Aileen Cannon Working Hard to Protect Stan Woodward; Doing Nothing to Protect Walt Nauta or Carlos De Oliveira

In this post, I noted all the things in DOJ’s reply on their motion for a Garcia hearing that had to have come from the grand jury, and assumed that DC Chief Judge James Boasberg must have permitted DOJ to share it.

As described here, yesterday’s reply on the motion for a Garcia hearing in the stolen documents case revealed a good deal of grand jury information about Yuscil Taveras’ testimony.

It revealed:

  • Trump’s IT worker, Taveras, testified (falsely, the government claims) in March
  • DOJ obtained two more subpoenas for surveillance footage, on June 29 and July 11, 2023 (the existence of those subpoenas, but not the date, had already been disclosed in a discovery memo)
  • It included the docket number associated with the conflict review — 23-GJ-46 — and cited Woodward’s response to the proceedings
  • James Boasberg provided Taveras with conflict counsel
  • Taveras changed his testimony after consulting with an independent counsel

Under grand jury secrecy rules, DC Chief Judge Boasberg would have had to approve sharing that information, but the docket itself remains sealed and Boasberg has not unsealed any of the proceedings.

A filing submitted from DOJ shows that I was right.

It also shows that Judge Aileen Cannon and Walt Nauta attorney Stan Woodward are engaged in a game that is doing nothing to ensure that Nauta’s getting unconflicted legal representation, but it is protecting Trump’s protection racket.

Let’s review the timeline.

On August 2, DOJ filed their original motion for a Garcia hearing, describing, generally, that Yuscil Taveras had testified against Nauta, which presented a conflict for Woodward, even before you consider the three other possible trial witnesses — of seven remaining witnesses — he also represents. DOJ submitted a sealed supplement with information on those three as well as other information, “to facilitate the Court’s inquiry.” Five days later, Cannon ordered that filing stricken, stating that, the government had, “fail[ed] to satisfy the burden of establishing a sufficient legal or factual basis to warrant sealing the motion and supplement.” In her drawn out briefing schedule on the question, she instructed Stan Woodward to address, “the legal propriety of using an out-of-district grand jury proceeding to continue to investigate and/or to seek post-indictment hearings on matters pertinent to the instant indicted matter in this district.”

On August 17, Woodward responded. He contended that Garcia hearings only covered when an attorney represented two defendants, but ultimately argued that, rather than adopt a more traditional method of resolving such a conflict (such as replacing Woodward), Judge Cannon should exclude Taveras’ testimony.

The government’s reply — filed on August 22 — is the one that made public more, damning, information on what went down in June and July.

Three more days passed before Woodward submitted a furious motion requesting opportunity to file a sur-reply. In it, filed 23 days after DOJ’s original submission and sealed filing, he accused DOJ of contravening, “a sealing order issued by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia,1” though in a rambling footnote, he admitted maybe DOJ had requested to unseal this ex parte.

1. Defense counsel is not currently aware of any application by the government to unseal defense counsel’s submission. To have done so ex parte is arguably less professional than deliberately violating the Court’s sealing order. The government did not solicit defense counsel’s position on the unsealing of defense counsel’s own submission, but appears to have deliberately misled both the District Court for the District of Columbia and this Court. Of course, if they did seek such an application ex parte, this would be the second time in as many weeks that the government has done so – a particularly ironic approach given the Special Counsel’s objection to the Court conducting any ex parte inquiry of Mr. Nauta.

In a fit of Trumpist projection, Woodward also complained that DOJ was doing things that might lead to tampering with witnesses.

2 In the time since the government’s submission, defense counsel has received several threatening and/or disparaging emails and phone calls. This is the result of the Special Counsel’s callous disregard for how their unnecessary actions affect and influence the public and the lives of the individuals involved in this matter. It defies credulity to suggest that it is coincidental that mere minutes after the government’s submission, at least one media outlet was reporting previously undisclosed details that were disclosed needlessly by the government.

Projection, projection, projection.

Well, it worked. Judge Cannon granted Woodward’s motion, even giving him one more day than he asked, until August 31 instead of August 30 (remember that she scheduled a sealed hearing sometime in this timeframe). Which will mean that because of actions taken and inaction by Aileen Cannon, Walt Nauta will go the entire month of August without getting a conflict review.

Meanwhile, on August 16, DOJ filed a motion for a Garcia hearing to discuss the three witnesses represented by Carlos De Oliveira’s attorney who may testify against him. Best as I can tell, Cannon is simply ignoring that one. Fuck De Oliveira, I guess.

After Cannon assented to yet more delay before she addressed the potentially conflicted representation of two of three defendants before her (someday, Cannon may even have to deal with conflicts Todd Blanche has, since he also represents Boris Epshteyn), DOJ submitted notice sharing a filing they submitted before the DC grand jury, assenting to Woodward’s request, filed just yesterday morning (that is, three days after their reply), asking to unseal stuff that was already unsealed.

It includes the Woodward filing, from which DOJ’s reply quoted, that Woodward claims DOJ cited out of context.

The full filing doesn’t help Woodward.

Indeed, Woodward’s own filing suggests that if Taveras wanted to cooperate with the government, that would entail seeking a new attorney.

Ultimately, this is little more than a last-ditch effort to pressure [Taveras] with vague (and likely nonexistent) criminal conduct in the hopes that [Taveras] will agree to become a witness cooperating with the government in other matters. See Government Filing, p. 10 (“A conflict may arise during an investigation if a lawyer’s ‘responsibility to his other clients prevents the lawyer from exploring with the prosecutor whether it might be in the interest of one witness to cooperate with the grand jury or to seek immunity if the witness’s cooperation or testimony would be detrimental to the lawyer’s other client.’ [] ‘Professional ethics prevent [an attorney] from advising a witness to seek immunity or leniency when the quid pro quo is testimony damning to his other clients, to whom he also owes a duty of undivided fidelity[.] [] In many cases, however, that advice is precisely what the client needs to hear, even, or perhaps especially, when it ‘is unwelcome’ advice that ‘the client, as a personal matter, does not want to hear or follow.’ [] (internal citations omitted)). Ultimately, [Taveras] has been advised by counsel that he may, at any time, seek new counsel, and that includes if he ultimately decided he wanted to cooperate with the government. However, [Taveras] has not signified any such desire and that means counsel for [Taveras] can continue to represent [Taveras] both diligently and competently. [my emphasis]

And the filing makes clear that DOJ addressed at more length the conflict presented because Woodward was being paid by Save America PAC; while I’m uncertain about the local rules in SDFL, in DC there is a specific rule 1.8(e), requiring informed consent when an attorney is paid by someone else. While Woodward addressed it (see below), Woodward’s own description that Taveras could get another lawyer if he wanted to cooperate would seem to conflict with that rule’s independence of representation, and when he addresses the rule, Woodward doesn’t address confidentiality.

Furthermore, when Woodward addresses why being paid by Save America PAC is only natural for Taveras because Taveras worked for Trump, he makes an argument that wouldn’t explain the entirety of his representation for Nauta — or, for that matter, Kash Patel, a known Woodward client who testified in the stolen documents case.

While the government has often sought to imply an illicit purpose for the Save America PAC covering the legal costs of certain grand jury witnesses, the truth has always been very simple and legitimate: many of the grand jury witnesses, including [Taveras], are only subject to this investigation by virtue of their employment with entities related to or owned by Donald Trump. Save America PAC has placed no conditions on the provision of legal services to their employees. Ultimately and in compliance with Rule 1.8, [Taveras] was advised that Save America PAC would pay his legal fees, that [Taveras] could pursue other counsel than Mr. Woodward if he so desired, that Save America PAC was not Mr. Woodward’s client, that [Taveras] was Mr. Woodward’s client, and that [Taveras] could always make the decisions relating to the trajectory of [Taveras]’s grand jury testimony. [my emphasis]

Taveras is only a witness because Trump paid him to do IT work. But for much of the conduct about which Kash must have given testimony, represented by Woodward, he was the Acting Chief of Staff at the Pentagon. That’s the period when, per Kash, Trump conducted a wild declassification spree in his last days as President before packing up boxes to move to Mar-a-Lago.

And while most of Nauta’s exposure as a witness (and now defendant) arises from things Nauta did as Trump’s valet after both left the White House, ¶25 of the superseding indictment, describing the process by which Trump and Nauta packed up to leave, entails conduct from before Nauta left government employ.

If Trump were to be charged with 18 USC 2071, Nauta would be a witness to that.

In other words, brushing off the financial conflict with Taveras is one thing, but this conflict is also about Nauta. And Nauta is now being prosecuted for conduct that may have begun when American taxpayers were paying him, not Donald Trump. One of the things Nauta may be hiding by not cooperating are details about Trump’s overt intentions as they both packed up boxes.

And that’s not even the most damning part of the filing DOJ submitted yesterday.

DOJ also submitted its initial motion to unseal grand jury materials, submitted on July 30, in advance of the Garcia motion.

That motion reveals, first of all, that DOJ informed Judge Cannon of the conflict hearing on June 27.

On June 27, 2023, the government filed a sealed motion asking the Court to conduct an inquiry into potential conflicts of interests arising from attorney Stanley Woodward, Jr.’s simultaneous representation of [Taveras] and Waltine Nauta (“conflicts hearing motion”); and a separate sealed motion seeking Court authorization to disclose the conflicts hearing motion by, among other things, attaching a copy of the motion to a sealed notice to be filed in United States v. Donald J. Trump, Waltine Nauta, and Carlos De Oliveira, No. 23-cr-80101 (S.D. Fla.) (“Florida case”). The Court granted both motions, and the government filed the sealed notice, with a copy of the conflicts hearing motion attached, the same day.

As DOJ noted in its reply, that’s what the sealed docket entries 45 and 46 are.

That is, Aileen Cannon knew this was happening in real time. DOJ wasn’t hiding anything from her.

That motion to unseal also describes that DOJ intended to file “all information related to the conflicts hearing,” including the appointment of Michelle Peterson to represent Taveras, in a sealed supplement to its motion for a Garcia hearing.

