Jack Smith Invites Aileen Cannon to Protect the Country Rather than Just Donald Trump

Jack Smith has asked Judge Aileen Cannon to prevent Trump from lying about a plot to assassinate him, as he has done since propagandist Julie Kelly made a stink about a routine Use of Force form Trump himself released and misrepresented and created a false scandal. But there’s a detail about how he asked the deserves attention.

The motion describes how Trump filed that routine form, without tying to his demand for suppression, and then started lying about it, only to have other propagandists (it includes an example from Steve Bannon’s show) join in.

On February 22, 2024, Trump filed under seal a motion to suppress evidence obtained through the search of Mar-a-Lago. See ECF No. 566. In setting forth what he described as the relevant facts, Trump stated that the Operations Form “contained a ‘Policy Statement’ regarding ‘Use Of Deadly Force,’ which stated, for example, ‘Law enforcement officers of the Department of Justice may use deadly force when necessary [sic] . . . .’” Id. at 4. Although Trump included the warrant and Operations Form as exhibits to his motion, the motion misquoted the Operations Form by omitting the crucial word “only” before “when necessary,” without any ellipsis reflecting the omission. The motion also left out language explaining that deadly force is necessary only “when the officer has a reasonable belief that the subject of such force poses an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the officer or to another person.” Compare ECF No. 566-3 at 11 with ECF No. 566 at 6. Notwithstanding the misleading characterization of the use-of-force provision when describing the search, the motion did not seek suppression based on the policy, claim that the agents had acted inappropriately in following that standard protocol, or otherwise rely on the policy as part of the argument. See ECF No. 566 at 12-13.

On May 21, 2024, Trump filed a redacted version of his suppression motion and exhibits on the public docket. See ECF No. 566. The next day, Trump publicly claimed that he was just “shown Reports that Crooked Joe Biden’s DOJ, in their illegal and UnConstitutional Raid of Mara-Lago, AUTHORIZED THE FBI TO USE DEADLY (LETHAL) FORCE.” Exhibit 1. Trump also sent an email stating that the government “WAS AUTHORIZED TO SHOOT ME,” was “just itching to do the unthinkable,” and was “locked & loaded ready to take me out & put my family in danger.” Exhibit 2. Trump also publicly claimed that, “[s]hockingly,” the Department of Justice “authorized the use of ‘deadly force’ in their Illegal, UnConstitutional, and Un-American RAID of Mar-a-Lago, and that would include against our Great Secret Service, who they thought might be ‘in the line of fire.’” Exhibit 3. Predictably and as he certainly intended, others have amplified Trump’s misleading statements, falsely characterizing the inclusion of the entirely standard useof-force policy as an effort to “assassinate” Trump. See Exhibit 4. [my emphasis]

Now, that could have been all that Smith needed to do. As he lays out, Judge Cannon has the authority under the Bail Reform Act to modify Trump’s release conditions to protect the safety of the community.

Under the Bail Reform Act, a “judicial officer shall issue an order that, pending trial, the [defendant] be” either released on personal recognizance or an unsecured bond, 18 U.S.C. § 3142(a)(1), released “on a condition or combination of conditions under subsection (c),” id. § 3142(a)(2), temporarily detained pending revocation, deportation, or exclusion, id. § 3142(a)(3), or detained, id. § 3142(a)(4). Here, Trump was released on conditions under subsection (c). ECF No. 17.

Subsection (c) provides that, if a person is released on conditions, the “judicial officer shall order the pretrial release of the person” subject to (1) “the condition that the person not commit a Federal, State, or local crime during the period of release,” and (2) “the least restrictive further condition, or combination of conditions that such judicial officer determines will reasonably assure the appearance of the person as required and the safety of any other person and the community.” 18 U.S.C. § 3142(c)(1)(A), (B). The statute then lists several “further condition[s]” that the release order “may include.” As relevant here, those further conditions include that the defendant “satisfy any other condition that is reasonably necessary to assure the appearance of the person as required and to assure the safety of any other person and the community,” id. § 3142(c)(1)(B)(xiv). Subsection (c) further provides that “[t]he judicial officer may at any time amend the order to impose additional or different conditions of release.” Id. § 3142(c)(3).

The Court should exercise its authority to impose a condition that Trump may not make public statements that pose a significant, imminent, and foreseeable danger to the law enforcement agents participating in the investigation and prosecution of this case

But Smith didn’t stop there. Even before that, Smith invoked an argument Judge Cannon made herself last year, when choosing to stick her nose into the public reports that Jay Bratt was mean to Stan Woodward.

The Court has an “independent obligation to protect the integrity of this judicial proceeding,” ECF No. 101, and should take steps immediately to halt this dangerous campaign to smear law enforcement.

