground that there is a lack of equitable jurisdiction. But that would be it. What we would have jurisdiction over is not the entire case. We would have jurisdiction, if we have jurisdiction, it’s over that order, granting an injunction. Isn’t that right, technically, instead of reverse and remand, with instructions, it’s really just vacate.

If Pryor’s original view was right, it would allow DOJ to use the documents in a prosecution of Trump, but would leave Judge Aileen Cannon with the authority to still meddle in the case.

Sopan Joshi, arguing for DOJ, disagreed and walked Judge Pryor through a SCOTUS precedent that says that the Court would necessarily have the authority to reverse the decision entirely.

Joshi must have persuaded, to some degree, because Pryor decided,

If you’re right, what we’re really talking about is a middle position, that is, I was right about vacate but you’re right about the authority to remand with instructions to dismiss. Ordinarily if a District Court lacks jurisdiction, that’s what we do. We vacate and remand with instructions to dismiss.

Joshi replied, “Fair enough, and I’m not going to fight you too hard on it.

Judge Britt Grant then piped in to ask Joshi whether,

We, in your view, if we decide there was not equitable jurisdiction in the first place we wouldn’t need to go through the bases of jurisdiction for the injunction and Special Master or anything like that. The lack of jurisdiction as it was brought would resolve all the questions in your mind. Is that right?

Joshi was pretty happy with that too. “I think that’s right.”

This technical debate, which took up about a quarter of the hearing, not only betrays that at least two of the 11th Circuit Court judges are thinking of how to give DOJ what it wants, but how to do so procedurally. And they seemed persuaded, ultimately, that they should just vacate the entire Special Master appointment altogether, ending the entire Special Master process.

Things didn’t go so well for Jim Trusty, Trump’s lawyer. Just as he started to get going on claims about Biden ordering a search on a political candidate’s home (a lie), Grant interrupted and corrected his use of raid: “Do you think ‘raid’ is the right word for execution of a warrant?”

When Trusty tried to claim that this warrant had been a general warrant, Pryor scolded, “but you didn’t establish that it was a general warrant,” the first of multiple times when the judges reminded Trusty he had not made the arguments he presented today before, not before any court. Grant pointed out that Trusty was misstating what their purported goal was, which was originally to review for privilege.

Then, as Trusty reeled off the things FBI seized that, he said, were incredibly personal, Grant asked, “Do you think it’s rare for the target of a warrant to think it’s overreaching?”

Mic drop!

She was back again, a few minutes later, as Trusty tried to argue what he thought the binding precedent should be, rather than what it was. Grant got to the core issue, which was that Trusty was asking for special treatment.

If you set aside, which I understand that you won’t want to do, but if you do for the purposes of this question, set aside the fact that the target of the search warrant was a former president, are there any arguments that would be different than any defendant, any target of a warrant who wished to challenge a warrant before an indictment.

Trusty tried to reframe her question. “We’re not looking for special treatment for President Trump. We are recognizing there is a context here where no President–”

Pryor interrupted.

I don’t know that that’s particularly responsive. The question was, set aside the fact that the subject of the warrant is the President. What’s to distinguish this from any other subject of a criminal investigation?

When Trusty tried to raise the concerns that he claimed Trump had had all along, Pryor responded, “I don’t see where that case has been made.” Again, Trump didn’t make the arguments he needed to, in September, to get the relief he is demanding now.

That’s when Pryor laid out the real practical problem with Trusty’s claims.

We have to determine when it’s proper for a District Court to do this in the first place, which is what we’re looking at now. And the last question was one posed that makes clear that basically, other than the fact that this involves a former President, everything else about this is indistinguishable from any pre-indictment search warrant. And we’ve got to be concerned about the precedent that we would create that would allow any target of a federal criminal investigation to go into a district court and to have a district court entertain this kind of petition, exercise equitable jurisdiction, and interfere with the Executive Branch’s ongoing investigation.

After Trusty started wailing more about personal documents, Pryor described,

You’ve talked about all these other records and property that were seized. The problem is the search warrant was for classified documents and boxes and other items that are intermingled with that. I don’t think it’s necessarily the fault of the government if someone has intermingled classified documents and all kinds of other personal property.

That’s when Trusty revealed that FBI took a picture of Celine Dion.

Dion, remember, refused Trump’s request to play his inauguration.

