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DOJ Pauses Investigation as Judge Grants Trump Request for Special Master

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Gavel via Wikimedia Commons Image

A federal judge has approved former President Donald Trump’s request a special master be appointed to review materials seized during the FBI’s raid of Mar-a-Lago.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon approved the request on Monday after the former president’s legal team and Justice Department officials met over the request in court last week. (Related: Florida Judge Responds to Trump Teams Request to Appoint Special Master to Review Seized Materials)

Judge Cannon said a written ruling will come “in due course.”

The Daily Wire reports:

“Pursuant to the Court’s equitable jurisdiction and inherent supervisory authority, and mindful of the need to ensure at least the appearance of fairness and integrity under the extraordinary circumstances presented, Plaintiff’s Motion [ECF No. 1] is GRANTED IN PART,” Cannon wrote in her order. “The Court hereby authorizes the appointment of a special master to review the seized property for personal items and documents and potentially privileged material subject to claims of attorney-client and/or executive privilege.”

The Florida judge’s order also temporarily halts the Justice Department’s investigation of the documents.

During last week’s court hearing the DOJ argued Trump’s request for a special master was “unnecessary” and released shocking photos of the recovered documents.

“Furthermore, appointment of a special master would impede the government’s ongoing criminal investigation and—if the special master were tasked with reviewing classified documents—would impede the Intelligence Community from conducting its ongoing review of the national security risk that improper storage of these highly sensitive materials may have caused and from identifying measures to rectify or mitigate any damage that improper storage caused,” the filing said. “Lastly, this case does not involve any of the types of circumstances that have warranted appointment of a special master to review materials potentially subject to attorney-client privilege.” 

Trump’s legal team has argued some records protected by attorney-client privilege and executive privilege, another claim the DOJ has heavily pushed against.

Trump Suggests CNN ‘Go Conservative’ Offers to Help Squash Fox News

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    CNN Headquarters via Wikimedia Commons

    Former President Trump is reigniting his feud with Fox News. Over the weekend Trump called out the right-leaning cable news network for “pushing Democrats and the Democrat agenda” on TRUTH Social. However, while Trump is no stranger to fighting with Fox News his next message is what truly surprised his supporters.

    Trump suggested that far-left news network CNN, which is in the midst of a massive re-branding under new President Chris Licht, “go conservative” and he even offered to help. In his TRUTH message, Trump said the move rightward would likely be a “goldmine” for CNN, but that doesn’t mean Licht is ready to take any business advice from Trump.

    According to Mediaite:

    Wow! Fox News is really pushing the Democrats and the Democrat agenda. Gets worse every single day. So many Dems interviewed with only softball questions, then Republican counterparts get creamed. RINO Karl Rove is unwatchable, very negative, and on all the time – Has a big record of losing! Not an easy place to be as a Republican, especially with all of the “pervert” purchased ads. If “low ratings” CNN ever went Conservative, they would be an absolute gold mine, and I would help them to do so!

    Trump’s taking issue with “RINO Karl Rove” is nothing new. His openly calling out the programming of Fox News isn’t new either. However, it comes at a time when Fox News’s editorial hand is being somewhat forced by President Joe Biden’s Thursday night speech that called out the extremist nature of MAGA Republicans.

    Fox News opinion programming will need to decide whether they are throwing in with the MAGA side of the GOP or will be more interested in a more traditional Republican platform and personality. We know what Trump and his followers want, but the decision will likely come from following what presents a bigger audience and greater revenue windfall.

    Amanda Head: California Isn’t Ready for Green Energy-This is Proof

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    Amanda Head

    As California experiences a heat wave residents are being pressured to make unreasonable sacrifices that prove Governor Gavin Newsom’s green energy plan is destined to fail.

    Watch Amanda break it down HERE:

    Yes, a Trump-DeSantis Ticket Could Actually Happen

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    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]

    Despite this year’s midterms only being weeks away plenty of Americans are already looking forward to the next presidential election and the idea of a potential Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis ticket has most Republicans thrilled.

    It’s no secret that the 45th President is seriously considering running in 2024, he’s all but confirmed the fact. However, another rising star has captured the hearts of many conservatives in recent years that could derail Trump’s plans. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is widely regarded as the favorite to receive the Republican nomination if Trump doesn’t run, and some analysts say he stands a solid chance of beating out Trump for the nomination if the two became competitors.

