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Judge Signals ‘Preliminary’ Intent to Side with Trump’s Lawyers After Mar-a-Lago Raid

The White House from Washington, DC, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

On Saturday a federal District judge in Florida signed she is inclined to side with Donald Trump’s legal team’s request a special master be appointed to review the materials recovered from the FBI’s recent raid of the former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence.

On Aug. 8th, the FBI raided former president Trump’s residence to recover sensitive materials for the National Archives.

However, instead of fighting against U.S. District Judge Bruce Reinhart, the judge who approved the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant, Trump’s league team filed a motion for  District Judge Aileen M. Cannon to appoint a special master.

Law and Crime reports:

On Saturday evening, Judge Cannon replied that she was inclined to grant the request for a special master due to the “exceptional circumstances presented” by the events at Mar-a-Lago.  However, that inclination, she said, was “subject to an opportunity” for additional arguments by both sides, including the U.S. Government.

Next came a series of specific demands for “the defendant” — the U.S. Government.  Judge Cannon ordered the government to “publicly file a Response” to Trump’s list of demands on or before Tues., Aug. 30.

Additionally, Judge Cannon ordered the government to file under seal a “more detailed” list of the property seized during the Aug. 8 search and a “particularized notice indicating the status of Defendant’s review of the seized property, including any filter review conducted by the privilege review team and any dissemination of materials beyond the privilege review team.”

The documents requested by Judge Cannon must, per her order and “accordance with Rule 53,” explain the parties’ “respective and particularized positions on the duties and responsibilities of a prospective special master, along with any other considerations pertinent to the appointment of a special master in this case.”

Special Masters have been appointed to review allegedly privileged materials in other high-profile cases, including a search of Rudy Giuliani’s office and home.

Judge Criticizes DOJ and FBI as He Rejects Argument to Keep Affidavit Under Wraps

Marine One lifts-off after returning President Donald J. Trump to Mar-a-Lago Friday, March 29, 2019, following his visit to the 143-mile Herbert Hoover Dike near Canal Point, Fla., that surrounds Lake Okeechobee. The visit was part of an infrastructure inspection of the dike, which is part of the Kissimmee-Okeechobee Everglades system, and reduces impacts of flooding for areas of south Florida. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian) [Photo Credit: The White House from Washington, DC, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons]

A federal judge criticized the FBI and DOJ as he rejected a DOJ argument to keep the affidavit for the search warrant at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago under wraps.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart said the DOJ did not meet the government’s required burden of proof to keep the document sealed, The Daily Caller reports.

Reinhart wrote in his ruling that the government had a to show if it has a compelling governmental interest and the denial of access is “narrowly tailored to serve that interest.” 

The DOJ argued that the unsealing “would jeopardize the integrity of its ongoing criminal investigation,” and that there were privacy concerns with unsealing it.

In response, unsealing the document would “unsealing the Affidavit would promote public understanding of historically significant events. This factor weighs in favor of disclosure.”

However, Reinhart has the government did show a compelling interest in not unsealing the whole affidavit but that there was an alternative between unsealing the whole thing or not unsealing anything.

Reinhart has given the agency until August 25th to propose the redactions of the document they would like.

[READ NEXT: Trump Makes Fun of Failed CNN Host and Liz Cheney]

Trump Finds Time to Make Fun of Stelter Amid FBI Probe

From the session "The War at Home: Trump and the Mainstream Media". [Photo Credit: nrkbeta, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons]

Despite emotions running high over an FBI probe into documents President Trump has in his possession the former president found time to make fun of his biggest critic at CNN, Brian Stelter.

Stelter was recently fired from the network amid declining ratings and a realization that he is no longer relevant.

The network is also attempting to make a move to become more neutral and Stelter, who was the media critic, chose to consistently criticize conservative media.

Mediaite reports:

“Brian Stelter of Fake News CNN got fired because he lied, and lied, and lied – ABOUT ME. May he REST IN PEACE!” Trump wrote, ironically misstating the circumstances of Stelter’s departure from the network.

“CNN will end its Reliable Sources program on Sunday, August 21st. As a result Brian Stelter will leave the company. We appreciate his contributions to the network and wish him well as he embarks on new endeavors,” a CNN spokesperson told Mediaite in a statement this week.