Now Trump’s grave injury all begins to make sense! FBI hurt him by taking his Celine Dion picture. All the wailing and screaming since August now begin to make sense.

Trusty went on blathering, claiming — for example — that the injunction hadn’t harmed the government because they had months before and after the seizure to conduct their investigation. When Trusty claimed the injunction was overblown, Pryor invited,

Think of the extraordinary nature from our perspective of an injunction against the Executive Branch in a pre-indictment situation. Under the separation of powers, the judiciary doesn’t interfere with those kinds of prosecutorial and investigatory decisions. Right? That’s the whole nature of this kind of jurisdiction.

After Pryor asked about a new argument Trusty was making, Joshi reeled off the five different arguments that Trump has advanced.

Joshi closed with the practical fear Pryor had raised: If Trump has his way, every “defendant” will demand pre-indictment intervention.

This emphasizes how anomalous and extraordinary what the district court did her was. And I heard Mr. Trusty agree that there was no difference between this and other defendants. And I think that just emphasizes how the anomalous could become commonplace. And we think the court should reverse.

Andrew Brasher seemed more sympathetic to Trusty’s arguments, at one point asking how much more of a delay this would cause, as if he might let this all play out (and that’s what would happen if the 11th didn’t entirely vacate Cannon’s order.

But ultimately, Trump was treated as if not a defendant, then at least someone who could create untenable rights for other defendants, which sounded like something neither Pryor nor Grant were willing to do.

96 replies
  1. TooLoose LeTruck says:

    Well, wouldn’t it really depend on whether or not the picture of Celine was autographed?

    And scanning thru the article, I came across the line “If you’re right, what we’re really talking about is a middle position”… and in my mind, I immediately read ‘a middle finger’…

    And I’m thinking… ‘Right on, Judge Pryor! Tell it like it is, man… yes, Trump has been trying to give all of us a middle finger here, and it’s time to give it back!’

    And then I went back a read the passage more carefully the second time, and realized I had it wrong…

    Never mind…

    • bbleh says:

      Well it would depend on whether the photograph was autographed to Trump specifically. Because then it would really be personal! If it weren’t, then it could have been to anybody, so someone else might have sent it to him! Maybe even in the course of his Presidential duties. Or as a bribe! I can see where the decision might hinge on that point.

      • Too Loose LeTruck says:

        I had wondered about that…

        But then, if the autograph was done w/ a sharpie…

        I dunno… could be a forgery…

        • Seashell says:

          If the photo is signed and the signature appears to match with a sharpie, it seems like the markings on the photo could be compared to a well-known hurricane tracking chart that may or may not appear in NARA as a Presidential Record, or perhaps a Presidential Forgery.

          • Matt___B says:

            Whatabout Poilievre or the Ford Bros? Canadian Trumps past and present. Granted, TFG has set a high bar for how far one can abuse political power.

      • retired railroad switchperson says:

        is it possible there’s some kind of notation in Sharpie—verbal or graphic—on the photo of the singer who famously stiffed him on the inauguration?

        • TooLoose LeTruck says:

          Given how well we all unfortunately know Trump at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if they discovered an entire trove of celebrity photographs w/ forged signatures on them… along w/ telltale ketchup fingerprints…

      • subtropolis says:

        It matters nothing whether the photo was signed. In fact, the photo matters not at all, despite Trusty’s best efforts at misdirection. Unless, of course, people run with that nonsense.

        This has nothing, whatsoever, to do with that asshole’s personal belongings being wrongfully taken. Trusty mentioned it for the simple reason that he wishes to confuse people. The Celine Dion photo was a convenient silly thing for him to throw out there for the republican noise machine to pick up. Don’t be a part of the republican noise machine.

        • bmaz says:

          Uh, nobody here is part of the right wing noise cache. Cut that crap out, and go eat some turkee or something.

          • Rayne says:

            subtropolis has a point, just wasn’t made clearly to bbleh (who only has 79 comments here since 2018).

            It’s not about the goddamned photo unless the photo was sent to Trump as POTUS — and I doubt it was.

            It’s about Trump trying to protect himself by claiming a 4th Amendment violation by hiding records which weren’t his with personal materials AFTER he left the White House.

            Focusing on the goddamned photo is like focusing on the mythic “single server,” a redirection of attention away from the crime.