The government therefore moves for an order permitting it to disclose to the court in the Florida case all information related to the conflicts hearing, including the fact and dates of the hearing, the resulting appointment of AFPD to represent [Taveras], and, if necessary, any filings, orders, or transcripts associated with the conflicts hearing. The government initially intends to include such information only in a sealed supplement to its motion for a Garcia hearing.

In other words, these two docket entries that Judge Cannon ordered be stricken, five days after they were posted and therefore made available to both Cannon and Woodward?

They include the material that, Woodward claims, he had never seen before DOJ’s reply.

Judge Cannon just gave Woodward another bite at the apple, as well as another six days before his client gets a Garcia hearing, based off Woodward’s claim that he had never seen information DOJ had shared (and which would have been available to Woodward for five days) but then Cannon herself had removed from the record. DOJ did provide this information in its initial motion. But because of actions Cannon took — the judicial equivalent of flushing that information down the toilet — Woodward (after waiting three days himself before first asking Judge Boasberg to share the information) claimed that he had never seen it before.

DOJ may have had a sense of where this was going, because back on July 30, in the same paragraph where they asked for permission to submit this information as part of a sealed supplement, DOJ also asked for permission to share it in unsealed form if things came to that.

[T]o ensure that it does not need to return to the Court for further disclosure orders, the government also seeks authorization to disclose information related to the conflicts hearing more broadly in the Florida case, as the need arises, including in briefing and in-court statements related to the Garcia hearing.

Things did, indeed, come to that.

And Woodward may have gotten notice of all that from Judge Boasberg’s order on July 31.

Things are going to get really testy going forward (if they haven’t already under seal) because, in a filing that DOJ did not first ask permission to file (but which I suspect would be authorized by a sealed order elsewhere in the docket, not to mention general ethical obligations requiring DOJ to inform her of everything going on in DC), DOJ just revealed that Judge Cannon threw out precisely the information that she’s now using to grant Woodward’s request for a sur-reply and — between the three days he waited to ask and the six she granted him to respond — nine more days to delay such time before Walt Nauta might be told about the significance of all the conflicted representation Woodward has taken on.

But I also expect that this will escalate quickly in one or another forum. Aileen Cannon was informed weeks ago of two significant conflicts in the representation of defendants before her, and rather than attend to those conflicts (or decide, simply, that she was going to blow them off, which in some forms might be an appealable decision), she has helped Woodward simply stall any resolution to the potential conflict.

Remember how I’ve promised I would start yelling if I believed that Cannon was doing something clearly problematic to help Trump? I’d say we’re there.

Update: Corrected my own math on the delay, which I said was 11 days but is 9. Ignoring that Cannon asked for lengthy briefing on a topic that most judges would just issue an order on, the key delays are:

  • 5 days before Cannon flushed the sealed supplement down the judicial toilet
  • 3 days between the DOJ reply and Woodward’s panicked demand for a sur-reply based on a claim that DOJ hadn’t previously raised the things Cannon flushed
  • 6 days of delay before Woodward will submit his sur-reply
228 replies
  1. Kevin (not Drum) says:

    I am sure Woodward is a respected attorney with real clients in need of independent legal advice. However, it does seem like Trump’s go-to person for massaging the direction of legal proceedings in Trump’s favor. I think either you or some news outlet catalogued the client list of all Trump-associated attorneys previously, but it would be interesting to review all the Woodward-retained clients to describe the outlines of the possible protection racket. Does Woodward represent any ‘blue collar’ Jan. 6 clients?

    • Lady4Real says:

      His client list is very incestuous with TFG’s interest in mind. That can’t bode well for wage workers.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Both Nauta and DeOliveira at least appear to be from what most would consider blue-collar backgrounds. As is Tavares.

  2. sunflores says:

    Brilliant distillation of facts and timeline.

    INAL, are these maneuvers normal? Do judges usually remove filings and pretend they do not exist and allow an opposing attorney to reformulate their argument?

    I was not aware that Nauta’s exposure goes back to when he was a government employee. Interesting

    • jsrtheta says:

      I never practiced in federal court, but I practiced in state court criminal cases for years, and I would NEVER advise a defendant to use an attorney already representing a co-defendant.

      If a defense attorney tells you “there’s no conflict with my client X”, run. Fast. Even if there’s no actual conflict at the start, you can count on there being one soon. After you’ve spilled your story to the lawyer.

      And if you can’t afford your own attorney, get a public defender. Don’t get an attorney paid for by someone else.

      • bmaz says:

        Never. And if you see other co-defendants doing so, file a motion for determination of counsel because they are not getting good advice.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Don’t get an attorney paid for by someone else – unless they’re already on your side and have no other interest in your case.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          While still ‘represented’ by Woodward, Tavares lied to the DC grand jury–provably, argues DOJ.

          After switching lawyers, Tavares corrected his testimony. He will now serve as a witness in return for what we assume will be a plea deal. Unlike most witnesses whose lies might undermine their testimony, his will bolster the prosecution’s argument: I did it because of pressure, explicit or implicit, from ‘the boss.’

          Nauta and DeOliviera also lied. The longer they hang out there with Woodward/Trump, the worse it will be for them. Cannon is doing nothing on their behalf. It appears that, like Trump, she sees them as “the little people.”

      • sunflores says:

        Thank for your insights…My backround is more commercial, (Financal authority… Authority to buy; Authority to sell). In my world we call it segregation of duties.

        I don’t understand a world where two buyers sit across the table from one seller, (or vice versa)… Ok, maybe I do with the pig pen analogy…

        But I don’t understand the need to adjudicate it..

      • sunflore says:


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  3. Mike Stone says:

    Thanks always for your excellent analysis.

    While Cannon may provide some delay to the trial start date, it appears that the DOJ is fully aware of the potential actions of Woodward and Cannon and are taking pre-cautionary steps to ensure that things do not go off the rails.

    Sadly, but not sadly, Nauta is the one who is being left out in the cold and represented by a clearly conflicted attorney. I suspect eventually he will realize that it is in his best interests to get his own counsel.

    • timbozone says:

      And de Oliveira too. This isn’t about just one conflict between Trump and other defendants ability to get good Counsel, it’s about multiple defendants AND potential witnesses being represented by a lawyer that is likely only interested in Trump’s personal interests in this (and likely other) trials. As such, yeah, DOJ AND any respectable Federal magistrate would be making triple sure that all of those facing potential criminal conviction had counsel that was only interested in each respective defendant (and witnesses) rights to appropriate, independent counsel. Can’t wait to see Cannon’s reasoning on appeal about dismissing those sealed dockets from her que… “President Donald Trump’s defense counsel should be everyone’s defense counsel!” ain’t cutting it in this national security documents case.

    • vinniegambone says:

      Here, sir, is my fee agreement. if you just kindly sign and date it on this line and we will get started.

  4. 2Cats2Furious says:

    Once again, thanks for the informative article, Marcy.

    The entire point of the Garcia hearing is to ensure that Nauta has effective assistance of counsel, which includes counsel who does not have glaring conflicts of interest – or at least to ensure that Nauta is fully informed of those conflicts and knowingly waives them. All Cannon has to do here is follow the same procedures that Judge Boasberg did.

    It’s hard to come up with any rational explanation for why Cannon is continuing to delay the Garcia hearing, except to further delay the proceedings in their entirety in order to benefit Trump.

    • Wajimsays says:

      Love the handle (I have two of those also, the fuzzy little shits: our 80lb puppy has been sleeping very close to us for safety). Anyway, I’m wondering when we might get past the “corrupt/simply inexperienced/incompetent” and/or questions about Cannon. Think Wheels is right about her playing judicial games for Trump, at least it sure seems so . . . wonder if/when Smith will make a removal motion to the appeals panel

  5. Amicus12 says:

    It is difficult to describe just how gratifying it is to wake up to the very post you were hoping to see. And yes, we are not only at the point of concern, but past it.

    DOJ, as required by precedent, alerted Judge Cannon early on to a conflict that impinges on Nautine’s right to conflict free counsel and the proper administration of justice. DOJ showed that Woodward’s former client has provided testimony inculpatory of Nautine.

    Given this compelling evidence, DOJ asked for a hearing. That’s what’s before the court: a request for a hearing so the court can decide how best to resolve this issue to protect Nautine’s rights and ensure a just adjudication of the case. The need for such a hearing is compelling: Woodward has not and cannot deny that a conflict of interest arises from Taveras’ adverse testimony to Nautine.

    DOJ was required to advise the court of this early on to enable the court to address the matter at the earliest possible time. But Cannon refuses to do so. We have endless briefing and the highly suspect striking of documents from the record. Needless delay because anything Woodward wants to argue he can argue at the Garcia hearing. Frankly, I think his ability to properly advise Nautine is compromised.

    But Judge Cannon is yet to grant the motion and schedule the hearing. She has yet to address the other Garcia motion. She has yet to schedule a hearing (or decide on the papers) the dispute over the governing CIPA protective order. These are critical path items.

    Instead, she is chasing baseless theories of grand jury impropriety in an apparent effort to dismiss some or all the charges at issue.

    • drhester says:

      Thank you. You and Marcy help us non lawyers to understand what is going on. Do you have a clue what DOJ will do? How they might respond?

      • Amicus says:

        Yikes. The dangers of typing with anger.

        And in answer to the question: no. I don’t know what DOJ knows, and the situation is very fluid. One possible pathway concerns Cannon’s ruling with respect to the CIPA protective order, whenever that happens.

        • Wajimsays says:

          LoL as the kids say! I love your unsparing humorous edge B, makes me proud to be a cranky old dude

        • vigetnovus says:

          I suspect Cannon is building a recursive wall of delay (delay on a motion to consider something that needs to be resolved before another motion be considered before another motion be considered ..etc..etc..ultimately delaying consideration of scheduling the CIPA section 3 hearing). Because once she enters an order regarding CIPA that goes against the gov’t, don’t forget, it is *immediately* appealable in an interlocutory fashion to the 11th circuit.

          These other issues, including dismissing the indictment against Nauta for supposed prosecutorial misconduct, I think are not.

          What makes this worse is that she is using her power to seal or not seal to hide info that exposes the game and make public info by Woodward that is misleading without the appropriate sealed context.