This is, at the very least, a subtle dig. Cannon has gone out of her way (with the original search, and then on two of these such occasions) at least three times to protect Trump.

But she has done nothing as Trump, “irresponsibly put a target on the backs of the FBI agents involved in this case,” as the filing describes.

At least one attorney has suggested that Cannon could ding Chris Kise for leaving out the limitations and thereby giving the Use of Force policy the opposite meaning than it really has (bolded above), setting up this propaganda attack.

Instead, Smith has used it as an opportunity to either force Cannon to rein Trump in — or to demonstrate that her bias in this case is contributing to a very dangerous situation.

123 replies
  1. Rwood0808 says:

    If/When she denies his request will that give Smith what he needs to make the case to the 11th and have her removed?

    If that’s not his end goal here then its just a waste of time. I don’t see what he’s waiting for as there is nothing to lose at this point.

    • Kenster42 says:

      She’s not going to be removed. Her conduct, while annoying, doesn’t come remotely close to the standard necessary for removal.

  2. Flint II_CHG-REQUIRED says:

    Highly agree. Any judge that is still treating Donnie different because he used to be potus adjacent is a fool or a MAGA collaborator. The Disloyal Demented Deadbeat Doofus Dishonest
    Defendant NEVER arrives w/ “clean hands.” It’s ALWAYS a grift or a lie- or both.

    [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 commented last as “Lee Russell” which complies with the site’s standard minimum 8-letter username. Please advise by replying to this comment if you are going to adopt a new site-standard compliant username or revert to your first one. Please note we do not require a valid/working email address, only that you use the same one each time you comment. /~Rayne]

  3. JonathanW says:

    Surely Judge Cannon will find a way to scold Jack Smith for making her look bad, right?

      • FL Resister says:

        Yeah, Aileen Cannon expressing her disappointment with Jack Smith is more judgement her mere craftiness cannot conceal.
        She’s a slow-moving train wreck.

  4. Clare Kelly says:

    Thank you, Marcy.

    Although he did not mention the glaring misquote/omission, the software generated lede on Devlin Barrett’s piece reads:
    “Special counsel seeks court order limiting Trump’s false claims about FBI”.

    A start.

  5. Rikki-Tikki-Deadly says:

    I don’t know why this incident never gets brought up anymore, but it’s worth mentioning that there *already* was an attempt to murder federal agents in response to the Mar a Lago search. Trump supporter Ricky Schiffer attempted to storm the FBI office in Cincinnati and was shot dead in a field for his trouble.

  6. John Paul Jones says:

    She might move on it now, but given her past practise, she’ll likely invite both sides to submit briefs on the matter, then set a hearing for six weeks in the future, after which she will take another six weeks to deliver a ruling. In setting up the hearing, and again in the ruling, she’ll complain about Smith’s making her work difficult in some way, by selectively quoting from Smith’s motion. Sheesh!

    I note that even the logical and reasonable Roger Parloff has essentially accused Cannon of pushing things out so that future hearings will inevitably become campaign season events, thus giving Trump the ability to constantly comment on court proceedings as part of his campaign.

    • Rwood0808 says:

      IANAL, but I don’t think any of that is needed for Smith to go to the 11th.

      Waiting until she plays her delay cards might give him more ammunition, but as many have already mentioned he has nothing to lose at this point. Her pattern of behavior is there for all to see.

      I can see the 11th saying “About time!” when Smith finally does.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Come on. If you’re not a lawyer who litigates in the federal courts, you have no idea what Smith needs to file an appeal with the 11th Circuit.

        • bmaz says:

          People are awfully cavalier in their thoughts about what the criminal justice system ought do to assist their political whims.

        • Rwood0808 says:

          I was simply saying its not required, get off your high horse. Smith can go whenever he wants.

        • Twaspawarednot says:

          You are claiming only lawyers have a right to an opinion or a brain. Why not explain why you find fault with the stated opinion?

      • John Herbison says:

        No, the denial of this motion would not be grounds for an interlocutory appeal to the Eleventh Circuit. Such a ruling would not be appealable as of right under 18 U.S.C. § 3731, and it does not meet the criteria for a writ of mandamus, in that the government’s right to issuance of the writ is not “clear and indisputable.” See, e.g., Cheney v. U.S. Dist. Court, 542 U.S. 367, 381 (2004).

        I surmise that Jack Smith will at some point be seeking interlocutory review of an order in this case, but this is not it.

  7. dopefish says:

    About the only thing Judge Cannon could do at this point to repair my opinion of her would be to revoke Trump’s bail.

    • bmaz says:

      Trump’s release conditions will not be revoked, nor should they be. He is not a flight risk. Criminal defense professional have spent decades trying to get more sane release conditions to be the norm. Let’s not tear that down because Trump. And federal judges, much less Cannon do not care about your opinion.