            • bmaz says:

              Oh, naw, I would make that argument in a heartbeat. Even if you lose (and it will lose even in the nutbag 11th), you want to protect that record, arguably malpractice not to. Just because it is lame doesn’t mean you don’t argue it.

    • Kathy B says:

      I listened to the oral arguments on one of the “litigation disaster tourism” streams (QuestAuthority, Mike Dunford) who explained some of the hearing context, including judge/lawyer interactions. At one point Trusty insulted the judges! At a couple other point he talked over them. And the use of the term “raid” (instead of warrant), attributing the warrant to a “political rival” (instead of a judge), PLUS repeatedly introducing elements that were not part of the stay and trying to sneak in elements of political rant sure were remarkable.

      What you don’t get from the transcripts (which I generally prefer to audible info like this one) was how little respect this case and Trusty’s efforts in particular generated with the panel.

      11th C most likely will dunk all or most of this.

      • AtticusFlinch says:


        I understand that the politically charged climate in which this is all unfolding probably imposes extra discipline or restraint on NON-partisan-hack judges (not looking at YOU, Aileen Cannon) to avoid outward displays of anger or the urge to dispense instant discipline for miscreant lawyers in these cases.

        Having said that, how common/normal is it for federal appeals court judges (only one rung below The Holy Roller Supremes on the legal deity ladder) to tolerate repeated instances of disrespectful in-court antics from ANY attorney — mail order law degree recipients, Jenna Ellis and Alina Habba, easily come to mind — let alone from a supposedly “respected” attorney for the former POTUS who goes by the cartoon character name, “Jim Trusty”?

        I know this isn’t LA Law or Law and Order but, IRL, how much are these clowns allowed to get away with before spending a night in the cooler for contempt, or, at the very least, sanctions/suspension/removal from the bar?

        Sometimes, I think all of this is a simulation and they’re all just @#$%ing with us.

  2. smf88011 says:

    Sounds to me that the court is telegraphing that they are going to throw the SM ruling out. It also sounds to me like Trump had a VERY bad day in court.

  3. Scott Rose says:


    Trusty’s professional website describes him as an experienced professional yet here he was introducing new subjects on appeal.

    What motivates somebody like Trusty to embarrass himself for Trump?

      • Commentmonger says:

        Fame and glory. There are a LOT of people who pay good money to get that – forget getting paid to do that. And there seem to be a LOT of potential clients for an attorney willing to do that.

      • Peterr says:

        Given his client’s history, it’s probably more accurate to say “the promise of a paycheck.”

        Of course, we know how much such promises made to minions and contractors are worth, but for someone like Trusty, there’s also the personal ego at work, saying to him “Yes, that’s true, but *I* am different. He wouldn’t stiff me!”

      • AtticusFlinch says:

        If I’m not mistaken (anyone jump in if I’m remembering this wrong), I believe when the news of DudleyDoRightTrustyAttorneyForHire joining the MAGA Circus, he agreed to do so only after securing an UP-FRONT 7-figure retainer payment.

        Vaguely, $3 million is the number that stuck in my head.

        Then again, I probably shouldn’t have partaken in so much ayuhasca after the turkey last night.

          • AtticusFlinch says:

            You’re right. Kise got lost (in my memory) thru the blur of never-ending lawyer shuffling by the Orange Menace, as he keeps tapping the seemingly inexhaustible supply of people willing to debase themselves FOR FREE (Kise being the only notable exception, publicly bucking that trend) and wreck their careers — for a fleeting brush with “fame.” Guess this clarifies which group TrustyDoRight falls into.

  4. David F. Snyder says:

    Thank you for this update, Dr. Wheeler.

    In comments at WaPo, someone mentioned that the latest filing by DOJ at 11CA shows SC Smith is up and running. Can you comment on that? Thanks for all you do.

