I just read the synopsis of today’s order by Judge Dearie’s, and I could not be happier. In brief, it’s pretty devastating for team Drumpf.
First let me make a couple admissions:
- When I originally heard about the Mar-a-Lago warrant execution, my first thought was that I hoped the DOJ had requested a Special Master for inclusion in the process, as well as taken measures like meticulously filming the seizure, and allowing independent observers. It was inevitable that Mar-a-Lardo and his conspiracy-loving MAGA followers would be throwing everything they could against the wall to discredit the search, so taking extraordinary measures to preempt attacks on its credibility seemed prudent. So while I loath the biased rulings made by TFG stooge judge Aileen Cannon, I don’t think the idea of a properly utilized Special Master in and of itself is bad.
- I was extremely suspicious of the appointment of Judge Dearie, simply because he was proposed by TFG’s team. I mean, how could you not suspect that The Slobfather had some kind of leverage over him? It’s not like they proposed him because they wanted someone fair and reasonable. It’s still a huge mystery to me what happened there, but I’m happy to say that after the way Dearie has conducted this matter so far, my suspicions have vanished. I’m an avid “courtwatcher” (I listen to Federal Court of Appeals oral arguments for fun — don’t judge me!), and from what I’m seeing Dearie is top notch, we couldn’t ask for more.
While, as noted above, having a Special Master involved can benefit the DOJ/FBI by in effect “vouching” for the integrity of its evidence collection, there is little doubt that’s not what TFG/Cannon had in mind. They saw it as a vehicle to at best delay the investigation, and at worst obstruct it by excluding much of the collected evidence via spurious “legal” claims like Executive Privilege.
The way Dearie is approaching the Special Master assignment appears to be accomplishing everything that benefits the DOJ/FBI, and none of the ultra vires obstruction Benedict Donald and “Come on Aileen” Cannon intended. And today’s order demonstrates that Dearie is doing it with the precision and professionalism of a legal surgeon.
Dearie’s order tells TFG’s lawyers, in legal terms, to PUT UP OR SHUT UP. He masterfully anticipates every obfuscation or innuendo they are likely to spew, and pre-empts them, in some cases even going beyond what’s before him. For example, take the following passage from the order:
No later than September 30, 2022, Plaintiff [TFG] shall submit a declaration or affidavit that includes each of the following factual matters
- A list of any specific items set forth in the Detailed Property Inventory that Plaintiff asserts were not seized from the Premises on August 8, 2022.
- A list of any specific items set forth in the Detailed Property Inventory that Plaintiff asserts were seized from the Premises on August 8, 2022, but as to which Plaintiff asserts that the Detailed Property Inventory’s description of contents or location within the Premises where the item was found is incorrect.
- A detailed list and description of any item that Plaintiff asserts was seized from the Premises on August 8, 2022, but is not listed in the Detailed Property Inventory.
This submission shall be Plaintiff’s final opportunity to raise any factual dispute as to the completeness and accuracy of the Detailed Property Inventory
To translate, this essentially says “Stop shooting off your big mouth -- if you think the FBI/DOJ planted, stole, or mischaracterized evidence, you have a week to put your money where your mouth is, or STFU..forever”
Dearie ain’t playing. And he isn’t suffering Orange Foolius gladly. He’s doing what he should do. Having been put in this position by a disgraceful judge who is not inclined to follow the law, he’s doing the right and legal thing — not allowing classified documents to be disclosed or a legitimate investigation to be upended without evidence or even formal claims of impropriety, on the say-so of a wanna-be dictator and a corrupt sycophant judge who think they can get away with anything. And he’s doing it quickly — on the federal judiciary scale of time, he’s moving at lightning speed.
Many have been nail-biting and legitimately concerned about what would happen with this case vis-à-vis Dearie and the 11th Circuit, as it was positioned to signal a possibly horrific inflection point in our democracy. Well the past 24 hours have been good to us, and Democracy stands to fight another day.