          Luckily, SC Smith is already ahead of the game and has thought 3 moves beyond Cannon. But as a delay tactic, it’s certainly working.

  6. Operandi says:

    This entire Garcia saga has just been Cannon and Woodward walking repeatedly into a buzzsaw they knew was there.

    Really does feel like we’re replaying the patterns of the original litigation around the MAL warrant returns: Trump attorneys accuse DoJ of impropriety, Cannon seizes on that to create delay, and DoJ leverages the opening to peel back some investigative secrecy and “speak through their filings” as Garland likes to say.

    It’s indeed getting harder and harder to concoct a good faith explanation for Cannon’s actions on this new docket now that when know what she knew and when she knew it.

  7. Jacob says:

    I’m wondering if you’d address Shipwrecks claim that:

    “Another shoe has dropped today. SCO Smith obtained permission Ex parte in DC to refer to information from the sealed proceedings in DC – but didn’t mention that in its Reply.
    There is a reason for that, and the reason reveals even more that the SCO is willing to act unethically in pursuit of Trump.
    A further explanation later.”

    Do I understand you to be saying that Cannon (and Woodward) were, in fact, informed? It’s very difficult for a lay person to evaluate all of this without the background and the time to read all the primary documents themselves.

    • emptywheel says:

      Cannon was officially. I’m not sure if Woodward can be held to that notice, bc Cannon threw the notice in the judicial toilet. But as noted above, Woodward may have been noticed even before that.

      • Jacob_08AUG2022_1954h says:


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    • SteveBev says:

      It is noticeable that it is 20 hours and counting since the teaser “a full explanation later” was floated.

      Perhaps we shouldn’t hold our collective breath while shipwreck’s “full explanation” for the “reason” revealing why “SCO is willing to act unethically” is being concocted?

      • jdmckay8 says:

        This is exactly the kind of brinkmanship I expected from Woodward. I think regulars here probably did the same. That he would be playing a duet w/Cannon, in full public view… looks like another conspiracy to me!!!

        From what I’ve seen, some of this looks as much incompetency (eg. Cannon seems to me often, not familiar just what her job is) as nefarious… although the later seems in play now as well.

        I wonder how much of this Smith will endure before going over her head, 11th Circuit or other avenue I don’t know about. It seems to me this process (Garcia) should have gone bam-bam-bam in a few days, based on what I’ve read in other similar federal court cases.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          He’ll endure what he has to unless and until Cannon commits reversible error or abuses her discretion.

        • Wajimsays says:

          Oh, you think it’s both? I’ve flip-flopped between the two, but you may be very right about that. Damn either/or thinking

    • fatvegan000 says:

      I felt like I read carefully, including all the comments, but I can’t find who “Shipwreck” is and where their quote came from? Can you clue me in? Thanks!

        • SteveBev says:

          aaaand Shipwreck’s purported further explanation amounted to this screed – which on any reading doesn’t amount to an explanation of ‘how is the SC willing to act unethically’ as it shows no evidence of unethical behaviour by the SC mere regurgitation of Shipwrecks claims, (allegedly concurred in by ‘a liberal friend’ !) with a side order of abuse.

          “ I’ll show you EXACTLY why this was a hit-piece effort targeting Woodward.

          There is a high-profile X participant with political views significantly different that mine, but I respect his thoughtfulness and expertise on the subject-matter where he is the expert.

          In response to the Reply filed by the Special Counsel — without knowing any of the collateral details — his message to me was the following:

          “Stan Woodward not coming across well in these Trump cases.”
          “This reads to me as a lawyer who, whether deliberately or through indifference, is not making sure he is informed on his clients’ vulnerabilities before they speak to the government.”

          That’s the impression about Woodward that the SCO wanted everyone to take, and this liberal attorney who I regularly go back and forth with adopted that very viewpoint — mission accomplished for the SCO.

          But as the collateral issues have now started to surface, he sees the maybe there was something of a game being played here, and the Special Counsel was operating fast and loose with the rules. He’s waiting to see how the issues begin to sort themselves out when the Judges weigh in.

          who just dives in headfirst insulated by her thick layer of ignorance.”

          MAGA world lawyer simply recycles, without evidence, his own and Woodwards unparticularised claims SC is playing fast and loose, because it appears from SC filings that there are issues as to Woodwards handling of client conflicts.

        • Wajimsays says:

          Me, too, but man I’m Googling furiously for an “Abuse Meal”® Comes with a side order of lies. McDonald’s maybe?

        • SteveBev says:


          Shipwreckedcrew claims he has set out ibis full exposition of his argument on a substack piece (paywalled – but subject to a free trial ; I couldn’t be arsed to sign up to a paid subscription and have the hassle of cancelling in order to get the free look at his arguments)

  8. NickBarnes says:

    Why can’t I see all these documents on the docket at CourtListener? I see (in links in this article) that Nauta’s motion for leave to file sur-reply is document 134 on the docket, but when I go here the end of the docket shows documents 126, 127, 130, 136, without any in-between. Is it because these particular documents don’t relate to Trump, but only to the other defendants? Is there some search fu that I’m missing: some technique that will show me the full docket?

  9. Leu2500 says:

    “ Save America PAC has placed no conditions on the provision of legal services to their employees”

    This is contrary to reporting that part of the reason Nauta had such a hard time finding a FL lawyer was because Trump, the owner of the PAC, had to approve the lawyer.

  10. ToldainDarkwater says:

    I dunno, this is still consistent with the thesis that Cannon is willing to delay, though not make substantive judgements that are likely to prompt appeal.

    • szreich says:

      This is my read on the situation as well.

      More importantly, I don’t really understand the endgame here. Mr. Woodward’s (and Judge Cannon’s) actions during August achieved a delay on the Garcia hearing, but also deepened the hole in which he now finds himself. The conflict is becoming more obvious, better supported by evidence, and more of that evidence is becoming a matter of public record.

      I can’t read Judge Cannon’s mind, of course, and she hasn’t shown herself to be a deep thinker of strategic legal actor, but it doesn’t take Clarence Darrow to see how this is going to end.

      [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. Thanks. /~Rayne]

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The “she hasn’t shown herself,” might mistake what strategy she’s pursuing. If it’s similar to what she demonstrated in her last Trump trial, her strategy is to protect Trump – and his ability to persuade witnesses that supporting him is much less hard on them than testifying truthfully – not being an objectively professional judge.

      • Troutwaxer says:

        Could she be trying to get Nauta and Taveras out of legal jeopardy by messing up their legal representation so badly that they can’t be convicted due to a technicality?

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Cannon hasn’t shown much interest in Nauta or Taveras, except insofar as they pose a risk to Trump.

        • Troutwaxer says:

          Exactly my point. If Nuata and Taveras get off due to someone’s misconduct they can’t be force to testify against Trump.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Let’s parse that misconduct.

          Cannon’s, if any, would be hard to prove. She has considerable discretion. If Woodward gets his clients off, they have no complaints and Cannon would have found none of his conduct objectionable.

          If Nauta and Taveras are found not guilty, they no longer have Fifth Amendment jeopardy to use as a defense to answering questions. They can resort to “I don’t know,” and “I have no recollection,” but those might be provably false, which would make life difficult for them.

        • vigetnovus says:

          This is my guess. I think she’s making Smith work so hard to prove his case and lay the foundation for defending any inevitable appeals, that she is essentially creating a pretext for dismissal of Nauta’s indictment due to prosecutorial misconduct.

          Now we all know that is BS, but when a lot of this stuff happens in the sealed docket due to GJ secrecy or the need for Smith to protect the integrity of ongoing investigations, it makes it easier for Woodward to beat the prosecutorial misconduct drum in open court (which don’t forget they foreshadowed long long ago).

        • Engprof733 says:

          The kind where Woodward lie about what they did and cannon acts shocked and dimisses, and then we find out on appeal that cannon knew it was a lie and then we start the whole process over because our judicial system is wildly unprepared to handle high social capital bad faith actors continuously abusing any grace given them in the name of process.

        • jdmckay8 says:

          EngProf, I was responding to vigetnovus’ citing prosecutorial misconduct.

          You described just about everyone else’s. [g] So thanks in advance… when I need an explanation for everyone else’s you’ve already written it for me!!! :)

  11. Capemaydave says:

    Who’s zooming whom? I wonder.

    Does Cannon expect her apparent errors will not be appealed? How about Woodward?

    Are they working to show Trump they are doing something knowing it will fail or trying to truly win the case for him?

    • Boudica'sGhost says:

      I think it’s all performative nonsense to both placate TFG and to create delays. As a businessman, TFG was known to delay, delay, delay until he wore smaller opponents down (contractors he stiffed, for example) until they exhausted their funds to pay attorneys and gave up, or agreed to settle for less. In the elections and document cases, he hopes to delay until he’s either re-elected and can pardon himself, or he loses and he can gin up sufficient outrage at Big Lie 2.0 to ignite a civil war and complete a hard coup.

  12. sohelpmedog says:

    It appears Cannon has made some unforced errors.
    Even if Nauta, after being informed of a conflict or potential conflict, knowingly waives that conflict, he does not have an absolute right to counsel of his choice if that choice may interfere with a fair trial. Indeed, Woodward has made the preposterous suggestion that in lieu of disqualification, the testimony of Taveras be excluded.

    • SteveBev says:

      Given all the noise and convolutions in Woodwards arguments, designed to create an impression of repeated DOJ impropriety on the conflicts issue, is part of this by design to also create an impression of impropriety in the process by which Taveras was flipped?
      Thus attempting to create the perception of a basis for exclusion of his evidence. In such a line of reasoning by Woodward, exclusion of evidence is not so much a remedy for the conflict, but that if the evidence is excluded then the conflict doesn’t arise.
      I appreciate that there maybe and probably are all sorts of reasons why that ought not to work in properly conducted proceedings; but in part the attitude of Trump and associated lawyers is to engage in lawfare, including delegitimisation of the prosecution in the eyes of their public, and a persistent Trumpian theme is the inherent impropriety of using evidence of turncoats because of presumed improper pressure as a matter of prosecutorial practice in obtaining the flipped evidence.