  5. Grant G says:

    Methinks….It feels different this time, year after year watching Trump slither away from accountability, by hook n by crook… The “Teflon Don” moniker did apply…..But now, not so much, upper courts appear to be ruling correctly, and quickly for a welcome change..
    I can’t help but think that it’s not a coincidence that Trump’s stream of recent losses coincides with Mega donors dumping Trump, Evangelicals dumping Trump..
    Establishment Republicans turning on him, Rupert Murdoch/New York Post turning on Trump, even the very rightwing National Review has turned…
    My belief, the big money players have tired of Trump..n realize Trump can’t move their agenda forward or win a general election…Expect the Trump to continue losing badly….There is no high powered cavalry or media coming to save Trump this time., outside of the grift wing of the party, Bannon, Lindell, Stone, Trump Pac n hired talking heads…

    Like I said, it’s different this time….You can feel the wind change direction

    [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please choose and use a unique username with a minimum of 8 letters. We are moving to a new minimum standard to support community security. PLEASE also omit any addition to the URL field after entering your username and email address. You’ve used different URLs, each of which creates a new identity. Let’s not do that. The URL field will eventually be deprecated when the comment system is updated. Thanks. /~Rayne]

    • Raven Eye says:

      Ya know…Mom and Dad told you not to pour hot grease down the kitchen sink drain. But you did it anyway and pointed out how it was draining just fine. After a while, the drain starts slowing. At some point, it backs up completely.

      Trump has been pouring grease all his life. Sooner or later, with luck, logic, or the law on our side…

      • P J Evans says:

        Running grapefruit rinds down the disposal, without lots of water between pieces, and yea, you’re gonna get a clog of ground-up grapefruit rind…probably sooner than later.
        [Been there, done that, and have a scar from the knife in addition.]

        • Midtowngirl says:

          Not trying to turn this into HGN, but a quick DIY tip for your garbage disposal:
          Once a week fill the disposal with ice, add 1/2 cup to 1 cup rock salt or coarse salt, and half a lemon thinly sliced. Run it through with enough water to keep things flowing. Flush thoroughly with warm soapy water.
          It’ll clean the blades, and scrape gunk off along the way – and it smells good!

          Also, Trump definitely did not have a good day today. In addition to the 11th Circuit, SCOTUS decided Congress gets to see his taxes, and Lindsey Graham testified in GA before the Grand Jury today.

          PS – just saw I misspelled my user name! Sorry ’bout that Rayne!

          [Fixed, no problem. /~Rayne]

  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    That Pryor conceded that absent jurisdiction, it was right for the 11th Cir. to direct the district court to dismiss the case – and not just the injunction – was good. It’s the sort of argument that could readily be dealt with in first year civil procedure. That it needed argument beyond the government’s brief is disappointing. Beyond spelling it out for defense counsel, that is, which would be inherently unwilling to hear it.

    • Peterr says:

      I have a growing feeling that when it comes to spelling it out for the world in their ruling, it’s going to be brutal for Team Trump. “Sure, we could simply rule on the briefs submitted, but let’s give him some rope and see what he does with it. That will make the ruling that much more direct.”

      Let’s not forget that these 11th Circuit judges know that SCOTUS will be taking a look at their work once they rule, and they want it to be bulletproof.

    • pdaly says:

      Thanks. It seemed to me Pryor was claiming the Appeals Court has a limited role to play, to remove the Special Master or not. Not until Pryor started challenging Trump’s attorney Trusty did it seem Pryor might side with the DOJ. But I missed Pryor’s concession that it would be right to pry DC Judge Cannon’s claws off this entire case.

    • Kathy B says:

      In the Litigation Disaster Tour discussion hosted by Mike Dunford, it was suggested that a piece of the goal was to yeet this case for good and all out of 11th Circuit territory, rather than remand with instructions to Cannon.

  7. SueD says:

    To me the best part of this being thrown out is that cheapskate Trump would still have to pay for the Special Master. He would still have to pay for the Special Master right? And all the fees that using a Special Master included?

    • jecojeco says:

      Dearie was doing his job properly, Cannon would have had to dump him eventually anyway. Dearie is a native NYer and doubtless was familiar with trump legal shennanigans so a dumb choice by team trump. Hope he gets full payment.

      trump delay game unraveling, RINOs (Country Club Repubs) are distancing. Looking forward to additional searches of trump locs turning up additional stolen US docs (& property).

      If trump took US secret & defense docs out of US to his golf courses in Ireland & Scotland is this significant (lets say he was trying to take out of FBI reach).

      PS doubled user name to meet 8 character min. Another something to forget!

      [Thanks for updating your username to meet the 8 letter minimum. /~Rayne]

      • smf88011 says:

        Part of me wonders if Trump used Ivana’s grave to hide documents that he knew he shouldn’t have but kept none the less. (tongue in cheek comment)

        Based upon the facts we have before us and reporting of how he handled documents throughout his life, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were documents at other Trump properties including Ireland/Scotland. I say “were” because if he had half a brain he would have done something to dispose of the evidence. The only way that there are other documents at his properties still is if he thinks that his other properties will not be searched.