    Some Republicans have begun to wonder if Trump ultimately does run for president who his choice for vice president would be, but one fact is for certain it won’t be Mike Pence. Conservatives have pointed to DeSantis as being a potential VP pick, a move that could avoid a divisive primary that could cost the GOP the White House.

    Some experts have cautioned against a Trump-DeSantis ticket over concerns that the 12th Amendment might stand in the way since it seems to suggest that two candidates from the same state cannot run on the presidential ticket. Trump and DeSantis are each currently Florida residents.

    The language of the amendment reads: “[t]he Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves.”

    However, based on historic precedent, there’s nothing standing in Trump’s way to selecting DeSantis as his running mate. During the 2000 election concerns arose when Governor George W. Bush of Texas selected former congressman Dick Cheney as his running mate because he maintained residency in Texas during his business career.

    RealClearFlorida reports:

    Cheney moved to Wyoming four days before Bush selected him as his running mate, and Bush/Cheney went on to victory. Liberals attempted a legal challenge on the residency issue, but courts and the legal community soundly rejected it. Cheney’s move to Wyoming put an end to the issue. The courts reasoned that Cheney had fulfilled the residency requirements by doing so.

    The Bush/Cheney ticket is arguably a reverse version of a Trump/DeSantis ticket: Bush and DeSantis were both sitting governors, and thus ineligible to move. Cheney and Trump are businessmen with deep ties to other states. Some would say that Cheney had a major advantage that Trump does not. Cheney’s previous state of residence, Wyoming, loved him. Trump’s previous state, New York, is vigorously pursuing legal charges against him.

    But there is no reason Trump would need to move to New York. He could move to Tennessee, Nebraska, Wyoming, or any other state that would react favorably to his residency. It does not matter that Trump has no previous affiliation with those states.

    It’s worth noting that U.S. case law has opposed extraneous residency requirements for people running for Congress. This flexibility has allowed people like Alan Keyes and Hillary Clinton to move to new states to run for office. True, this case law has concerned states creating extra laws, as opposed to interpreting the 12th Amendment; but given that the judiciary has used the Constitution to strike down these laws, it is unlikely that the same judiciary would hold for extensive residency requirements to prevent someone from getting elected president or vice president.

    Does this mean Trump will ultimately pick DeSantis as his running mate? Not by any means but it does mean he has the opportunity to build a ticket the conservative base is already energized to vote for. But first, Trump has to reveal if he plans to run for president…and now we wait.

    Florida Judge Responds to Trump Team Request

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    Gavel via Wikimedia Commons Image

    Florida Judge Aileen Cannon declined to issue a ruling after hearing arguments from Donald Trump and the Department of Justice regarding whether a special master should be appointed to independently review the documents recovered in the FBI’s August 8 raid of Mar-a-Lago.

    The Hill reported that Judge Cannon said a written ruling will come “in due course.”

    On Sunday, Judge Cannon said she was inclined to grant Trump’s request for a special master to independently review the seized materials due to the “exceptional circumstances presented” by the events at Mar-a-Lago.

    Cannon’s remarks triggered a harsh response from the Department of Justice in a Wednesday filing. In the filing, the DOJ picked apart Trump’s request a special master be appointed, calling the move “unnecessary” and even released photos of the recovered documents. (RELATED: Justice Department Responds to Trump’s Special Master Request)

    “Furthermore, appointment of a special master would impede the government’s ongoing criminal investigation and—if the special master were tasked with reviewing classified documents—would impede the Intelligence Community from conducting its ongoing review of the national security risk that improper storage of these highly sensitive materials may have caused and from identifying measures to rectify or mitigate any damage that improper storage caused,” the filing said. “Lastly, this case does not involve any of the types of circumstances that have warranted appointment of a special master to review materials potentially subject to attorney-client privilege.” 

    The DOJ also criticized Trump’s claim that the seized materials were protected by executive privilege.

    “The former President cites no case—and the government is aware of none—in which executive privilege has been successfully invoked to prohibit the sharing of documents within the Executive Branch,” it said. 

    Wednesday night, Trump’s legal team filed a last-minute response to the DOJ. Throughout the filing, Trump’s team argues the National Archives should have expected to find classified material among the documents Trump delivered in January from Mar-a-Lago because they were presidential records. This serves as a definite acknowledgment from Trump that he was in possession of classified material and also torpedoed his previous argument he “declassified everything.”

    Read the late-night filing from Trump below.