      • timbozone says:

        Any hints of perjury and you’d think a judge would be calling in folks to get it all straightened out rather than doubling down on the one-lawyer-to-rule-them-all theory of handling potential conflicts. Basically, Cannon is getting her bearings on what it is DOJ can legally do and not do to harm her client…*ahem* I mean the Defendant Trump in her courtroom. Let’s hope that 11th Circuit is interested in ensuring fair trial for every defendant here, not just for Cannon’s appointer, that that Circuit continues to give national security of the country strong consideration, etc as motions, rulings, and appeals wend their way slowly to a fraught trial date.

        If last year is any indication, it’ll take at least two months to straighten out each appeal made in 11th Circuit until this trial starts in SDFL (whenever that might be)…er, or conflicting motions, rulings, and appeals in other jurisdictions (NJ, NY, Georgia, DC et al) make mostly or entirely irrelevant Cannon’s slow-rollery.

        • BRUCE F COLE says:

          The pre-indictment SM remand order that the Appellate panel headed by CJ Pryor handed down was putting Cannon on clear notice, so thoroughly it eviscerated her disdain for precedent and her fawning acceptance of the bogus reasoning that she solicited from Defense.

          Now, she’s following the same playbook, following Defense’s complaint of DC GJ “interloping” on her turf, while simultaneously ratfucking with the defendant-critical Garcia questions that Smith quite rightly raises.
          IOW, I don’t think the 11th Court of Appeals will waste any time whatsoever in dispatching with this shit, and her involuntary recusal may well be part of that expedited process. National Security may well be the driving force in that regard. The only question I have is how soon an appealable ruling by her might occur (a question she herself seems to be asking herself, via her various stalling tactics).

          I also think that that same Appellate panel, consisting of Bush I-appointed CJ Pryor and two Trump judges, will likely be assigned via case-familiarity rules so as to make their ruling more impregnable to Trump’s inevitable protests of bias, especially if Cannon is indeed removed on top of another slapdown.

          We are indeed beyond the pale with her at this point. Willfully ignoring and even undermining, pretrial, the review of likely atty conflict that has clear defendant-jeopardy implications is a bridge too far for any jurisdiction to countenance.

        • BRUCE F COLE says:

          I posed that question here a few weeks ago and case-familiarity was given as their standard. I haven’t been able to locate their District guidelines though, and there may be a break in assignment rules between civil and criminal phases of a given case (though Cannon’s assignment to the criminal phase in district court might indicate otherwise). FRAP 2, however, is a pretty large “leeway” mechanism, I’d say (p 29 in this link:)

          Correction, re Pryor’s tenure mentioned above: he was a Bush II appointee.

          One thing that was interesting, and possibly telling, in the SM civil proceeding was that the original panel (which ruled against Trump’s objection to the SM releasing classified docs to the Prosecution prior to the final slapdown) consisted of one Obama-appointed judge and two Trump appointees. The two GOP judges, Grant and Brasher, were retained in the final panel that issued the SM remand order, but the Dem, Rosenbaum, was replaced by Pryor himself. That indicated to me that Pryor was taking the reins, and that he didn’t want the rebuke of Cannon to be called into question for political reasons. Another “message” that panel personnel shift certainly telegraphed was “don’t even bother thinking about an en banc rehearing,” with 3 of the 7 conservatives on the 12 member active roster firmly giving Cannon’s Trump-fluffing the thumbs-down.

          I have no idea whether CJ Pryor can commandeer the panel assignment process, but that’s what that original pair of pre-indictment panels seemed to indicate. C-11 was also shown in a previous comment exhange here to have an anomalous jury pool configuration rule-set, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that were the case with panel assignments.

          One thing’s for certain, I would think: that if an appellate panel for the first criminal-stage appeal were to be reconfigured with, say, 3 of the remaining 4 conservatives in the circuit, and then that panel ruled in Trump’s favor, then I would expect Smith’s team to ask for an en banc rehearing and that it would be granted.

    • Joeff53 says:

      Meanwhile Tageras has become the poster child for the hazards of conflicted counsel: Gets free of Woodward, recants previous testimony, probably saves himself a boatload of legal problems going forward. And DOJ gets to hang the poster!

  13. paul lukasiak says:

    I suspect that Smith is building a case to have this whole thing removed from the 11th circuit entirely.

    In his reply brief on the garcia hearing, Smith mentions that not only did Olivera testify to the DC Grand Jury, but says that Olivera lied to that Grand Jury (“In testimony before the same grand jury, De Oliveira likewise denied any contact with Trump Employee 4 regarding security footage. The Government’s evidence indicated that the testimony by Trump Employee 4 and De Oliveira was false.”) Yet this lie was not charged in the superseding indictment — in fact, Olivera’s DC Grand Jury testimony is not even mentioned there.

    Since the DC Grand Jury’s work is over, it stands to reason that Jack Smith has a slew of additional (sealed) indictments in his back pocket related to crimes committed in DC. And rather than trying to get Cannon removed from the case, at the appropriate time he’ll unseal those indictments, and then move to have the entire case consolidated in ADC — and the 11th Circuit will concur, because its the easiest solution to the Cannon problem

    • bmaz says:

      Lol, that is bonkers. So, Smith has a secret plot to remove a case from a jurisdiction he never had to file in, but affirmatively did? You have any other grassy knoll thoughts? And more “sealed indictments”? That bunk is still being purveyed? Just so you know, there is a very large difference between sealed docket filings and sealed indictments.

    • Rugger_9 says:

      I’m not so sure the DC grand jury is done yet. SC Smith only had Defendant-1 indicted there for streamlining purposes, but that doesn’t preclude parallel cases as information is developed to the minions who helped move things around or ‘lost’ the as-yet accounted for gifts from pverseas.

      • Shadowalker says:

        They’re done. Which is why DoJ mentioned they were released on August 17th. This means it was a special grand jury, since they are the only ones who can by simple majority vote decide that their investigation is over, even if it is before the 16 month term ends. All that needs to happen is for the judge to agree with that assesment. Not sure if they could simply recall them should new information comes in, or they would have to impanel a new one.

        • Rugger_9 says:

          Thanks for the help. It would be a new GJ if more digging is needed, though I do wonder if SC Smith could ask for a new GJ for the same event. It will be a question raised by the defenders.

        • Shadowalker says:

          The request would have to come from Garland or one of his deputies and the chief judge would have to agree the need for a new special to be impaneled. So there is not a lot to argue there.

        • bmaz says:

          Why would it have to be a special GJ as opposed to just a new one? GJ presentations are fairly portable

        • Shadowalker says:

          For the same reason one was impaneled at the beginning. Part of it is the nature of the material they would be handling, since every member needs up to date security clearance for at least the top level document/info. Regular grand juries could/would see multiple cases come before them during their term so the need for that type specialization isn’t needed. But again the chief judge would have agree that one was needed.

        • bmaz says:

          Meh, if the prosecutors can present it to one GJ, they can filter it into another. This is not a real problem.

        • Shadowalker says:

          Agreed. Personally I think they have all the evidence they are going to find in this case. Though if they find another cache somewhere else that would be another case separate from the current one.

    • Shadowalker says:

      I’m not sure the courts would allow that, since the purpose of sealing an indictment is meant to keep it secret until the accused can be charged with the offense(s) in court. Not to mention giving the defense a serious claim of a violation of due process. Besides it would be much cleaner to provide a normal grand jury with the information from the just released special grand jury’s investigation for any criminal indictment, like they did with the grand jury in SDFL.

  14. HardyWeinberg3 says:

    Clearly Taveras is not willing to go to jail for Trump since he ditched Woodward and changed his testimony. I could believe Nauta will go to jail for him like Weisselberg did. Although maybe he is being misled by Woodward into thinking he has a better chance at trial than Jack Smith thinks he does. I super don’t understand Woodward’s rationale to exclude Taveras’ testimony. Does not seem to pass red face test, but it seems like there is no such thing in court. Look at Cannon herself. There are no style points, just delivering the end result.

  15. thebutlerjay says:

    My first comment, so hopefully not too banal…

    My understanding was that part of why Cannon struck those two sealed filings (95 & 96) was that (according to her) they didn’t need to be sealed. And based on yesterday’s filings, DOJ had permission to use the GJ not under seal. They submitted it under seal anyways, but as Marcy explained so well above and in past posts, DOJ was forced to share it on the open docket bc of Cannon striking those filings.

    In Woodward’s sur-reply motion footnote 2, he argues that those actions and “information disclosed needlessly” by the government led to threats against defense counsel and defendants. But this stated harm, like many others, is a result of Cannon’s actions, not the governments.

    Does the special counsel’s team have any way to address that?

    • bmaz says:

      Your comment is fine, and welcome to Emptywheel. Please join in more often. Does the SC have recourse? Yes, but it may slow things down a lot. Filing under seal is fine, make the court countermand it, which Cannon has a propensity for in this case.

    • Rugger_9 says:

      I have to wonder why Defendant-1, his lawyers and Judge Cannon think they can outwit SC Smith here. I’m quite certain that in his time in the Hague, Smith dealt with tinpot dictators who controlled their respective countries’ entire judicial apparatus and so would be able to undo a wannabe who still doesn’t have everything under his thumb (which is why the GOP needs to be kept out of power, because they know they need to control everything).

      SC Smith set out some rakes to step on and some traps to trigger. Cannon and Woodward duly stepped on them. IANAL, but it seems a lot easier to me for Smith to argue Cannon lied about being notified with his docket entries than to argue interpretive points of law, no matter how unambiguous they are as he moves for the 11CA to yank Cannon off of the case. It’s a variant of the First Law of Dirtballs: they’ll always give you another chance to discipline them.

      Unfortunately for the SDFL, Judge Cannon will still be there 40 years from now making the same errors. So far she has demonstrated an inability to learn from her mistakes.

      • David F. Snyder says:

        As far as being there 40 years, ya just never know. I have known a few women who in their 40s died from various nefarious diseases as well as a freak car accident. Not that I am wishing this on anyone, far from it; these were all tragic endings.