      • Shychka says:

        Good ole bmaz.
        Your time out did little to sweeten you up.
        Can’t say your nasty comments were missed.

        [Moderator’s note: you have been asked repeatedly to use the same username and email address each time you comment. “Shychka” does not match the name to which you changed on June 10, 2023, and ignores the final request made on May 7, 2024. You are now banned. Replies to this comment will be deleted as they only encourage further unnecessary hostility which began with this comment. /~Rayne]

        • bmaz says:

          If that is the case Rayne, why not “bin” the comment entirely instead of leaving it stand with a silly little italicized note. You constantly threaten to “bin” comments you don’t like, but apparently if it is an attack on me, you simply leave it with a simple strike through and highlight it with your italicized add on. That is bogus.

          [Moderator’s note: the note is there not just for the benefit of the now-banned commenter but for community members who need a reminder not to blow off moderator requests. It was also left there so you couldn’t say moderation wasn’t protecting you — but of course, you attack moderation anyhow in spite of repeated warnings not to do so. Just get back on topic or leave. /~Rayne]

        • Hoping4better_times says:

          FYI. Schika in yiddish means drunk.

          [Moderator’s note: You can see this commenter has been banned. Your comment is unnecessary. Please get on topic. /~Rayne]

      • posaune says:

        This is a good point — the context surrounding bail conditions for “ordinary” defendants and the efforts of many to make them fair and consistent.

      • paulka123 says:

        Was one of his release conditions that he not commit any other crimes? Like contempt of court, which he has been found guilty of, like 10 times? None of the other jurisdictions seem to have noticed or cared.

        Good thing there isn’t 2 tiers of justice in this country.

        • John Herbison says:

          The judgments of criminal contempt in New York would furnish an adequate factual basis for revocation of Donald Trump’s pretrial release in the pending federal cases. Whether and when it is tactically wise for Jack Smith to seek revocation is a tactical matter.

          Per 18 U.S.C. § 3142(c)(1)(A), the release pending trial of any federal criminal defendant is subject to the condition that the defendant not commit a Federal, State, or local crime during the period of release. Criminal contempt is a crime in the ordinary sense; it is a violation of the law, a public wrong which is punishable by fine or imprisonment or both. Bloom v. Illinois, 391 U.S. 194, 201 (1968).

          Revocation of pretrial release is governed by 18 U.S.C. § 3148(b), which states in relevant part:

          (b) . . . A judicial officer may issue a warrant for the arrest of a person charged with violating a condition of release, and the person shall be brought before a judicial officer in the district in which such person’s arrest was ordered for a proceeding in accordance with this section. To the extent practicable, a person charged with violating the condition of release that such person not commit a Federal, State, or local crime during the period of release, shall be brought before the judicial officer who ordered the release and whose order is alleged to have been violated. The judicial officer shall enter an order of revocation and detention if, after a hearing, the judicial officer—
          (1) finds that there is—
          (A) probable cause to believe that the person has committed a Federal, State, or local crime while on release; or
          (B) clear and convincing evidence that the person has violated any other condition of release; and
          (2) finds that—
          (A) based on the factors set forth in section 3142(g) of this title, there is no condition or combination of conditions of release that will assure that the person will not flee or pose a danger to the safety of any other person or the community; or
          (B) the person is unlikely to abide by any condition or combination of conditions of release.
          If there is probable cause to believe that, while on release, the person committed a Federal, State, or local felony, a rebuttable presumption arises that no condition or combination of conditions will assure that the person will not pose a danger to the safety of any other person or the community.

          The New York criminal contempts are misdemeanors, so the presumption doesn’t arise here. Nevertheless, the New York judgments are based on the trial court’s findings beyond a reasonable doubt that Trump has repeatedly engaged in criminal conduct, so the lesser, probable cause requirement of § 3148(b)(1)(A) is more than satisfied. The critical question is whether Trump is unlikely to abide by any condition or combination of conditions of release going forward.

          If I were Jack Smith, I would wait to see whether Trump will again violate the gag order after having been adjudicated of contempt. That would be powerful evidence that he is unlikely to abide by his conditions of release. Since Judge Loose Cannon is in the tank for Trump, a revocation motion would be more likely to get a fair hearing in D.C. before Judge Chutkan.

        • John Herbison says:

          bmaz, I was not predicting what will happen; I was saying how I would proceed if I were the Special Counsel. Do you dispute that the numerous criminal contempt judgments furnish a factual basis for revocation of Trump’s pretrial release? Do you have countervailing authority?

      • dopefish says:

        Bmaz is right, I did not mean to suggest that Cannon *should* revoke his bail… I guess I was just venting some frustration with how this case is playing out.