        Can the fact that he hid documents at MAL be used as probably cause to search his other properties?

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          No. That Trump illegally retained documents at MAL creates a valid suspicion that would justify further investigation. But it does not rise to the level of probable cause that specific evidence of federal crimes would be found at other specific locations.

          • Ravenclaw says:

            Though if some of the folders/cover sheets from classified documents don’t match any of the documents found at the scene, that would be pretty strong evidence that the other documents (i.e., the ones with matching reference numbers) are likely to be held elsewhere by the person in question. Or am I missing some nuance there?

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              You’re ignoring the missing links in the chain to get where you want to go.

              Empty folders are evidence that their contents are missing. They are not evidence of where they are, assuming they still exist. They create suspicion, but not probable cause, sufficient for a search warrant, that those missing documents are likely to be found at a specific alternate location.

              The suspicion is enough to continue an investigation, but not enough to get a warrant.

              • Nick Barnes says:

                Fascinating. I think the law may be very different over here (E&W).
                Suppose I killed my wife and hid her body and the weapon in the trunk of my car, or maybe in a storage unit which I rent, or maybe on a bit of woodland which I inherited. There’s blood all over the house but none anywhere else and no other evidence. Could US cops not get a warrant for my car trunk, or the storage unit, or the woodland?
                Serious question. I think (but don’t know) that English cops would very easily be able to search all three places.

                • AtticusFlinch says:

                  Wow, that was eerily specific!

                  If I was your wife — biologically impossible, but humo(u)r me, and assuming she’s not already IN your storage unit — I would grab my passport and head for the most hospitable undisclosed location, post haste.

                  • Nick Barnes says:

                    Biologically impossible, you say? Seems unlikely.

                    It is sensible to be specific when asking legal hypotheticals. The more details one omits, the more likely the answer is to be “it depends”. I take it you don’t have any answer for this particular hypothetical?

                    • AtticusFlinch says:

                      Alas, I do NOT have the “official” answer you seek, as I’m forced to plead the IANAL defense. That’s why I visit this place when the news is most bleak — to try to make sense of all this madness with the help of Dr Wheeler and the other brilliant legal eagles who nest here.

                      Having issued the above disclaimer, my layman’s understanding of what’s required to convince a US court to authorize a search for any of the locations you described is that those seeking the warrant must show probable cause (developed from neighbo(u)rhood canvassing, witness testimony, tips from reliable informants, surveillance video obtained from voluntary sources, etc.) sufficient to convince that judge that evidence of the suspected wife-terminating crime or “fruits of that specific crime” would be found at *your* specific storage unit, and at that specific point in time. And, for each and every other location to be searched — separately and individually — they’d have to meet the same probable cause threshold.

                      It wouldn’t be enough that law enforcement “believe” that such evidence “might” (or even “probably”) exists (or existed) at your woodland hideaway or at any other location, absent other evidence sufficient to persuade the court to authorize searching each specific location.

                      Naturally, I defer to the resident LAWYERS to blow up any of the foregoing if I’ve been watching too much TV news “expert legal analysis” for my own good.

                      As for the disturbing specificity of your hypothetical, you might have raised less worries about the safety / future prospects of YOUR wife (if SHE is not hypothetical as well), by presenting the same scenario in terms of, “Suppose A GUY killed HIS wife… HIS storage unit … etc.” ; )


                • nedu says:

                  The right answer to your hypothetical is still, “It depends…”

                  Fourth amendment law is notoriously fact-specific.

                  Under current federal law

                  [P]robable cause is a fluid concept — turning on the assessment of
                  probabilities in particular factual contexts — not readily, or even usefully, reduced to a neat set of legal rules.

                  But even that general summation of the overall situation obscures two key factors–

                  • ‘Too loose warrants’ continue to be constitutionally-resisted in some states.
                  • Magistrates do occasionally rubberstamp invalid warrants.

                  Within your hypothetical, can you state the reason(s) why a prudent person ordinarily would be willing to make oath that evidence of a crime was likely to be found in a specific spot to be searched?