        • Joeff53 says:

          Once she sees her judicial future isn’t bright she’ll cash her ticket for a sweet lucrative legal practice. And she won’t be alone, especially if Dems can flip SCOTUS.

        • bmaz says:

          Cannon’s future is where she is, for a while. It will be decades before the Dems turn SCOTUS. Cannon has a lifetime appointment, her future is fine.

  16. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Woodward’s “furious motion,” is laughable; it wouldn’t earn a passing grade in first year legal writing, unless Cannon were his TA. He misstates, for example, the purpose of a Garcia hearing, which is to determine the existence or likelihood of a conflict: the DoJ doesn’t have to establish an actual conflict beforehand.

    Woodward also contends that there would be no actionable conflict until a former client witness actually testifies in court against a current client defendant. By then, it would be too late. And he obscures that preparing a witness or defendant for trial – or to counsel about and negotiate a plea – requires that a client have unconflicted counsel.

    I’d hate to judge before all the facts are in, but that Cannon appears to accept Woodward’s version of the facts and law means we’re entering the ironic territory of Stanley Kubrick.

    • timbozone says:

      Kudos for the Kubrick reference. Traumnovelle is the original novel upon which the screenplay was based.

    • !noromo' says:

      To my non-lawyerly mind, all of Woodward’s filings regarding the Garcia hearing amount to:

      “Cross my heart and hope to die, there’s no conflict. And even if there were, I’ve already explained to my client that he’s free to get a different lawyer [that he’d have to pay for] and he doesn’t want to. So there.”

      It is laughable. I don’t think it would earn a passing grade in any writing class.

  17. BreslauTX says:


    Is there a log file or similar that would show Woodward was informed of or accessed the information that he claims to have no knowledge of?

    I realize Cannon is unlikely to squeeze him, but it feels like he is fudging some on this.

    • Legonaut says:

      “There’s no point acting all surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display in your local planning department on Alpha Centauri for fifty of your Earth years, so you’ve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it’s far too late to start making a fuss about it now.”

      “What do you mean you’ve never been to Alpha Centauri? For heaven’s sake mankind, it’s only four light years away you know. I’m sorry, but if you can’t be bothered to take an interest in local affairs that’s your own lookout.”

      “Energize the demolition beams.”

      – Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy

  18. Raven Eye says:

    Trying to get a handle on who Nauta was working for and when…

    July 2001 – Enlisted in U.S. Navy
    2012: Assigned to Presidential Food Service
    Date?: Became a personal valet to the president
    September 2020: Promoted to Senior Chief Petty Officer
    January 2021: Accompanies Trump to Mar-a-Lago
    August 2021: On payroll of Save America PAC
    September 2021: Retired from U.S. Navy

    The dates above would be consistent with the following:
    — Nauta remained on active duty from the time Trump left the White House until the time Nauta retired in September 2021.
    — The time period from when he started getting paid by the PAC until his actual Navy retirement date is consistent with being on “terminal leave” (still subject to the UCMJ)

    • Rugger_9 says:

      We’d have to see what Nauta’s DD214 says on service dates to determine UCMJ exposure. With a name like ‘Waltine’ I have zero doubt he was ribbed about it thoroughly and might have some resentment.

      • Raven Eye says:

        I’m assuming that Nauta was part of the 6-month presidential transition package. The timing would have been perfect; the federal funding stopped just in time for the PAC to pick up Nauta’s salary and let him take some terminal leave. For Trump, he was low-hanging Diet Coke.

        I have no doubt about the UCMJ. My own terminal leave was 60+5 days. And I was very careful to ensure that there was not even the appearance of a conflict of interest with my new employer.

  19. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Woodward’s knowledge of professional ethics would fit on the head of a pin. Per Woodward:

    ‘Professional ethics prevent [an attorney] from advising a witness to seek immunity or leniency when the quid pro quo is testimony damning to his other clients

    Professional ethics are concerned with protecting clients, not Woodward’s paycheck or his ability to ride point for Donald Trump. Woodward misses the part, for example, where professional ethics would require him to stop representing clients with such actual or potential conflicts.

    But he won’t admit or do that (voluntarily), because he’s not representing their interests as much as he is Donald Trump, and his own paycheck as a conduit of information and coordinator of several witness/defendants whose testimony could harm Trump.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Glaringly, Woodward uses “quid pro quo,” when describing advising one client to snitch on another, if it would reduce the first client’s legal jeopardy. He’s using the language of bribery, in a subliminal attempt to give Cannon a rationale to decide in favor of his and Trump’s favor.

      Woodward is nauseatingly incorrect. In his scenario, the lawyer owes an independent duty to each client to protect their interests, even if that means one client cooperating with the government, which might lead to further jeopardy for another client.

      That’s called an unavoidable conflict that would require him to withdraw from at least one representation. Woodward, instead, is demanding that Cannon pixie dust away his conflicts – and the interests of his clients – to further the interests of Donald Trump.

      • matt fischer says:

        Blind loyalty to the Don obviates all conflicts. His interests are unavoidably theirs. It’s a neat trick.

      • montysep says:

        Have to agree that the ethics demonstrated by that quote are severely lacking. Actually did a double take when I read that.

        However, it is not clear that the quote is from Woodward at all.

        It is difficult to follow because in Woodward’s filing there are parenthesis, quotation marks, brackets, apostrophes & the notice “internal citations omitted.”

        More likely here is that Woodward is referring to p.10 of a DOJ filing that cited the “quid pro quo” sentence from another case. Following Woodward’s reference to that precedent which DOJ cites, Woodward makes his conclusion.

        It is difficult to find the ” p.10″ document Woodward is referring to on the FL or DC dockets. Likely because it is a sealed filling before Judge Boasberg and is a grand jury filling regarding the conflict question that arose there.

        The most likely place the “quid pro quo” line came from is: In re Investigation Before Feb., 563 F.2d 652 (4th Cir. 1977)

        Woodward is sure a donkey based on his feigned exasperated dis-informative response here and his questionable ethics overall. Just can’t pin this particular tail on him.

        • montysep says:

          Ready. Aim. Chill.

          Step 1: Smith uses the “quid pro quo” quotation taken from the 1977 case: In re Investigation Before Feb., 563 F.2d 652 (4th Cir. 1977) as one of his arguments for a Garcia hearing.

          Step 2: Woodward states that what Smith is saying using the “quid pro quo” argument is NOT at all an accurate description of his defense and communication with his client.

          Later… EarlofHuntington mis-attributes the “quid pro quo” statement directly to Woodward (likely misread due to poor text formatting). Earl wrote “Per Woodward:” A more adequate description would be: Per Woodward (via DOJ p.10 [via Circuit Judge Widener. 1977])

          Step 3: Woodward signs and files a motion saying that the “quid pro quo” characterization DOJ used does not describe his defense or situation. If anything the “frontman” Woodward presents himself as repudiating that sentiment/ethos taken word for word from the 1977 decision. Just as Earl appropriately repudiated it above. And the Judge did in for the attorney with 7 clients with conflicts of interest in 1977.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          “Chill” was too cute. Yes, I misread the quote, which elided quotation marks that would have made it more readable. The DoJ’s position is correct, as is its use of the case the quote comes from, 563 F2d 652.

          Woodward’s attempt to distinguish it is over-the-top, but he’s more interested in using it to take offense and to persuade Cannon he’s justified in doing so. He’s not, because he ignores the plethora of conflicts in the cited case. That the conflicted defense counsel was a target of the GJ in that case was only one of several conflicts, the appeals court determined, allowed the district court to disqualify that lawyer.

          Woodward is also wrong in his constipated description of what amounts to informed consent regarding a lawyer’s conflicts:

          [Taveras] has been advised by counsel that he may, at any time, seek new counsel, and that includes if he…wanted to cooperate with the government…. [Taveras] has not signified any such desire and that means counsel for [Taveras] can continue to represent [Taveras].

          He omitted discussion of why a client might want to seek new counsel. Thankfully, that’s now moot.

    • sohelpmedog says:

      Wow! The head of a pin would be a vast wasteland to Woodward’s knowledge of professional ethics.
      That statement of his ought to result in his license to practice being suspended until he completes a legal ethics course and demonstrates a passing grade.
      (Woodward to client after client gets sentenced to the max: “I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you about the sweet leniency deal the government offered to you, but the guy you had all that damning info about was paying me also.”)

      • says:

        Yep. STUNNED, I am.

        Will he somehow try to retract or correct in his sur-reply? Someone on his team must have pointed this out to him by now, even if it appears to underpin his reasoning throughout. No?

      • FL Resister says:

        How stupid does Woodward think everybody is?
        Like nobody notices anything odd about him representing Trump and the hired hands who Trump asked to participate in his deceptions as part of their jobs?

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          It might be fun to see Woodward try to prove the Feds tried to bribe him with a federal judgeship. If it turns out he made a false statement, he might be in a heap of trouble.

        • SteveBev says:

          I thought the allegation by Woodward was that it was regarding a DC Superior Court judgeship

          “Woodward is said to have demurred, disputing that Nauta had made false statements.

          Bratt then turned to Woodward and remarked that he did not think that Woodward was a “Trump guy” and that “he would do the right thing”, before noting that he knew Woodward had submitted an application to be a judge at the superior court in Washington DC that was currently pending, the letter said. “

          Though obviously superior court judges in DC are Presidential appointments, so the difference may be immaterial

          I also thought that the vacancy at the Superior Court for which Woodward was considered was filled by another candidate on 1 March 2022

          which was approximately 8 months before the meeting with Bratt, unless of course there was a further vacancy in the offing

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Thanks for the clarification. For a former Akin, Gump lawyer, that seems like small beer.

          Given that Woodward’s clients for several years have come almost exclusively from Trump world, the odds that a Democratic president would appoint him to a judgeship seem low. But the odds that a future Republican president would give him one seem high.

        • SteveBev says:

          I can see the offer now – “PAC short of cash for a while. Will you take a bench? I’ll throw in a gavel?”

        • FL Resister says:

          I have faith that all of Donald J. Trump’s goings-on will be arbitrated in cases and commissions over the next decade. (Though Republican state officials would ban the facts from reaching students.)