        Trump has in some ways been shown more leniency than most other defendants, but also most other defendants are not the presumed Presidential candidate for one of the two major parties, and putting him in jail would stir up a terrible political mess. Even if he richly deserves it, that just wouldn’t be good for the U.S. If he is found guilty in one of these criminal cases, then perhaps he’ll spend some time behind bars. We’ll see.

        But to preserve democracy and freedom in the US, Trump and all his Republican enablers need to be defeated at the ballot box in November.

        • bmaz says:

          I feel the same frustration. Trump is an ass and almost deserves a visit to incarceration just because. From the start though, I have been worried Trump, and his cases, were as big of a threat to the criminal justice system as he was to democracy itself. They are interlocking principles, but not the same. Am not smart enough to know the answer overall, just don’t think revoking Trump’s release conditions magically solves it.

      • bmaz says:

        Banned, binned, whatever. Aren’t you quite the little tyrant. No, I will not leave. I have every bit as much right to be here as you do.

      • Knowatall says:

        No need to revoke bail; just have an actual trial instead of the current pantomime.

  8. Alan_OrbitalMechanic says:

    A question about the timing here.
    According to Smith’s document, Trump’s misrepresentation of the FBI instructions occurred back in February, albeit under seal.

    This didn’t become a story until the past week or so when Trump needed something to rile up the base. Obviously Trump felt a need so he and his flying monkeys made it happen.

    So why is this an issue now and not then? Isn’t that an admission that the Trump team didn’t think there was any problem there to begin with?

    • Matt___B says:

      Oh my, monkeys that fly…Flying monkey=activist sycophants.

      As long as we’re dealing in animal metaphors, I tend to think of people like that as horses trapped behind the starting gate before a horse race. Hopped up, ready to go, snorting rapidly, foaming at the mouth even, trapped until that gate opens. And Trump with his stable-genius paws on that gate-opening lever.

    • harpie says:

      I thought the timing might have had something to do with
      how TRUMP’s current trial was going.

      Here’s the TRUMP posting Smith is referring to:

      5/21/24 5:21 PM [TZ?] Donald J. Trump // @realDonaldTrump
      [I should probably strike the whole thing?]

      WOW! I just came out of the Biden Witch Hunt Trial in Manhattan, the “Icebox,” and was shown Reports that Crooked Joe Biden’s DOJ, in their illegal and UnConstitutional Raid of Mar-a-Lago, AUTHORIZED THE FBI TO USE DEADLY (LETHAL) FORCE. NOW WE KNOW, FOR SURE, THAT JOE BIDEN IS A SERIOUS THREAT TO DEMOCRACY. HE IS MENTALLY UNFIT TO HOLD OFFICE – 25th AMENDMENT! May 21, 2024, 5:21 PM [TZ?]

      Here’s a little excerpt from LawFare’s trial coverage:
      A Witness Implosion Precedes Jury Instruction The evidence is all in and the parties spar over jury instructions. https://www.lawfaremedia.org/article/a-witness-implosion-precedes-jury-instruction Anna Bower, Quinta Jurecic, Tyler McBrien, Benjamin Wittes Wednesday, May 22, 2024, 11:46 PM

      May 21, 2024 Earlier this morning, the defense’s campaign finance expert witness, Brad Smith, said that he would not testify [link]—leaving only one more potential witness, Trump himself, whom the defense has all-but-said will not be testifying.

      But first, the defense’s second witness, Robert Costello, will take the stand to finish the disaster that he started yesterday. [That is detailed in the beginning of that article]

      • harpie says:

        Bower with “the disaster that [COSTELLO] started yesterday”:
        8:43 PM · May 20, 2024

        Here’s *that* exchange between Justice Merchan and Robert Costello earlier today:

        JUSTICE MERCHAN to ROBERT COSTELLO: “Are you staring me down right now?…I’m putting you on notice that your conduct is contemptuous…” [screenshots]

      • David F. Snyder says:

        “might” is understating it. Garland came out Thursday denouncing Trump’s tweet and the growing din of delusion coming from the right.

        Before this, there might have been some rationality in Cannon considering Trump’s danger to grand jurors et al. was speculative and hypothetical (in regards to this particular indictment). But now we have a straight out public attack on the integrity of the FBI and that just can’t stand. Law enforcement officers face enough stress as it is.

        • Ithaqua0 says:

          The right has been attacking the integrity of the FBI and ATF at least since Ruby Ridge back in 1992, and probably long before.

    • David Brooks says:

      Why did Trump defer commenting publicly on the warrant until it was unsealed? Wrong answers only.