Next, Stelter earned a place of honor beside January 6 Committee Vice-Chair Rep. Liz Cheney, because they have roughly equivalent roles in Trump’s life.

“Trivia question: Who’s got less charisma, Brian Stelter or Liz Cheney. I say Liz Cheney, because Stelter could have gotten more votes than she did the other night in Wyoming – She lost by 40!” Trump wrote.

Despite Trump being in a battle with the FBI and other legal battles, the classic Trump always shines through.

We’ expect nothing less from one of the best verbal sparers ever to do it.

[READ NEXT: DOJ ADMITS Trump was Right]

Former Fox News Editor Blames Trump for Firing

Looking east towards 6th Avenue along north (48th Street) side of Fox News building on a snowy afternoon. [Photo Credit: Jim.henderson, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons]

Former Fox News Editor Chris Stirewalt was fired following the 2020 election.

Stirewalt famously called Arizona for Joe Biden in what many said was a premature decision.

Now, in a new book Stirewalt is criticizing former President Trump, and blaming him, at least in part, for his firing, DNYUZ reports.

Stirewalt wrote, “I got canned after very vocal and very online viewers — including the then-president of the United States — became furious when our Decision Desk was the first to project that Joe Biden would win the former G.O.P. stronghold of Arizona in 2020.”

Trump was furious at Stirewalt for calling the state too early.

A ratings decline followed after Trump urged his supporters to watch other networks.

But the decision to call Arizona was never reversed an ultimately turned out to be the right one.

[READ NEXT: New Accusations Hit Member of Trump’s Family]

Trump Says FBI Was After Documents That Would Exonerate Him: REPORT

Former President of the United States Donald Trump speaking with attendees at the 2022 Student Action Summit at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida. [Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons]

A new report from The Daily Caller indicates that former President Trump believes the FBI was after documents that would exonerate him.

The report says that the FBI was seeking documents that Trump believes would exonerate him from Russian collusion claims.

We reported yesterday that the unit that conducted the raid was the same one involved in investigating the Trump-Russia hoax. [READ MORE: FBI Unit Investigating Trump has a Bias Problem]

Along with the Russia evidence Trump also believes that the FBI was looking for election-related evidence.

The FBI also collected passports from Trump which Trump claimed were stolen.

The passports were outside the scope of the warrant and the DOJ admitted that the FBI overstepped the authority granted to them in the search warrant.

The passports are reportedly being returned.

[READ NEXT: DOJ Admits FBI Violated Trump’s Rights]

FBI Unit Who Raided Trump Same as One That Ran Trump-Russia Investigation

FBI Headquarters Washington DC [Photo Credit: I, Aude, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons]

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.That is how the old saying goes, and apparently it is the motto of a particular FBI unit.

The FBI Unit that oversaw the Trump-Russia hoax investigation and is the focus of Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation into the abuses of power by the Bureau during Trump’s tenure, is also the one that conducted the Mar-a-Lago raid, Real Clear Investigations reports.

The counterintelligence division let the investigation into Russian “collusion” title “Crossfire Hurricane” which was led by disgraced former FBI agent Peter Strzok.

Now the unit is leading the investigation into Trump, from Washington, not the field office in Miami.

But one member of Crossfire Hurricane is still involved. Key member Brian Auten still works politically sensitive investigations including the probe into Hunter Biden’s laptop.

RCI continues:

Auten has been allowed to work on sensitive cases even though he has been under internal investigation since 2019, when Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz referred him for disciplinary review for his role in vetting a Hillary Clinton campaign-funded dossier used by the FBI to obtain a series of wiretap warrants to spy on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Horowitz singled out Auten for cutting a number of corners in the verification process and even allowing information he knew to be incorrect slip into warrant affidavits and mislead the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court.

In congressional testimony this month, Wray confirmed that “a number of” former Crossfire Hurricane team members are still employed at the bureau while undergoing disciplinary review. In the meantime, Wray has walled off the former Russiagate investigators only from participating in FISA wiretap applications, according to the sources.