          Trump’s post-lost-election-appointed-judge quashes merited government arguments and suggests ideas for the defense.

          Trump-PAC lawyer corrals witnesses to protect the boss, suggests incriminating testimony be tossed aside.

          Trump-world shits all over itself yet the party still holds up its pants.

          And like Philip Marlowe, Marcy Wheeler goes into the muckety-muck and though disgusted, with sardonic humor, reveals the truth and makes the world a better place.

  20. Challenger says:

    I wonder if the legal oversight body is starting to receive complaints about Mr. Woodward’s conduct?

    [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username and email address each time you comment so that community members get to know you. You may have accidentally inserted your RL name in the username field; I have edited it this once to match your previous username. Thanks. /~Rayne]

    • timbozone says:

      My guess is that depends on when/if Travera’s statements to investigators are ruled admissible in this trial. Woodward has other jeopardy no doubt but he has to actually be caught doing something severely unethical before any complaints will move him towards professional sanctions. For now, he’s being paid to slow roll this thing and he appears to be having some success…in Cannon’s court, if not DC.

      • BRUCE F COLE says:

        Thanks for the reminder: Navarro’s contempt trial is scheduled to begin a week from tomorrow!

  21. Spencer Dawkins says:

    I don’t have a lot of experience with people trying desperately to delay the inevitable, but while I wasn’t surprised to see motions like “we need to put trials off for months because reasons”, I AM surprised to see people working this hard for delays measured in days. I guess that’s what desperation looks like?

      • rosalind says:

        during my one (and hopefully only) lawsuit, took me a bit too long to take our attorney’s words to heart: until the person with the checkbook arrives, there ain’t gonna be no settlement.

        during what turned out to be our final settlement talk two years on, one of the Insurance Co’s top dogs suddenly parachuted in and our attorney was like “yup, today’s the day”.

        • bmaz says:

          Lol, welcome to the legal world. We used to call it “Where is Mr. Green?” Because real money is green.

        • bmaz says:

          No, but kind of want to watch that show. The Continental is way too big for my taste, and never drive a convertible here, too hot.

        • theartistvvv says:

          The show, as Connelly’s books, is excellent.

          As an aside, I do a fair amount of referral business with a criminal law attorney (as mentioned). He practices in various court houses around the city, literally blue-tooth phoning from his vehicle. For the last cuppla years I was calling him, “The Jeep Lawyer.”

          So a month ago he bought a new Navigator, plated it something like, “Lncln Lwyer”.

          I told him he’s an idiot, and then he came over in his black Challenger Superbee, full-tint windows, and the plate something like, “Nt Glty”.

          Then I called him a fcuking idiot.

        • sohelpmedog says:

          In NYC Criminal Court, adjournments were usually granted when defense counsel said “Your Honor, we are still waiting for Mr. Green.”

        • bmaz says:

          Heh, not here. You were already counsel of record, and the court was usually not interested in whether you were paid or not.

        • sohelpmedog says:

          Yrs, once one is counsel of record, they’re in – is the way it should be.
          There is unfortunately, some truth to the saying that certain parts of NYC had the best judges that money could buy.

        • FLwolverine says:

          A parallel: I’ve been in some commercial real estate closings that were … unsettled. Mostly when a corporation was assembling parcels of land from several sellers who were real people and unsure about how the transactions were going to happen. I found that the best way to get everyone to focus was to introduce myself as “Hello, I’m _______ from [law firm or title company] and I’m here because I have the money. “

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          The opposite is also true. When the money that’s been greasing the litigation wheels begins to run dry, settlement can happen so fast, your head spins.

        • theartistvvv says:

          Indeed, I have had three civil case opponent attorneys withdraw this year because Mr. Green left the building.

          Both cases are now sent to a large, and a commercial, arbitration, and will likely ultimately become prove-ups. And then probably collection cases, but the clients are OK with that.

    • Shadowalker says:

      I’m pretty sure they are, just like they were watching when she tried inserting herself in the search of Mar-a-Lago.

    • Ebenezer Scrooge says:

      When you go for the Queen, you had better succeed. My guess is that Smith is just paying Cannon the rope with which she will hang herself. But that might not be for awhile, since the judicial instinct for institutional preservation is as strong as that of any other guild. Judges HATE dissing other judges. But there are limits … and Smith is waiting for them.
      She seems to be trying to avoid making any kind of appealable order. More delay=more rope.

      • timbozone says:

        Cannon’s delaying tactics may be superseded by events in jurisdictions outside the 11th Circuit soon enough.

        • BRUCE F COLE says:

          That’s a dynamic I think may be working to Smith’s advantage, actually. The documents case had to be investigated and indictments handed down fairly quickly because of NatSec exigencies, but now that the docs are secured and the legal process is underway, slow motion SDFL action actually helps him focus his forces more in DC where democracy itself hangs in the balance.

          IOW, I think whatever happens in FL going forward will be a sidebar and Woodward’s and Blanche’s and Cannon’s delaying tactics will not be of heightened concern, even if comes to the point that she rules to dismiss, which is appealable. The onus is on Trump’s team down there, and most critically from his zero-sum perspective, on his pocketbook.

          Speaking of which, if the Save America PAC investigation bears fruit, that will be a day to celebrate.

  22. Hope Ratner says:

    It’s so apparent that Cannon is yet again carrying water for Trump. Is is now approaching the time when the SC goes to the full 11th circuit and requests that Cannon be removed from the case?

    • Hope Ratner says:

      And to another point. Aren’t her delay tactics in denying Nauta due process in itself be grounds for removal from this case?

      • timbozone says:

        Don’t hold out hope for any magic wand in that regard. Unless Cannon makes some significant unforced errors here, the 11th Circuit isn’t likely to do anything close to entertaining her removal. Remember that the purpose of a judge is to ensure that justice and the law is applied in a fair and appropriate manner, and therefore she’s got a lot of rope to spool out there before this goes to trial, considering that she can be appropriately, openly suspicious of the government’s actions on the behalf of any and all defendants/potential witnesses in this trial.

        • JonathanW says:

          Feels to me, at a basic level, like I want courts to generally be weary of the government in a criminal trial, to preserve the rights of the accused. That seems like a fundamental basis of fairness in our democracy, as the government has so much more power than most individuals.

          So I guess one question would be: in other criminal trials in her court, is Judge Cannon equally skeptical of the government (say in a drug case, or other less white-collar crime)?

          Politically, the GOP for years has talked about “law and order” and “crime”, advocating for a justice system that is less friendly to defendants, unless I’m gravely mistaken, and I have a (potentially uninformed) opinion that GOP-appointed judges tend to be more aligned with that viewpoint.

      • says:

        To answer the question I think you are asking, based on context, I’m assuming you are asking about grounds to have a judge ‘removed’ from a case…. (‘Removal’ is the right word in common parlance, but in legal circles ‘removal’ techically means taking a case filed in state court and moving it to federal court.)

        Taking a federal judge off a case is called ‘recusal’ or ‘disqualification’ and is governed by federal statute.

        Judges can do this on their own (sua spontewithout being asked when they (for)see an anticipated, or actual, conflict. And, by statute, they SHOULD do it for any of the reasons specified in (b)(1) to (b)(5). Attorneys can file a motion for recusal, citing any (b)-deliniated-reason, but you’ll often see these motions citing (a) — the appearance of impartiality reasonably being questioned.

        But, importantly, judges get to decide this for themselves!

        The only time that I know of where an appellate court weighs in on recusal is during an appeal, where a party may argue that the judge abused her discretion by not (removing herself) recusing herself from the case. But, these filings are not all that common, and requests being granted are even more rare.

        Off the top of my head, and my memory here is foggy, but to give you some idea of how extreme the situation has to be for an appellate court to grant this: There was a case of a federal judge in Puerto Rico presiding over a matter involving her husband, or other close relative, which i think even implicated her own signing of a few documents herself, if i recall correctly, where the 1st circuit disqualified her in an Order of Mandamus.*

        In a different case, I think the federal judge in the Oklahoma City bombing case was de facto ordered recused when the appellate court reversed his declination to move the trial to another jurisdiction. But, I don’t recall if counsel had filed recusal motion(s)(???).

        So apologies if I’ve jumbled the facts, but my point here is to convey how rare this is, and how EXTREME these cases have been that an appellate court thought such intervention necessary. I did read, recently, but don’t recall where, that the chief judge, under some local jurisdiction rules, can step in to ‘remedy’ certain problems with a judge but I’m not familiar with established law in this area.

        Generally, I think most parties are hesitant to seek recusal, knowing that IF the judge refuses, they risk aggravating the judge. So, in an attempt to expose or remedy the potential bias against their case, they instead, potentially, give the judge grounds for more. I think we hear about it a lot, though, because Trump accuses all judges he did not appoint as biased against him, and hints that his attorneys are “going to get the judge removed.”

        Now with all that background: I’m so impressed with your recognizing the ‘denial of fundamental’ rights aspect of what could be grounds for a middle-of-the-case (interlocutory) appeal and action by an appeals court in this case. But a month-long (so far) DELAY ALONE, of a Garcia hearing, I don’t think, would be enough to make such a case, nor be grounds for a Writ of Mandamus. You’d likely need to show a delay of some length that was inordinately long and shown to prejudice the client, or irreparably deny his fundamental right to effective assistance of counsel (or right to speedy trial, etc.). Admittedly, I say this not looking at 11th Circuit case law (or 5th Circuit prior to 1980, that 11th Cir. is bound to). BUT, the statement by Woodward quoted above, an egregious mistatement of an attorney’s duties to his client, IF NOT PROMPTLY RECOGNIZED BY THE COURT AS SUCH, would certainly strengthen an argument for recusal.

        I also wonder, and perhaps this is part of your question, does the established case law on ‘good behivior’ by federal judges address competance? Is there such caselaw, given IMPEACHMENT is the remedy for federal judges failing to demonstrate ‘good behavior’?

        As always, I welcome clean up on aisle 9 from our sage attorney commentariot, or additional, more learned, comment on recusal.

        *’Mandamus’ here can be thought of, loosely, as ‘make a party do what they have been ordered, or have been obligated by some authority, to do.’