      • originalK says:

        He surrounds himself with lawyers and members of Congress (criminal immunity) – they give him the mushroom treatment (keep him in the dark & feed him sh*t) – and he only finds out once it is covered by his rabble-rousing press?

      • John Paul Jones says:

        Maybe because if you comment on a matter currently under seal, you are in effect breaking the seal, thus, ignoring a court order. Once the matter was no longer sealed, Trump was free to comment.

        This is more speculative, but the nature of the comments suggests (to me) that the attack had long been meditated.

  9. LaMissy! says:

    The folks over at CREW have taken it upon themselves to peruse Truth Social and have found:

    CREW analyzed over 13,000 of Trump’s Truth Social posts from January 1, 2023 to April 1, 2024, and found that while Trump has recently backed off some of his more violent rhetoric, threatening political opponents has been a consistent fixation for Trump. Since the start of last year, Trump has issued direct or implied threats on Truth Social to use the powers of the federal government to target Joe Biden during a second Trump administration 25 times. Specifically, Trump has threatened him with FBI raids, investigations, indictments and even jail time.

    But Biden is not Trump’s only target. He’s also threatened or suggested that the FBI and the Department of Justice should take action against senators, judges, members of Biden’s family and even non-governmental organizations.


    • harpie says:

      Thanks for this! I’m glad they’re doing it because, though I think it’s right for Smith to focus on the FBI Agents…Pres. BIDEN is in TRUMP’s [& followers’] crosshairs, too.

      • David F. Snyder says:

        Heck, even Obama is still in Trump’s followers’ crosshairs! I’m thinking the GOP campaign slogan for Fall will be “Lockup Loony Lefties: Vote Trump”. The whole movement is primarily fueled on irresponsibility and the ensuing hatred of (and therefore anger towards) _________ (fill in the blank).

        • David F. Snyder says:

          Running an errand today, I saw a mobile FJB set-up, selling merch —an RV with propaganda plastered on the side (and an escort vehicle similarly branded). One of the things plastered on the side was the phrase “Why Blacks should not vote for Biden” (or along that lines). Perhaps it is not to extreme to answer “because the MAGAs will lynch them if they do”.

  10. Rayne says:

    Whew. Mop needed in aisle 5, stat. There are a lot more trolls swarming since this post was published, puking up their outrage.

    I wish now I’d noted which posts have drawn the most trollery to note trends in their behavior. With their concentration today it feels like the fascist horde is now worried about Cannon’s ability to protect Trump.

    • David F. Snyder says:

      That would be great data to analyze, Rayne. I’d like to see where the trolls’ overlords are telling them to focus their energy. This can actually matter when door knocking in deep red zones.

      • Rayne says:

        The weird part about today’s trolls is that they’re not hiding. I won’t elaborate but they’re not making any effort. This doesn’t mean they are US or not US, just that if they are part of a specific operation, this is a feature of the op.

      • Rayne says:

        I wish I’d started doing this kind of data collection and analysis years ago. I can tell you though I don’t have the data that the Durham investigation drew more trolls than other topics.

    • stillscoff says:

      Rayne, I’ve noticed a decided uptick in troll postings and hate speech in sites that still allow comments. I spend time each day looking at these sites, and it has been a veritable deluge of lies and hate. It has been especially noticeable in the last few weeks. How much is real and how much is bot, I can’t say, but the increase is significant, at least in my estimation.

      • Rayne says:

        I haven’t been watching elsewhere, but given the course of Trump’s business fraud trial it’s to be expected. Calls to mind a quote:

        “If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell.”
        ― Carl Sandburg

        The troll posts are the digital form of table pounding.

        • bmaz says:

          Probably the dumbest “legal” quote ever in law. And that is very much not how trial lawyers think or act. It is just garbage nonsense that has been propagated forever by people who don’t actually practice.

        • Rayne says:

          Amazing how a free speech absolutist has a problem with a well-known fiction author’s writing which wasn’t then intended as legal advice, nor was it quoted here in reference to legal matters but to trollish behavior.

          Thanks for once again coming and beating on the table, though.

        • bmaz says:

          Lol, sure Jan. It is an idiotic quote. By the way, I am not a “free speech absolutist”. You are just making shit up now, and it is sad.

    • Termagant says:

      Rayne: it may still be possible to get that data. Your WordPress site might be different, but mine stores some info about every access to the site in an access.log. Commenters leave a specific fingerprint in their access info. You can get their IP address, the page they commented on and the time of posting.

      Note that your site probably deletes the log files after a few days. Anyone with FTP (or SSH) access should be able to download copies of the current logs. Save them now and you can analyze the troll data at your leisure.

      Feel free to email me if you’d like more details (posted email is valid).

      And BTW, add my thanks (and sympathy) for everything you do!