    Amanda Head: No, Gavin Newsom Isn’t a Moderate and His Own Family is Turning on him

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    A trust connected to California Governor Gavin Newsom’s in-laws donated $5,000 to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

    Records show that the Siebel Family Revocable Trust, which is run by Kenneth Siebel Jr. and Judith Siebel, the parents of Newsom’s wife, Jennifer Siebel, gave $5,000 to the Friends of Ron DeSantis PAC in early April.

    The Siebel family has a history of making donations to Republican candidates, including Senators Ron Johnson (R-WI), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Josh Hawley (R-MO).

    Watch Amanda break down the drama HERE.

    Trump Reaches Deal with House Oversight Committee on Financial Records

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

    Donald Trump’s attorneys have reached an agreement with the House Oversight and Reform Committee over its years-long battle to obtain the former president’s financial records.

    In 2019, the committee subpoenaed the records as part of a larger investigation to assess if Trump engaged in conflicts of interest, self-dealing, or foreign financial ties. In July three federal judges moved to uphold the 2019 subpoena for the financial records, but with a more narrow scope than Democrats initially sought after.

    According to The Washington Examiner:

    “After numerous court victories, I am pleased that my Committee has now reached an agreement to obtain key financial documents that former President Trump fought for years to hide from Congress,” Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) said in a statement. “After facing years of delay tactics, the Committee has now reached an agreement with the former President and his accounting firm, Mazars USA, to obtain critical documents. These documents will inform the Committee’s efforts to get to the bottom of former President Trump’s egregious conduct and ensure that future presidents do not abuse their position of power for personal gain.”

    The agreement comes after a long-standing legal battle between the committee and Trump, with the former president unsuccessfully attempting to challenge the panel’s subpoena for eight years of financial documents from his accounting firm, Mazars, after his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, accused him of committing fraud while testifying before Congress.

    The notice does not affect Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee’s court battle to obtain Trump’s tax returns.

    New Report Indicates Trump Will Postpone 2024 Campaign Announcement

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    Donald Trump via Gage Skidmore Flickr

    New reports signal Donald Trump is seriously considering delaying his long-anticipated 2024 presidential campaign announcement.

    The delay comes on the heels of a number of high-profile legal and political setbacks that sources close to the matter say have distracted from the potential 2024 announcement. (Related: Department of Justice Publishes Affidavit Used for FBI Raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Resort)

    According to CNN:

    After months of eyeing Labor Day weekend as the target launch date for a 2024 campaign, Trump has spent the past few weeks backing away from that timeline following the FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago estate and an increased panic among Republicans that the party may not be in for the red wave it has long anticipated this November.

    While his timeline could shift again between now and November, the onslaught of political and legal concerns has the former President feeling nervous about prematurely diving into the 2024 primary, according to nine former and current Trump aides and allies who requested anonymity to discuss internal matters.

    Otherwise, advisers say, the former President is more likely to be blamed for potential losses in the midterms if he becomes a candidate for president before November and his legal troubles distract from the bread-and-butter issues most Republicans — but especially those running in competitive races — would prefer to focus on.

    The Republican Party has been predicted for months to sweep this year’s midterms by capitalizing on a series of blunders from the Biden administration such as the botched Afghanistan withdrawal, record inflation rates, and rising crime. However, analysts have recently reported that Republicans are now expected to win by a smaller margin than originally predicted.

    A former Trump campaign aide told the outlet, “There is a direct tie if Trump becomes a campaign ad in November and Republicans lose the Senate, and the last thing he wants is to be blamed.”

    READ NEXT: Ron DeSantis to Campaign for Trump-endorsed Candidates >>

    DOJ Rebukes Trump Team’s Special Master Request in New Filing

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    Donald Trump via Gage Skidmore Flickr

    The U.S. Department of Justice released a filing responding to former President Trump’s request a special master be appointed to review materials obtained from the FBI’s recent Mar-a-Lago raid.

    “Politics cannot be allowed to impact the administration of justice. President Donald J. Trump is the clear frontrunner in the 2024 Republican Presidential Primary and in the 2024 General Election, should he decide to run,” Trump’s lawyers wrote in their request. “Law enforcement is a shield that protects Americans. It cannot be used as a weapon for political purposes.”

    Through the filing, the DOJ picked apart Trump’s arguments that a special master is required starting with Trump’s assertion the documents had been stored in a secure room on the premises.