  23. Konny_2022 says:

    “Judge Cannon granted Woodward’s motion, even giving him one more day than he asked, until August 31 instead of August 30”

    Cannon seems to have a propensity for splitting the (time) difference. Woodward had first asked for “one week to submit a sur-reply” and then August 30. One week from August 25 (filing date) would make it September 1.

    Another date that seems unfit to this motion of August 25, 2023: The last page contains the “Certificate of Electronic Service” which was submitted by Sasha Dadan, Nauta’s SDFL counsel. It reads:

    “I hereby certify that on August 14, 2023, I electronically submitted the foregoing, via electronic mail, to counsel of record.” (bolding is mine)

  24. The Old Redneck says:

    To elaborate on something Marcy said: it is beyond implausible that Woodward didn’t see the filings which Cannon struck later. When you file in federal court, the CM/ECF system automatically sends an email notice to every lawyer involved in the case. That notice contains a hyperlink that allows them to see and download the document(s) filed – even if they are sealed from public view.
    Any reasonably competent law office would immediately receive and download the material filed by their opponent. Even if they don’t do it the same day, they would certainly do it within five days. The bottom line is that Woodward likely saw, or at least had a chance to see, what was filed by the feds immediately. The claim that he just found out about should be taken seriously.
    Cannon started off relatively normal with her handling of this case. She is now drifting off to crazy town again.

    • Howard Appel says:

      I don’t know if the CM/ECF system tracks this, but most systems can also tell who has accessed/downloaded/opened/whatever a document and when. If so, and Smith can obtain that information, and if (yes, many ifs) Woodward’s office did access during that period, Smith can point out to Cannon (and the Appeals Court) that Woodward is lying to the court.

    • Eschscholzia says:

      How would that CM/ECF notification articulate with the rules of that district? If I recall correctly part of requiring a member of the local bar as an attorney of record was that only members of the local bar could file electronically, and only members of the local bar would receive notifications. Would the filings have triggered notification to that lawyer of record but not Woodward?

  25. Harry Eagar says:

    On another site, inhabited by ordinary Joes, a commenter mused that Smith is sowing landmines knowing Cannon will blunder into them, thus leadingto her disqualification.

    Yeah, right, sez I to meself.

    But damn me if the better informed people here aren’t making me think that that’s a conspiracy theory I should embrace.

    • bmaz says:

      No, it is not. And, if that really is the case, Jack Smith should be ashamed and removed. Prosecutors should play straight up, and that is their ethical duty.

      • David F. Snyder says:

        Agreed. No, Smith’s a straight-shooter. Woodward’s dodging will amount to a hill of beans.

        • BRUCE F COLE says:

          Cannon, as she demonstrated with the SM ruling, creates land mines for herself to step on. If the current situation she’s flirting with matures like the SM debacle did, the explosion will be of her own doing yet again.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      That’s wholly at odds with Smith’s reputation. If that’s typical of the “information” from that site, you can stop visiting it.

      • montysep says:

        Above one of our very own regulars accuses Smith of setting “rakes to step on and… traps to trigger.” That won’t stop me from visiting here.

        It is darn clear that Mr. Smith is letting his filings and efforts do the talking. He seems good at anticipating the ordinary circumstances and questions that may arise and is prepared for those. Such as asking Judge Boasberg well in advance for permission to release relevant portions of the DC grand jury record should those wind up being needed in an unsealed fashion (without the need for additional motions).

        Anyhow, the idea of setting traps for Cannon seems far-fetched because of the unpredictability of her process delaying steps and inquiries. Smith’s ongoing tactical decisions such as to file first in FL and later in DC with a single defendant are standard.

    • Rugger_9 says:

      I’d agree that Smith isn’t sowing landmines so much as creating properly noticed legal filings that clearly showed Cannon and Woodward were lying about not being alerted in a timely manner. Cannon has a bad choice, either admit to lying in her ruling or admitting that she didn’t bother to read the filings before dismissing them. There is really no other option supported by what we know already, because SC Smith produced the filings and the docket log.

      • jdmckay8 says:

        Cannon has a bad choice, either admit to lying in her ruling or admitting that she didn’t bother to read the filings before dismissing them.


        • Rugger_9 says:

          No doubt she could try, but the hard-copy record gives her those two options when 11CA is asked to remove her. What do you think she could plausibly say otherwise? That might be worth a pool.

  26. punaise says:

    What the tuck? (who’s going to take a dive):

    Jack-knife > Can opener > Cannonball (Pike) > belies flop

  27. Howard Appel says:

    I have a couple of thoughts/questions I would love to get feedback on:

    1. IMHO, Cannon has neither the experience or the mental horsepower to come up with most, if not all, of her legal arguments, e.g., striking the sealed filings because the DOJ has allegedly failed to provide an adequate basis for sealing. And she often comes up with arguments/”facts” that Woodward, et al, have not made in their filings. So, first question is where is Cannon getting this from — clerks (who I assume were vetted/recommended by the Heritage Institute) or ex parte communications with non-party interested persons, etc.? I wonder where this crap is originating.
    2. Am I the only one who feels that Smith and his team have anticipated just about every one of Woodward’s and Cannon attempts to save trump. Yes, it helps that Smith and his team are extremely experienced, are out for blood, have the law and facts on their side, but this feels like Smith, et al, are not just several steps ahead of Woodward/Cannon (yes, i consider them joined at the hip), but that they are actively and deliberately steering Cannon to make rulings that they can use to get her removed, as well as to accomplish other goals, i.e., encourage other defendants to get new independent counsel and flip. To me this seems as if Smith knows how to maneuver Cannon in the direction he wants.
    3. Do Cannon or Woodward realize this? Woodward has a reputation as a very good lawyer (at least that is what is reported), so maybe he does. But Cannon has the intellectual heft of Dan Quayle — is whomever is counseling/advising/dictating her aware of this or do they even care? Yes, I am assuming someone is “helping” her because I don’t think she has the horsepower to think up these arguments herself.

    As always, thank you Marcy — you are fantastic. And if you ever prepare a program for this — can’t tell the players without a program — I would happily purchase. Also, I will be sending money regardless.

    • Peterr says:

      Re #2 . . .

      Every lawyer wants to put their arguments before the court in the most persuasive manner possible. Every good lawyer does this in a way that also anticipates negative possible rulings so as to steer the court away from making them. Every really good lawyer also anticipates what opposing counsel will do, and tries to neuter those approaches in advance.

      And Jack Smith is a very very very good lawyer.

      Re #3 . . .

      Let’s remember that we have Dan Quayle to thank for stiffening Pence’s spine on January 6. Paraphrasing from memory here: “Trump and his lawyers are nuts if they think you can decide the election by refusing to count certain states’ votes. Your only job is to open the envelopes and announce what is on them so the clerk can count things up. Period.” Or words to that effect.

      • Matt___B says:

        Re #3 redux: Pence’s spine is definitely not self-stiffening. After all, he did raise his hand at the recent “debate” signifying he would support the GOP nominee, regardless of “who it is”…

        • jdmckay8 says:

          From memory: “Mr. Trump is unfit to be President of the United States. He must not be allowed in the oval office. But of course, if he is our Party’s nominee I will support him because that is the kind of guy I am.”

    • Ebenezer Scrooge says:

      One should only assume an adversary is stupid if the evidence gets into the “beyond a reasonable doubt” stage. I don’t think Cannon is stupid. She is playing for delay and getting it. She doesn’t care what the EW commentariat thinks of her. She only loses the game if the 11th Circuit removes her from the case. This is an extremely rare and harsh remedy.

      (btw, a stupid adversary is often harder to manage than a smart adversary. With a smart adversary, you can often predict their conduct with a: “what would I do?” A stupid adversary is less predictable.)

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Your assessment of Cannon’s experience and mental horsepower seems uninformed. She may have sub rosa outside FedSoc advisers helping her craft a thruway for Trump, but she knows what she’s doing and why.

      • Greg Hunter says:

        She knows the outcome of what she is doing and she does know why she does it, but the contention is she doesn’t actually know how; hence the Federalist Society.

        Seems accurate.

    • Harry Eagar says:

      Although my attempt at humor about landmines fell flat, I asked your #1 (on another blog), and while that, too, was mostly a jest, I dunno. Eventually at some point you cannot just ascribe everything to incompetence, can you?

      Some room must be left for malevolence.

  28. ThomasJ7777 says:

    I can’t stop thinking about the fact that these lawyers who are brazenly engaged in obstruction of justice racketeering in plain sight

    Are being paid by Save America PAC, which is under investigation by Jack Smith for wire fraud racketeering and possibly money laundering and campaign finance felonies.

    They are being paid with the fruits of crime to commit more crimes to obstruct the investigation and prosecution of other crimes.

    On top of that, Woodward exemplifies the kind of arrogant, cockeyed, crackpot fraud that Trumpists pretend is legal representation.

    It is my sincere hope that Jack Smith indicts all of the many conspirators in Trump’s crimes,

    and then just keeps on going to indict the grifters at Save America PAC,

    and then keeps on going and prosecutes these fraudulent liars and criminals who are paid by Save America to commit crimes and pretend that they are practicing law.

    I got three layers of racketeering here.

  29. pseudonymous in nc says:

    Woodward’s “no conflict, nothing to see here” filing is a peach, knowing what followed. I get the feeling that the special counsel’s office has taken a professional dislike to him.

    DOJ wants that Garcia hearing to give Nauta (and De Olivera) a chance to jump ship. Woodward obviously doesn’t want to do this, and Cannon would clearly prefer it not to happen, even if the docket now gets loaded up with stuff from DC that makes Woodward look pretty bad. As EW says, this is going to escalate and force Cannon to show her hand even more because DOJ is willing to throw the kitchen sink at Woodward.

    • emptywheel says:

      My guess is they’ve taken a tactical dislike. Woodward is key to Trump’s obstruction at this point, for a number of key witnesses. He’s playing to help Trump win election.

      DOJ would need to remove that barrier to make several other key parts of their case.