Auten could also be part of the team helping to determine whether the documents seized pose a national security risk, and whick ones fall outside of the scope of the investigation and need to be returned.

The FBI has already made the massive mistake of violating the search warrant and stealing Trump’s passports, which are being returned due to them being unrelated documents.

Another top counterintelligence official is a Democrat donor.

Sources told RealClearInvestigations that Jay Bratt, the top counterintelligence official in Justice’s national security division, who happens to be a Democratic National Committee donor, has been coordinating the Mar-a-Lago investigation with Alan Kohler, who heads the FBI’s counterintelligence division.

The connection between the Russia Hoax and the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago appear to go deeper with all of the agents under investigation still working for the bureau if they decided to stay.

[READ NEXT: Trump to Smoke This Biden Official]

John Bolton Says AG Garland Doesn’t Stand a Chance Against Trump

Marine One lifts-off after returning President Donald J. Trump to Mar-a-Lago Friday, March 29, 2019, following his visit to the 143-mile Herbert Hoover Dike near Canal Point, Fla., that surrounds Lake Okeechobee. The visit was part of an infrastructure inspection of the dike, which is part of the Kissimmee-Okeechobee Everglades system, and reduces impacts of flooding for areas of south Florida. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian) [Photo Credit: The White House from Washington, DC, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons]

The legal reasoning of the Department of Justice isn’t too outlandish according to John Bolton, the former Trump National Security Advisor told CNN.

The problem is politically Trump is going to “slaughter” Garland, according to Bolton.

The Daily Caller reports, that Bolton told CNN that Trump doesn’t care about normal procedures, and Garland having to follow normal procedures of the DOJ is leaving him vulnerable.

So vulnerable, Bolton called him a lamb.

Botlon said, “If we were in a Colosseum with two gladiators, one of them Donald Trump, the other Merrick Garland, we’d be about to witness the slaughter of the lambs. The Justice Department understandably wants to follow its normal procedures. It’s facing an adversary who couldn’t care less about the normal procedures.”

Bolton also criticized the department’s PR strategy. Saying the need to do more to explain what they are up to in investigating Trump.

So far the department is “not doing enough” to justify why they needed to search Mar-a-Lago, according to Bolton.

Another big issue is that the DOJ and FBI violated Trump’s rights but violating the search warrant. The FBI overstepped its authority abd took documents that were attorney-client privileged and not considered presidential records.

As we reported yesterday, the FBI took three of Trump’s passports wrongfully.

[READ NEXT: FBI Violated Trump’s Rights in Terrible Way]

Trump Said FBI ‘Stole’ His Passports, DOJ Admits He’s Right

Former President of the United States Donald Trump speaking with attendees at the 2022 Student Action Summit at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida. [Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons]

The Department of Justice has admitted that the FBI acted outside of its authority authorized by the court.

Then news comes after President Trump Announced on his social media app Truth Social that the FBI stole his passports.

“Wow! In the raid by the FBI of Mar-a-Lago, they stole three Passports (one expired), along with everything else,” Trump said.

The Daily Caller reports that John Solomon of just the news has been informed by the Department of Justice that the FBI acted improperly.

Solomon has confirmed that the passports will be returned to President Trump due to those documents being outside of the scope of the subpoena.

The FBI was reportedly looking for Presidential records. It seems like the most low level agent would see that the records do not include passports. So, the FBI has some explaining to do to show this wasn’t malicious.

[READ NEXT: Trump Responds to Threats Against Law Enforcement]

Trump Responds to Threats Against Federal Law Enforcement

[Photo Credit: The White House from Washington, DC, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons]

Since the weekend, a number of officials and media personalities, including Fox News hosts, have called on former President Donald Trump to call for an “end to the violent rhetoric” expressed against the FBI. (RELATED: Gunman Killed After Trying to Enter FBI Building)

On Monday morning’s episode of “Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy said Trump, “a great supporter of law enforcement” should help tamp down on the rhetoric “against the FBI because the FBI was simply doing what the DOJ asked them to do.”

Co-hosts Brian Kilmeade and Ainsley Earhardt called out the FBI, echoing the widely held belief about the Bureau’s current political biases, but they also condemned any violence and threats of violence with Earhardt saying “no one is for the violence of FBI agents.”