    • khollenCA says:

      Hi Rayne, I don’t know if it’s relevant or useful, and you may have already seen it anyway, but Lawfare recently ran a post by Elise Thomas at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue about possibly-CCP-linked influence operation Spamouflage:


      Thomas describes a concerning change in Spamouflage tactics (engaging with actual users and collecting real followers in a chain – friend-of-my-friend kind of thing, I guess?) and content quality. She notes that the accounts she describes in the article were very difficult to identify as Spamouflage; reasonable to suspect it’s not limited to online MAGA, just hasn’t been identified yet in other online communities.

  11. Matt Foley says:

    “Ha ha…ouch!”
    –My reaction to the title

    Dr. Wheeler hits the target again.

  12. paulka123 says:

    One would think that if Biden had wanted to use the raid as an excuse to… you know…, he would have waited until Trump was actually IN Florida.

    It’s stuff like this simple fact that frustrates me why stuff like this has to be taken seriously, at all, just wasting everyone’s time in an obvious effort to waste everyone’s time.

    • SilverWolf501 says:

      It’s about Trump controlling the language. If one can control the language, then it’s much easier to control peoples thoughts.

    • HikaakiH says:

      Yeah. What a shock that the execution of a search warrant was timed for when Secret Service personnel and their charge were not at the target location.
      We are indeed in the world of Steve Bannon’s firehose.

  13. LaMissy! says:

    At Trump’s rally in the Bronx, he shouted out two rappers from the stage. One wonders whether this is Trump’s stereotypical notion of how to appeal to Black voters or if he’s showing off his muscle.

    Last year, Mr. Williams and Mr. Chambers were among 32 people charged in a 140-count indictment accusing the men of using profits from their music to bankroll two Brooklyn gangs, the 8 Trey Crips and 9 Ways. Both men had previously served time in prison for weapons possession.

    Prosecutors in the case, which is ongoing, said that Mr. Williams awarded cash, contracts and cameos in his videos to those who committed acts of violence on his behalf.

    Sleepy Hallow was released on bail last year. In April, after 14 months awaiting trial, Sheff G was also released on bail. “They counted me out,” he wrote in capital letters on Instagram. “They thought I was done.”


  14. David F. Snyder says:

    OT but worthwhile mentioning: Joyce Vance has a substack on a voter suppression indictment handed down in New Hampshire, re deep fake robocalls from Joe Biden. “Add deep fake robocalls to the list of dirty tricks to be on the alert for as November gets closer.” Spread the news.

    https : // joycevance.substack.com/p/update-voter-suppression-in-new-hampshire

  15. fishnguy says:

    Trump constantly uses violent language. It’s what his supporters expect from him, it’s what excites them to the point that some have acted out by attacking governmental agencies. I’m of the opinion that though authorization for use of force is everyday practice, it is more than warranted given Trump’s own words. Don’t loose sight of the fact that the raid was planned to happen while he was NOT on the property.

  16. OldTulsaDude says:

    Perhaps slightly O/T but I have concerns for the long term viability of our form of government; acting as a group to produce incremental change is antithesis to the normal individual experience of near-instant gratification of decision-making.
    There are so many areas under assault, courts, Congress, education, information, and repairs will require decades of laborious and slow consistency.
    Trump is only riding the wave; he did not create it.

    • ButteredToast says:

      Trump did not create the wave, but he is far from “only riding” it. Loony things he says, driven solely by his ego or blatant self-interest, have become Republican orthodoxy overnight (the stolen election lie being the most damaging). More broadly, he has provided an entrée into power and influence for grifters, charlatans, and conspiracy-mongers who were previously too crazy or immoral even for the Republican party and most rightwing media. The fact that Trump has a cult of personality has enabled him to destroy faith among Republican voters in the U.S. justice system and every branch of law enforcement other than local police forces—and these too, if they resist violence by MAGA mobs. His bizarre stranglehold on the Republican party enables him to establish even more distorted “alternate realities” and do things that previously would’ve been too risky for other GOP politicians. So yes, he has dramatically accelerated radicalization of rhetoric and policy on the right, as well as radicalizing many previously apolitical ordinary people.

      • OldTulsaDude says:

        Trump mania does not explain Orban or Meloni or any of myriad inroads made by the far right across the west.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          They’re all riding the same, billionaire-backed wave. Billionaires don’t care what the name of the party is, as long as they can call it their own.

      • c-i-v-i-l says:

        Yes, as Marcy’s been arguing in her Ball of Thread, “Trump used his legal cases to train Republicans to hate rule of law, which has been a key part of how the Republican party has come to embrace fascism.”

  17. dopefish says:

    OT: Alina Habba apparently thinks Judge Merchan should have sequestered the jurors in Trump’s trial for the Memorial Day weekend. I guess she doesn’t believe they can uphold their sworn oaths.