                  • Nick Barnes says:

                    It’s a good question, and I don’t know the answer. In the hypothetical (and yes, AtticusFlinch, “my wife” is currently hypothetical), suppose further that the police had developed some theory that I did the deed, and concealed the body and weapon *somewhere*, but had no particular evidence as to where. They want to search my various properties (the storage locker and woodland, which for AtticusFlinch’s benefit are *not* hypothetical). I think, but cannot be certain, that in England and Wales the police would find it pretty easy to get warrants (assuming they have good reason to suspect *me*). We see something like this a lot in the news: someone is arrested on suspicion of a murder, and the police then search the suspect’s home and other properties (one example in fairly recent memory is the murder of Sarah Everard – the police searched various properties associated with Couzens in the days around his arrest). I don’t know, but am curious to know, what the threshold for a search warrant for any particular location might be in E&W, or in a similar case in the US.

                    In this case the FBI have a pretty clear and (at least at a probable cause level) very well-evidenced theory that Trump et al stole various documents. If we hypothesize that they have *not* yet recovered all missing documents, what would rise to the “probable cause” level to search another one of Trump’s properties? For instance, if they have witness statements attesting to Trump arriving at Bedminster in the weeks after leaving office, with several boxes in tow, then would that suffice? Combined, perhaps, with evidence that Trump has an office on the Bedminster property with desks, filing cabinets, etc. Or would they need, say, a witness attesting that they had seen a document-marked-as-classified *at Bedminster*? Or even more than that: a witness statement that they had seen such a document in such-and-such a filing crate at Bedminster, and another statements that that particular crate is *today* in such-and-such a closet at Bedminster?

                    Being Trump, of course, he will challenge and delay at every step using all available legal arguments (and many which are not properly available), and may find a sympathetic judge eager to help him out. That’s a good reason for the FBI to have really strong affidavits when applying for a warrant, so that the fruits of a search can’t be successfully challenged. So I can well understand them being very cautious about over-reaching for search warrants: nobody wants all of this to be dismissed at trial. I’m curious both about the strictest possible interpretation of the rule, which the FBI must follow in this case, and also in how it is generally interpreted and applied (some no-name broke-ass trailer-park murderer, say).

                    • AtticusFlinch says:

                      Awesome job fleshing out your hypothetical(s), Nick — and, again IANAL, but I think you hit all the high notes of the complexities of satisfying the PC threshold for searching any given location the Orange Menace might use to stash his White House trophies. The overriding complication to my mind is that we already know from his greatest hits that there is no law he won’t bend, spindle and mutilate, so the moment he realized they weren’t just asking nicely anymore and actually showed up, “ransacked poor Melania’s underwear drawer” and left with all the goods (that they could FIND), all bets were off.

                      I’m sure the resident lawyers here can outline the even stiffer requirements to obtain a “no-knock” warrant meant to surprise skittish investigative targets before they can move or destroy evidence (as opposed to the DOJ calling the Secret Service that fateful morning to let them know they’d be dropping by MAL for brunch). Now that DJT knows they’re gunning for him for real, any government property still in his possession after the MAL search could literally be ANYWHERE in the Orange Kingdom. Bedminster, Trump Tower, Scotland, Ireland, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, a storage unit it Azerbaijan, you name it. And that’s the dilemma for the new Special Counsel, isn’t it? How on earth do you make a case to search any new location when, with every passing day, the miscreant can toss innumerable classified docs into a garment bag and have one of his minions throw the bag onto today’s flight for parts unknown? Whack-a-Mole, Forever Edition. Not even HE can be stupid enough to have anyone carrying around BANKER’S BOXES in view of the media anymore, right?

                      So, I think we’ve seen all the court-approved searches we’re going to see, because I can’t imagine how anyone could possibly pinpoint the location of any outstanding government property at this late date — short of, as you suggested, VERY specific snitching by very-well-placed snitches (and his circle gets smaller every day, so potential snitches would really stand out). The hunt could drag on for years and we’d be no closer to bringing this creep to justice than we are right now. Hopefully, what they’ve already got is indisputable enough and damning enough to do the job. Another couple of boxes, one way or the other, probably doesn’t change this calculus.

                      Then again, maybe we’ll get lucky and they’ll catch him trying to cash in some of his trinkets on eBay or the Proto-Fascist section of CraigsList.