Doocy in turn recommended that people frustrated by alleged hypocrisy between the treatment of Republicans and Democrats by federal law enforcement recognize that U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland was the man behind the Mar-a-Lago search warrant. (RELATED: Judge Unseals Mar-a-Lago Search Warrant – Trump Under Criminal Investigation)

Hours after the “Fox & Friends” trio issued a call for cooler heads to prevail, former President Trump told Fox News’ Brooke Singman he “will do whatever” he can to “help the country” and bring the temperature down or “terrible things are going to happen.”

The Daily Wire reports:

“People are so angry at what is taking place,” Trump told Fox News Digital. “Whatever we can do to help—because the temperature has to be brought down in the country. If it isn’t, terrible things are going to happen.”

Trump referenced the “years of fake witch hunts and phony Russia, Russia, Russia schemes and scams,” emphasizing that “nothing happens to those people who perpetuate that—nothing happens with them.”

He added: “And then they break into a president’s house—a sneak attack where it was totally—no one ever thought a thing like this would happen.”

Trump also said he told the DOJ he would do whatever he could to help. It is not immediately clear what kind of help Trump offered the DOJ, and the former president’s team did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Before the DOJ’s warrant was unsealed, Trump used an intermediary to deliver a similar message to Attorney General Garland, saying according to a person with firsthand knowledge that “The country is on fire. What can I do to reduce the heat?”

According to Business Insider, it’s unclear if the message ever reached Garland.

The attempt to deliver the message preceded Garland’s Thursday press conference where he announced DOJ’s decision to unseal the search warrant. Trump had previously demanded the search warrant be released, even though he had a copy of it and the ability to do so himself.

Around the same time as Garland’s speech, but hours before DOJ unsealed the records, Breitbart published a leaked version of the Mar-a-Lago search warrant — including the names of the FBI agents who signed their names on the property receipts.

The version released by DOJ had all of the same information but redacted the agents’ names. The FBI is currently grappling with an “unprecedented” number of threats made against its agents.

The identity of the leaker to Breitbart, a media outlet long managed by Steve Bannon, remains unknown. Breitbart was roundly criticized for its decision to doxx the agents.

Hours later, Trump’s social media platform, Truth Social, sent a push alert to its members with the article that included the unredacted search warrant.

A day later, police killed a man armed with an AR-15 and a nail gun who attempted to breach an FBI office in Cincinnati shortly after posting “Kill [the FBI] on sight” on Truth Social.

The post has since been removed by moderators.

READ NEXT: Trump Benefits From Announcing FBI Raid First: Politics, Media Experts >>

Former Trump Adviser Sued by Biden’s Justice Department

[Photo Cred: Office of the President of the United States, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons]

President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against former President Donald Trump’s trade adviser, Peter Navarro.

The lawsuit alleges Navarro used personal email accounts to conduct official White House business, “constituting presidential records.” The DOJ also accused the former Trump adviser of violating federal record-keeping laws when he didn’t copy the emails into an official government account or respond to the National Archives requests for the messages.

“Mr. Navarro is wrongfully retaining Presidential records that are the property of the United States, and which constitute part of the permanent historical record of the prior administration,” the lawsuit states. “Mr. Navarro’s wrongful retention of Presidential records violates District of Columbia law, federal common law, and the [Presidential Records Act].”

The Justice Department said officials initially approached Navarro about handing over the missing emails, but he refused “absent a grant of immunity for the act of returning such documents.”

Navarro’s attorneys, John Irving and John Rowley denied withholding the messages.

“As detailed in our recent letter to the Archives, Mr. Navarro instructed his lawyers to preserve all such records, and he expects the government to follow standard processes in good faith to allow him to produce records,” Navarro’s lawyers told POLITICO. “Instead, the government chose to file its lawsuit today.”

The civil lawsuit was assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, an appointee of former President Bill Clinton.

The lawsuit marks the latest in a string of public battles between the former Trump adviser and the U.S. government. In June, Navarro was charged with contempt of Congress after he refused to comply with the January 6th panel’s subpoena requests.