    “I have worries about them going back to whatever friends might have Trump derangement syndrome, forgetting all sense of reality, and coming back and sitting in that box and saying, you know what, I have got to take one for the [Democratic National Committee],” Habba said. “I don’t want that. I want law to [be] fact, because, if we can get that, we will win, we will not just get a hung jury, we will get an acquittal. So, let’s see.”

    Habba is basically saying if they don’t get a win, or at least a hung jury, it will be because the jurors “forgot all sense of reality” and were convinced by friends with Trump Derangement Syndrome to “take one for the DNC”. Riiiight.

    • bmaz says:

      Habba may actually be right for once. Giving the jury an entire week off was lame calendar management by Merchan. It is about the only complaint I have had with him. But taking so much time off in such a public high profile trial is not a good look. And taking a full day off every Wednesday is silly. Docket day in a trial week is usually Friday, and the court goes at least half a day to keep the trial moving. Merchan is different in that regard.

      • Shadowalker says:

        I heard early on that he handled mental competency cases for the whole state on Wednesday’s. Not sure if he needs to travel or if the cases are brought before him.

        • bmaz says:

          Merchan only has jurisdiction in Manhattan, not the entire state. That docket need not take an entire day, at worst. Let somebody else handle it for a couple of days when you need to.

        • bmaz says:

          Eh, that is not the way it usually works though. And, when things come into conflict, it usually works far different in a big trial. Merchan has failed in that regard.

        • Shadowalker says:

          I get the feeling he treats all his cases this way and was determined to not treat it any different. If the case is strong, then the jury will convict, regardless of how long the trial went, or they will hang or even acquit, but their decision will be based on the evidence and how it was presented.

      • David F. Snyder says:

        He’s been holding that docket (for mental health cases) on Wednesdays since 2011. Why change that just for Trump?

        Sources (AP News)
        https:// apnews.com/article/trump-hush-money-criminal-trial-judge-merchan-c227f5eab200cccffb19ed931b4dac92
        Scroll far down to the last section, titled ‘A DIFFERENT LENS’

        • bmaz says:

          Because that is what judges do…they manage their calendar for trials. You think he has never missed a Wednesday ever? Come on. And it is not for Trump, it is for the jury.

        • David F. Snyder says:

          Well, just like people, I imagine some judges are more rigid (or more disciplined) than others. In this case, we don’t know why he stuck with Wednesdays, but I doubt it was for his convenience. Ranking the needs of the court-system-bound mentally ill above the jury or Trump is the signs of a mensch as far as I’m concerned.

  18. Zinsky123 says:

    As one ages, you begin to see more clearly the foolishness of your own youth and the tendency of some young smart people to blunder on and use brash language to hide their lack of experience when they encounter an unfamiliar subject. I get the distinct impression that is what we are seeing with Aileen Cannon. I think she is not so much partisan as being out of her depth and not having the personal humility to acknowledge that.

    • dopefish says:

      That doesn’t explain why all of her actions just happen to favor the defendant, and all of her complaints and scolding happen to be targeted at the prosecutors.

      By this point there is certainly the appearance of bias. Whether its conscious bias or not, to laypeople looking on it does not look like the prosecutors will get a fair chance to try their case in her courtroom.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      That seems credulous. Cannon’s purportedly youthful errors all favor Trump and rake the prosecutor over the coals. Were your take correct, that would be an unlikely outcome.

    • Tarrforme says:

      If Biden was the defendant, not Trump, and Cannon was making the same youthful decisions, seemingly for Biden, I wonder if you would feel the same?

      • Rayne says:

        How much suspension of belief is required for this reversed scenario?

        Such a scenario just wouldn’t happen. Just as Biden wouldn’t do a metric shit ton of corrupt stuff Trump has done, Biden wouldn’t appoint a jurist like Cannon to begin with.

        It’s not her youth, and her experience in South Florida as an assistant federal prosecutor certainly should have informed her better.

        • Tarrforme says:

          My point being, because it’s Trump, many here, including you, think that every single ruling should go against him.

          We can’t let one defendant tear down the justice system.

          Don’t be so sure either, that there aren’t some local DA’s out there in republican districts, taking notes from Fanni, Letitia and Alvin, on how to indict Biden on fraud and corruption as well.

        • wa_rickf says:

          Pretty sure ol’ Joe would never call any SecState, and request said SecState “to find x-tens of thousands” of votes to overturn that state’s factual election results.

          Ol’ Joe cares more about democracy than to pull a criminal stunt like that.

        • bmaz says:

          To Tarrforme:

          “Don’t be so sure either, that there aren’t some local DA’s out there in republican districts, taking notes from Fanni, Letitia and Alvin, on how to indict Biden on fraud and corruption as well.”

