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On Friday, POLITICO's Kyle Cheney reported that the Justice Department is moving to appeal Trump-appointed Judge Aileen Cannon's order for a special master to review the documents obtained in the search of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago country club in Palm Beach, Florida.
The DOJ already appealed to the Eleventh Circuit for, and won, a narrow carveout of the 100 documents officially marked classified from Cannon's order, exempting those documents from the special master review. However, they argue in a new filing, the broader special master review still hampers a major criminal investigation.
"An expedited appeal would serve the interests of justice," said the filing. "Base on the district court's orders thus far, the government is barred from accessing all of the materials except those with classification markings recovered in August pursuant to a lawful search warrant — and it may continue to be barred from doing so until mid-December or later."
This order, the DOJ argued, means that "the government is ... unable to examine records that were commingled with materials bearing classification markings, including records that may shed light on, for example, how the materials bearing classification markings were transferred to Plaintiff's residence, how they were stored, and who may have accessed them." These documents, the filing added, may also reveal evidence of crimes unrelated to classified information, like obstruction and removal of government records.
According to Cheney, prosecutors discussed this appeal with Trump attorney Christopher M. Kise, who has said the former president opposes the relief sought by the DOJ.
Cannon has come under fire for a series of highly partisan decisions, including one that puts on hold a request by the special master, Senior Judge Raymond Dearie of Brooklyn, for Trump's legal team to certify that the FBI's inventory of property seized pursuant to the search warrant is accurate.
The two will appear onstage at 7 p.m. Central time Friday at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg.
The debate will be on local Nexstar television stations across the state, and The Texas Tribune will livestream the debate here.
Viewers may see a black box before the event begins.
The election is Nov. 8, and early voting starts Oct. 24. O’Rourke is lagging behind Abbott in the polls but is within single-digit margins.
The feed is courtesy of KXAN-TV.
Putin delivered his 'most unhinged speech yet' -- but he's 'likely more terrified than anyone': foreign policy expert
On Friday, writing for The Atlantic, foreign policy commentator and former Naval War College professor Tom Nichols laid into Vladimir Putin for his "most unhinged speech yet," in which he declared eastern portions of Ukraine his after a sham referendum in which Ukrainians were forced to "vote" to join Russia at gunpoint.
"Putin’s rant was meant to make the world quail in fear," wrote Nichols. "In reality, Putin is likely more terrified than anyone right now: He’s a Russian dictator losing a war of aggression, and he knows how that could end for him. In his speech, he justified the war in Ukraine using everything from the boundaries of ancient Russia to what he sees as the illegitimate dissolution of the Soviet Union. With sheer brass, he then complained about Western colonialism and human-rights violations — this, from the leader of a country with a long and bloody history, from the tsars to Stalin and beyond, of enslaving and murdering millions."
Putin did not stop there, citing a laundry list of imagined grievances against the West, including explicit U.S. right-wing culture wars.
"Addressing the regime in Kyiv and 'their real bosses in the West,' Putin dove into a steaming vat of paranoia, grandiosity, and inferiority, a stew whose toxic fumes have always permeated the Kremlin," wrote Nichols. "He claimed that the West hates 'Russian philosophy and thought,' as if people in Washington and London spend a lot of time thinking about any of that. He fulminated about trans people — almost certainly hoping that the usual useful idiots in the right-wing American press will pick up on it — and referred to the 'overthrow of faith and traditional values' in the West as equivalent to 'Satanism.'"
According to Nichols, Putin is "trying to rally the most retrograde segments of Russian society while seeking to split the West with his usual rhubarb about defending Christian values."
And in order to recast his illegal invasion as a defense of the Russian homeland, he has "turned occupied Ukrainian territory into 'Russia' and magically transformed subjugated Ukrainians into “Russians.'"
"We can’t let him get away with it," concluded Nichols. "We didn’t stand down in the face of the Soviet system that created this gangster, and we should not stand down now. As NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said today, Ukraine has every right to recover its own territory and free its people. If Putin’s position is that this is cause for an even wider and more reckless conflict, then it is his choice, not ours."