  8. joel fisher says:

    This piece is essential reading for the docs search. Big picture: Trump’s specious claims buy him–what?–8 months before a grand jury has the stolen docs matter before it: en banc, Clarence “Stonewall” Thomas, and the full SCOTUS. If I know my Trump, every single adverse ruling is going up on appeal. Judge Cannon–a Trump loyalist if there ever was one–will not be admonished except in the high-toned language of appellate courts and she might continue in some role to be involved in the case.
    Anyway, assuming there is an indictment, people who know what they’re talking about–not me–might reasonably guess when this matter might be scheduled for trial. All I can say with any certainty is it going to take while.

  9. Rapier says:

    Doesn’t the constitution say no evidence is allowed to be used in government prosecutions if Celine Dion’s picture is present? Sorry I have to ask but my memory is shot. Well if not now it will be in the new constitution I’m sure.

  10. Unabogie says:

    I’m not able to find a transcript, but towards the end, Joshi repeatedly used the term “indictments” as though they were in the process of being filed, as in not *if* they were coming, but that a Special Counsel was going to handle those indictments and Trump could fight *him* over the search warrant then.

    Do I read too much into that?

    • matt fischer says:

      And Joshi referred to “other defendants” as though FPOTUS currently is one. It’s easy to forget that FPOTUS remains uncharged and is actually the plaintiff in this civil action.

      • emptywheel says:

        Yeah, he was called a defendant and the target yesterday, and not just by Joshi. I was about to go back and count the instances. You maybe could explain that based on the weird posture of this. But there’s not much drama here about how serious this is for Trump.

    • P J Evans says:

      If he put it in with the illegal stuff, too bad for him. He’ll get it back sometime, though, and can stick it up on his cell wall.

      • AtticusFlinch says:

        Your lips, god’s ears, etc.

        I’m with ya, but after nearly 50 years of nonstop unpunished grift with ever greater rewards for shitting on every imaginable law, this is starting to feel like a dream that will never come true.

        If they don’t/won’t/can’t indict and convict him on THIS open and shut case, he’ll never face justice for anything. And no one in their right minds will ever go shopping on FIFTH AVENUE in his lifetime, ever again.

        • bmaz says:

          There is no such thing as an “open and shut” or “slam dunk” criminal trial case. And it is absurd to say that. Baying on the internet accomplishes nothing.

          • AtticusFlinch says:

            Thanks for the smackdown. Honestly, it’s baffling to make sense of which comments you choose to pounce on and which you let pass (iceberg OK, slamdunk NOT). I’m not trolling. I’m not a sockpuppet. I’m guilty of lame attempts at humor. I mostly try to engage in discussions where I can learn here what I can’t learn from “the media.” But absurdity does ooze from every Trump story, so it’s hard not to get caught up in the totality of his uninterrupted lifelong crime spree. Still, I take your point. I’ll stay in my lane and refrain from further baying. I do, however, wish you were as quick to answer my legal questions (above) where I might have learned something — the whole reason I’m here.

  11. Commentmonger says:

    Worth the subscription fee.

    >>>That’s when Trusty revealed that FBI took a picture of Celine Dion. Dion, remember, refused Trump’s request to play his inauguration.
    Now Trump’s grave injury all begins to make sense.

  12. Savage Librarian says:

    It’s possible that one of Trump’s concerns about the Celine Dion photo is that he wants it back so he has evidence for some kind of payback. Remember how Vicky Ward described Trump’s behavior after her interactions with him.

    She said that Trump kept thank you notes that she’d sent after doing interviews with him for a book. When the book turned out to be not as flattering as he wanted, he released the thank you notes.

    Dion’s rejection must have stung. He was probably counting on her ability to draw crowds, too. So, if it was a signed photo (whether forged or not) it could be something of value to him for nefarious purposes.

  13. trnc2022 says:

    “You’ve talked about all these other records and property that were seized. The problem is the search warrant was for classified documents and boxes and other items that are intermingled with that. I don’t think it’s necessarily the fault of the government if someone has intermingled classified documents and all kinds of other personal property.”

    Trump’s argument here is so weird to me. Doesn’t the intermingling strengthen, if not prove, the government’s case that DT mishandled the documents?

    • Peterr says:

      The absence of legally required security measures (people to guard, sufficiently secure doors, and locked cabinets that meet security requirements) at Mar-a-Lago is much more damning than a photo of Celine Dion stored in the same box with some classified docs.