          Anybody “taking notes” from those three jackasses should be removed from office immediately for incompetence.

        • wa_rickf says:

          Perhaps GA AG Chris Carr ought to have investigated this clearly obvious attempt of election interference crime of pressing the SecState to change the vote count.

          Carr most likely didn’t investigate because of Trump’s (R) by his name.

          Indeed taking notes on how to investigate election crime would be good for Mr. Carr instead of turning a blind eye to the entire shenanigan.

          How is turning a blind eye and not upholding the oath of office of protecting the public interest of the state and its people, not as corrupt as the person asking for the votes count change?

        • Rayne says:

          Reply to wa_rickf
          May 27, 2024 at 10:44 pm

          Carr was a member of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA). He had a conflict of interest, which is putting it mildly since he may have been directly involved in RAGA’s efforts to encourage MAGA supporters to participate in the January 6 insurrection. We should be asking why Carr hasn’t been charged himself; did he flip?


          Would it be better if the state AG brought charges? Sure — but the AG’s office was corrupt and Georgia’s law enforcement still needed to investigate and prosecute persons who violated GA’s state laws and harassed poll workers.

        • bmaz says:

          Or, perhaps, some crimes ought be dealt with by a federal prosecutor and not some ladder climbing local yokel DA like Willis, who was never so designated by Carr nor anybody else.

      • Ithaqua0 says:

        With respect to “… because it’s Trump, many here, including you, think that every single ruling should go against him.” Not so! But we do think that *some* of the non-trivial rulings should have gone against him, simply by the laws of probability. How likely is it that a prosecutor with Jack Smith’s experience would screw up, over and over again, and the defense… never? In many cases, the legal commenters on this site have pointed out delays and rulings that are hard to justify – albeit with some disagreement – and those all seem to favor the defense. If it was naught but inexperience, at least *some* of them should have favored the prosecution.

        • bmaz says:

          Why? Every benefit of the doubt should go to the accused. And most here would argue that such a view is not prevalent enough. Except Trump.

  19. dopefish says:

    Wow… Trump’s attorneys have filed their reply, and its an aggressive one…

    I’m not a lawyer, but it feels like Team Trump is just leaning into Cannon’s demonstrated tendency to pick on the prosecution in this case. They accuse SCO of a variety of misconduct and bad faith, hoping to stir up some controversy and gum up the works a bit. Feels like they’re just flinging spaghetti hoping any of it will stick. Cannon has been pretty friendly to them so far, so I guess they aren’t taking much of a risk.

    For the reasons set forth below, in light of the Office’s blatant violation of Local Rule 88.9 and related warnings from the Court, the Court should strike the Motion, make civil contempt findings as to all government attorneys who participated in the decision to file the Motion without meaningful conferral, and impose sanctions after holding an evidentiary hearing […]

    I’m quite interested to see what actual lawyers here think of this filing.

    [Edit: here’s the link to the SCO’s request to gag Trump, if you want to read it side-by-side with Trump’s reply]

    • dopefish says:

      Apologies, this is a bit long, but I want to contrast one paragraph from each filing, as it seems to me like Team Trump engaged forcefully with all of SCO’s arguments except the ones they actually made.

      Prosecutors, in Friday’s filing (page 2):

      Trump, however, has distorted the standard inclusion of the policy limiting the use of deadly force by mischaracterizing it as a claim that the FBI “WAS AUTHORIZED TO SHOOT ME,” was “just itching to do the unthinkable,” and was “locked & loaded ready to take me out & put my family in danger.” Exhibit 1. These deceptive and inflammatory claims expose the law enforcement professionals who are involved in this case to unjustified and unacceptable risks: they invite the sort of threats and harassment that have occurred when other participants in legal proceedings against Trump have been targeted by his invective. Those risks have the potential to undermine the integrity of the proceedings as well as jeopardize the safety of law enforcement.

      Defense attorneys in this reply (page 13):

      That Smith is, once again, attacking President Trump’s protected campaign speech is conclusively established by the fact that the Special Counsel’s Office attached a campaign email to the Motion. Once disfavored, but now in vogue for prosecutors driven by political animus against President Trump, gag orders reflect an extremely serious threat to our constitutional traditions—especially when they are applied to political candidates. The Motion goes one step further, however, in seeking to condition President Trump’s liberty on his compliance with the views of Smith, Bratt, Harbach, and the other self-appointed Thought Police regarding what constitutes fair argument to the American people by the leading candidate in the 2024 presidential application. In that regard, the Motion is an unprecedented application, and the abuses that it reflects are manifest. If and when there is an appropriate time, we will forcefully address the Motion on the merits.

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