On Thursday's edition of MSNBC's "All In," former federal prosecutor Harry Litman broke down why the latest ruling by Trump-appointed Judge Aileen Cannon in the dispute over the DOJ's investigation of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago doesn't make any sense.
The ruling settles who will act as special master, choosing Senior Judge Raymond Dearie after both Trump's legal team and the DOJ agreed to it — but rejected every request by the DOJ to lift injunctions against moving forward with the investigation, and flatly dismissing complaints by federal investigators that a counterintelligence probe of the classified documents is impossible without giving the FBI access to the material as well.
"When you think about what judges do as resolving the streets — there are two parties that have a dispute, you are district court judge, you have to resolve it," said anchor Chris Hayes. "So the resolution here, right, is that there's gonna be a special master. But I don't even understand what matrix of evaluation this special master is supposed to use with a classified documents. What is he looking for? Like, what is the thing that makes it a Trump document? What could possibly be on it that would make it a not classified document that belongs to the U.S. government? What is he sifting for?"
"No kidding. So, it is not possible," said Litman. "We know this from the Supreme Court, by the way. Even if — all he said is, he could have reclassified when he was president. But he didn't and there is no proof of it, and it is really an important blunder on her part because there is no law about executive privilege and a former president. And here we know already, from the Trump case and the Nixon case, that even if there were, it would certainly yield to the interests of the United States."
Ultimately, said Litman, the ruling is going to torturously drag out the process, ping-ponging complaints and questions back and forth between the legal parties and judges.
"So poor Judge Dearie, he will say something, and Trump will dispute, and now it will go to Cannon," said Litman. "So, it is a recipe for a really great delay, and it's a really great recipe for sort of undermining the whole idea of the criminal investigation. Because if he maybe had some right to classified documents, well, then it's hard to say it was a crime to have taken and conceal them and lied about them."
Harry Litman criticizes Judge Aileen Cannon's latest ruling www.youtube.com