    The DOJ filing predicted Trump “likely concealed and removed [the documents] from the Storage Room and that efforts were likely taken to obstruct the government’s investigation.”

    The filing also noted that the government was able to develop enough evidence to obtain a warrant beyond the storage room which is where more materials were recovered.

    Fox News reports:

    It continued, “That the FBI, in a matter of hours, recovered twice as many documents with classification markings as the ‘diligent search’ that the former President’s counsel and other representatives had weeks to perform calls into serious question the representations made in the June 3 certification and casts doubt on the extent of cooperation in this matter.”

    The DOJ filing also described Trump’s request for a special master as “unnecessary” alleging the move would “harm national security interests.”

    “Furthermore, appointment of a special master would impede the government’s ongoing criminal investigation and—if the special master were tasked with reviewing classified documents—would impede the Intelligence Community from conducting its ongoing review of the national security risk that improper storage of these highly sensitive materials may have caused and from identifying measures to rectify or mitigate any damage that improper storage caused,” the filing said. “Lastly, this case does not involve any of the types of circumstances that have warranted appointment of a special master to review materials potentially subject to attorney-client privilege.” 

    Following the raid, Trump also accused the DOJ of taking personal items such as passports from Mar-a-Lago. However, in the filing, the DOJ noted that personal effects are not subject to be returned due to the fact their “comingling” with sensitive materials serve as evidence the records were improperly stored. (Related: Trump Said FBI ‘Stole’ His Passports, DOJ Admits He’s Right)

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

    “Of most significant concern was that highly classified records were unfoldered, intermixed with other records, and otherwise unproperly [sic] identified.” Id. (internal quotations omitted). The NARA Referral was made on two bases: evidence that classified records had been stored at the Premises until midJanuary 2022, and evidence that certain pages of Presidential records had been torn up.”

    The DOJ’s filing goes on to dissect Trump’s claim that the seized documents were covered by executive privilege. 

    “The former President cites no case—and the government is aware of none—in which executive privilege has been successfully invoked to prohibit the sharing of documents within the Executive Branch,” it said. 

    The DOJ filing comes on the heels of Judge Aileen M. Cannon’s statement that she is inclined to grant Trump’s request a special master be appointed to independently review the seized materials. (Related: Judge Signals ‘Preliminary’ Intent to Side with Trump’s Lawyers After Mar-a-Lago Raid)

    However, until Judge Cannon officially grants Trump’s request the DOJ is entitled to continue its review of the materials.

    A hearing is scheduled on Thursday to review Trump’s motion.

    The Department’s filing provides the most complete look into the search and seizure of the Trump-related records yet.

    Ex-NYPD Cop Accuses Department of Firing Him Over Support for ‘MAGA Ideals’

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    Anthony Quintano, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

    A former New York Police Department officer has accused the department of violating his First Amendment rights after being fired over of his support for “MAGA ideals” according to a new lawsuit filed in Brooklyn’s Federal Court.

    Salvatore Greco, says he lost his job because of his right-wing political stance and also accused the NYPD of weaponizing his interpersonal relationships with former Donald Trump adviser Roger Stone and Kristin Davis. Greco was filmed attending the Jan. 6th rally however was never accused of entering the capitol building or committing any violence and he was not wearing his badge or carrying a weapon.

    The Hill reports:

    “Unfortunately, Mr. Greco’s case is not unusual in that the department has been engaging in these sorts of ‘political viewpoint’ hit jobs for more than forty (40) years. With these legal claims, Mr. Greco intends to shed light on the institutional problem and hold the city and the other defendants accountable for these actions,” said lawyer Eric Sanders in a statement.

    In January 2021, the suit alleges Internal Affairs received an anonymous letter saying Greco and another cop attended the riots at Capitol Hill and “these officers want to have a civil war in America.” The Bureau launched an investigation and reviewed Greco’s phone, social media, and other personal accounts and eventually filed departmental charges in April, according to the filing.

    The NYPD accused the former cop of “wrongfully and knowingly associating with persons, Roger Jason Stone, Jr., and Kristin M. Davis, reasonably believed to be engaged in, likely to engage in, or to have engaged in criminal activities,” the suit said.

    In his court filing, Mr. Greco accuses the department of using an overly broad statement as a justification for his termination.

    “This rule is ‘overbroad’ and its application is in contravention of the First Amendment and must be stricken,” says the court filing.

    “The action taken against me has cost me my reputation, my job, and my life savings,” Greco said in a statement.”