  30. Rick Ryan says:

    Woodward’s “furious motion” seems directly targeted at Cannon’s insecurities. That quip about the “ex parte” ruling not-so-implicitly calls her un-professional, and in that same footnote he accuses her of having already been misled (note: past tense), in addition to an opening sentence about an “effort to influence [her]”, an effort later described as “misleading [her]” (note: progressive tense). Though formally directed at DOJ, those all impugn Cannon’s competence, 4 times in about two pages of actual argument.

    IANAL but I had understood it to be rather unwise to insult a Judge.

    I’ve gone back and forth on whether I believe Cannon is actively corrupt or just (“just”) inexperienced and struggling to deal with a unique, aggressive, and potentially dangerous party in her court. I almost find it harder to believe that she would put up with the insults if she *were* affirmatively ‘on their side’ as such. Though at the end of the day, whether she’s helping the defense of her own volition or can be easily manipulated into doing so is a distinction without a difference.

    • Harry Eagar says:

      Me, too. And not just with Cannon. Many of trump’s accomplices seem, to any sane observer, to be acting against their own interests.

      But, as more and more souls are bared, it begins to seem (Ellis, Clark) that the motive is religious fanaticism.

      As someone who was raised Catholic and taught to admire martyrs, I see it but I don’t get it.

  31. WilliamOckham says:

    I have a few observations that I’ll share about this situation and folks varying explanations for the facts that Marcy describes in her post.

    First, apply the lizard people test. That is, take the theory and substitute lizard people for the explanatory factor. If the argument still works, you haven’t explained anything, even if your explanation is more likely than lizard people. Let me give a concrete example. When Mike Flynn’s plea deal was first announced, I was convinced that he must have ratted Trump out. That seems ludicrous now and, let’s face it, it didn’t really pass the lizard people test. Mike Flynn got a plea deal because Robert Mueller was a lizard person or because Flynn dropped a dime on Trump. Neither one passed the if that then what test. Neither does “sealed indictments” in the current case.

    If your pet theory about why Cannon or Woodward or Smith is doing what they’re doing is correct, what else would be true? I’ve seen a few people hear opine that Cannon isn’t very bright. Color me skeptical. Very few dumb people become federal judges and we almost always know about it beforehand when it does happen. Hubris, on the other hand, is a very common occupational hazard for federal judges. That and ideologically motivated reasoning seems to fit the available facts better.

    Finally, there are no heroes or villains. Just human beings trying to get their needs met. Folks who get their needs met by inflicting pain on others are dangerous. I’m not personally convinced that punishing them by inflicting pain on them is very helpful. I do hope there is a special place in hell for their enablers, the Mark Meadows and Cleta Mitchells’ of the world.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Inflict pain not on this earth, but let God inflict it eternally in hell. A tad Old Testament, but what to do if there isn’t one?

      • timbozone says:

        Cannon is very likely going to be conducting this trial the whole way through. My own estimation is that it’s more likely that Cannon would be arrested on a serious local infraction, have an incapacitating accident or illness, etc, etc than be removed from the case by an appeal to the 11th Circuit based on her judging (so far).

        • timbozone says:

          Huh. That was supposed to be posted in another subthread above. Not sure what happened. Sorry for the confusion. (Also, still don’t have edit function back the past two days for some reason.)

      • WilliamOckham says:

        I got a little too poetical at the end of that comment. The only hell I believe in is the one we collectively make for ourselves here on this earth when we violate the rights of others.

        In reality, I’m doing everything I can to avoid the hell that Meadows and Mitchell are trying to create for themselves. I’m not doing that out of any particular concern for them, though. What I mean is, the installation of Donald Trump as an autocrat (their goal) would almost inevitably lead to their eventual downfall and, very likely, their death at the hands of Donald Trump. That’s just how autocratic systems work. My concern is for all the other people who would suffer before Trump got around to Meadows and Mitchell.

    • emptywheel says:

      And let it be said that one big reason Flynn got the plea deal he got was because Peter Strzok, allegedly the villain in targeting Trump, made sure that someone overtly pro Trump, Bill Barnett, got put on the Mueller team and that guy made it impossible to go bigger with the claims against Trump. And then Barnett went on to participate in a charade designed to undermine the entire prosecution, including making claims in an FBI interview that materially conflicted with his own actions.

  32. Susan D Einbinder says:

    A question for the lawyers: What does Cannon have to do to get the case removed from her? Anything?

    • Ebenezer Scrooge says:

      A lot of the posters here are lawyers, myself included. Unless there is an explicit conflict of interest (close relatives or investments), it is really, really hard for a federal judge to have a case taken from them. This is not so much a matter of legal doctrine–the writ of mandamus is always available in principle if things get weird enough. You could say that the upper court wants to protect the dignity of the lower court. And it doesn’t want to hear constant whining from future litigants using a disqualification as a precedent.

      btw, you seem to be using your real name. I think I recognize it. Did you graduate college in the mid-1970’s from a New England university? If so: “Hi!”

    • Amicus12 says:

      There is a pathway for removal. “Federal appellate courts’ ability to assign a case to a different judge on remand rests not on the recusal statutes alone, but on the appellate courts’ statutory power to ‘require such further proceedings to be had as may be just under the circumstances,’ 28 U. S. C. § 2106.” Likety v. United States, 510 U.S. 540, 554 (1994). Likety distinguishes the reach of 28 U.S.C. § 455 where recusal for the appearance of impartiality must (with limited exception) arise from extra-judicial circumstances and 28 U. S. C. § 2106 where the appellate court has much broader removal authority.

      Thus, the 11th Circuit has the power to remove Judge Cannon if it were to find that her rulings in the current case in light of her prior rulings in the search warrant proceeding would cause an objective observer to question her impartiality. See, e.g., United States v. Demott. 513 F.3d 55, 59 (11th Cir. 2008).

      The current record suggests a pathway where this might arise, but it is perhaps better to wait for things to play out a bit further rather than just speculate possibilities.

  33. Savage Librarian says:

    Below is a list of Stan Woodward clients involved in various Trump related cases. I’m not sure they are all current clients. The names capitalized are from the Kyle Cheney article in the link below. The names in small letters are from other articles I’ve read (but I can’t recall where, at this time.) After reading Kyle Cheney’s article, I wonder if Stan is related to Stanley Woodward, Sr. who served in the FDR and Truman administrations.


    Gary Michael Brown (aka Mike Brown) – Assistant to Michael Roman who is a co-conspirator in the GA case.


    KELLY MEGGS (Oath Keeper)




    William Russell – Interviewed 3 times by GJ (DC?). Worked at WH, then moved to FL to work for Trump.



    Yuscil Taveras – IT guy who got a new lawyer after advised as a result of court proceedings (Boasberg) that Woodward could present conflict of interest (because of Nauta.)

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Stan Woodward is as dependent on Trump’s fees as any pool cleaner at Mar-a-Lago. Probably not a good move for him, because his first lost might shut off the tap.

    • RipNoLonger says:

      Guessing that Stanley Woodward Jr. is the son of Sr.

      Add to list

      Stanley Woodward Sr., 93, a Foreign Service officer and State Department official who served as U.S. ambassador to Canada before retiring in 1953, died at his home in Washington Aug. 17 of complications after a stroke.

      Mr. Woodward served as the State Department’s chief of protocol from 1945 to 1950 and as assistant chief of protocol from 1937 to 1945.

      He was a Democratic Party activist who had served as treasurer of the Democratic National Committee in 1954 and 1955.

      Mr. Woodward was born in Philadelphia. He served in the Army during World War I and graduated from Yale University. He did postgraduate study at the School of Political Science in Paris.

      In the early 1920s, Mr. Woodward taught in a Yale University program in China. In 1926, he joined the Foreign Service. He served in Geneva, Brussels and Port-au-Prince, then from 1934 to 1937 was commissioner of Fairmount Park in Philadelphia.

      After his service as ambassador to Canada, Mr. Woodward served as president of the George Woodward Inc., a family residential development and leasing business in Philadelphia. He also was a founding trustee of the Woodward Foundation, which placed works of art in U.S. embassies around the world. The foundation also operated a scholarship program for D.C. high school students.

      In retirement, Mr. Woodward lived in Washington and on a farm near Charlottesville, where he grew grapes and made wine. He was a horseman, polo player, tennis player, sport fisherman and sailor.

      His wife, Sarah Rutherford Woodward, died seven years ago.

      Survivors include a son, Stanley Woodward Jr. of Philadelphia, and five grandchildren.”

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Tenuous connection. Woodward is not that uncommon a name. The Stanley Wood Sr from that 1992 obituary would have been about 82 when our Stanley Woodward was born. Our Stanley doesn’t seem to have the presence one would expect of the son of a Bonesman, who came from Robber Baronesque wealth and palled around with FDR, spent nearly twenty years in the State Dept, and retired in Virginia to his sailing, tennis, and polo. But both neither’s wiki entry mentions family.

      • P J Evans says:

        I doubt it – Sr’s son Jr was born before 1933 (Sr was born in 1899). The lawyer is too young to be that guy, and is not releasing information on his family.

  34. Savage Librarian says:

    Feckless Wind

    Oh, the Woodward wind
    seems a feckless wind,
    A feckless wind
    that churns and squanders,
    Who will suborn?
    It’s grip and grin,
    It’s grip and grin
    with the Woodward wind.

    Will he have your back?
    Does he have a knack
    for power hungry ways?
    Are you lost or found
    in his breeding ground?
    Who is the knave
    of squandering delays?

    Oh, the Woodward wind
    seems a feckless wind,
    A feckless wind
    that churns and squanders,
    Who will suborn?
    It’s grip and grin,
    It’s grip and grin
    with the Woodward wind.

    Oh, we met him there
    with some sordid clowns,
    He vowed he’d play his part,
    Tho’ he tried his best
    not to back down,
    Some clients groan
    with a broken heart.

    “The Wayward Wind”

    • punaise says:

      Nice. Take it away Pointer Sisters:

      Now’s the time for all good folks
      To get together with one another
      We got to iron out our problems
      And iron out our quarrels
      And try to live as brothers

      I know we can make it
      I know darn well, we can work it out
      Oh, yes, we can, if know we can Cannon
      Yes, we can Cannon, why can’t we?
      If we wanna, yes, we can, can

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