The Justice Department asked an appeals court last week to do an end run around the Florida federal judge that keeps contorting the law in favor of former President Trump.
The DOJ’s move has infuriated the former President, who complained to the same court on Monday that speeding up the case at all would damage him — with more bluster that he faces an investigation from his “political opponent.”
Federal prosecutors on Friday asked the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to invalidate an order from U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon for the Southern District of Florida, a Trump appointee, installing a special master in the case.
That independent arbiter — U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie for the Eastern District of New York — was hand-picked by Trump after Cannon took the unheard of step of halting the DOJ’s pre-indictment investigation into records that Trump stashed at Mar-a-Lago after his presidency ended. The 11th Circuit stayed that order as it applied to classified records.
Trump landed the special master he wanted, but it didn’t solve his problems: Dearie issued an order mandating that Trump would have to submit proof in court for his claims that the FBI planted or altered records at Mar-a-Lago.
Cannon fixed that for Trump last week, issuing a surprise order that overruled Dearie, telling him he needed to move slower than he had planned to, and gave Trump more time to drag out the proceedings.
That brings us up to last week, when the DOJ asked the Eleventh Circuit to do away with the special master altogether, saying in a Friday filing that Cannon’s actions threatened to seriously delay the investigation.
“Absent such resolution by this Court, the special master proceedings could result in prolonged litigation, including through seriatim appeals to the district court from reports and recommendations and other rulings issued by the special master,” prosecutors wrote.
Trump shot back on Monday in a bluster-filled filing, saying that the case should proceed on a normal schedule. That would result in oral arguments in the matter being held in January 2023 — months after the August search warrant was executed.
“Finally, the extraordinary circumstances herein presented — an investigation of the 45th President by the administration of his political rival — would countenance against any rush to judgment. Indeed, the public interest is served best by transparent and thorough consideration of all the issues,” Trump’s attorneys wrote. “The Government has not and cannot possibly articulate any real risk of loss or harm resulting from a more deliberative process.”