      Pryor’s point is that sloppiness on Trump’s part is not evidence of overreach by the DOJ. It’s a nice little legal shiv, which makes me hopeful for more of the same in the eventual written opinion of the panel.

      • AtticusFlinch says:

        I don’t get ANY of the oxygen being wasted on the “proper handling” argument — over the handling of STOLEN National Defense Information and other government property. Apart from evidence of a SEPARATE CRIME (whatever additional statutes are being broken), who cares how he HANDLED them after he STOLE them? And, it’s a crime to POSSESS them, even if you didn’t steal them! Isn’t it? By my calculations, the indictment should look like a Chinese take-out menu.

        If you or I somehow come into possession of some weapons-grade plutonium (say, that we pinched in the last days of our employment at a secure facility where it was processed) and after getting fired, we just DECIDE to, y’know, bring it home for “old-times’ sake — great conversation starter / bargaining chip if I get in a jam”), what do you think they’d prosecute us for FIRST — not keeping the stuff in a properly-shielded container, or for absconding with it in the first place (not to mention, lying about it when they came looking for it)?

        Somebody who knows — am I getting worked up over minutia, or is this another case of them yelling “SQUIRREL!!!” to deflect from the indisputable crime in plain sight?

  14. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Whatever the explanation for the most recent mass shooting – this one at a Wal-Mart, more than 600 for the year – being a “disgruntled former employee” is not a sufficient one.

  15. smf88011 says:

    I have asked this before but I never got a response that I have seen – can the fact that he had documents he shouldn’t have had at MAL be used as probable cause to search his other properties?

  16. Curious George says:

    I am unable to post a comment. Is this a technical glitch or a policy decision?

    [It’s your history of sockpuppeting which is causing the problem, Barry/barry/Barry Wasserman/CaliforniaDude/Curious George. Pick a unique username consisting of a minimum 8 letters and stick with it or end up stuck in perma-moderation. /~Rayne]

    • Curious George says:

      I’ll try that. My “sockpuppeting” was not intentional but rather a failure to remember my “name”.

      • Rayne says:

        Community members will have to develop a system which works for them to remember their names — even a text file kept on a PC’s desktop will work, it’s not like keeping a password secure. But whenever we roll out the updated system sockpuppets even if created by accident may not be able to post a comment.

          • Rayne says:

            You may not have yours set to clear everything on exit/shutdown, or have autofill shut off. Some folks do and they’ll need to find a way to remember what might otherwise have been supplied by their browser.

  17. STEPHEN DUNCAN says:

    I’ve read a few sources that seem to think no matter how all this 11th stuff shakes out Cannon somehow could be left an avenue to keep her fingers in the pie, to one degree or another. True?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Who knows. Odds seem good, however, based on the oral argument, that the 11th Cir. panel will remand the case to Cannon with instructions to dismiss the entire civil action for lack of jurisdiction.

      That would almost certainly be a dismissal without prejudice, leaving open the possibility that Trump could refile a civil action. But it would be a hearty judge who would find s/he had jurisdiction after a ruling like that from the 11th Cir.

  18. Curious George says:

    Has it been noted already that the DOJ attorney arguing this case, Sopan Joshi, clerked for Scalia and Alito? I find that surprising and reassuring, and it suggests to me that he was a great choice to represent the Government before the conservative 11th Circuit.

  19. JohnJJSchmidt says:

    “If you set aside, which I understand that you won’t want to do , but if you do for the purposes of this question, set aside the fact that the target of the search warrant was a former president,”

    I love judges sometimes. This is the kind of aside that gets me in trouble a lot. She is telling him he is asserting something, then making him admit that it is wrong.

    I recommend listening to the recording of that hearing, I listened to excerpts over at over MeidasTouch of the juicer parts and the transcript alone does not do it justice. The nuance and tone of the justices is beautiful.

    (Updated my name after more than a decade.)

    [Thanks for updating your username to meet the 8 letter minimum. /~Rayne]

  20. Arthur M. says:

    It’s all coming back to me now, your honor…

    There were moments of gold,
    And there were flashes of light.
    There were things we’d never do again,
    But then they’d always seemed right.
    There were nights of endless pleasure,
    It was more than all your laws allow.

  21. The Old Redneck says:

    Trusty statement: we’re not asking for special treatment.
    Trusty repeated references to “context:” give us special treatment.

Comments are closed.