Another legal expert tore into the ruling by District Court Judge Aileen Cannon, although he conceded that a special master review of the Mar-a-Lago documents might actually strengthen the case against Donald Trump.
Conservative attorney Chris Truax published a new column for The Bulwark that argues in favor of Cannon's order granting Trump a special master to sort through the materials looking for anything that might be covered by executive or attorney-client privilege, saying that it might make a conviction harder to overturn on appeal.
"If Trump is going to be prosecuted, it is imperative for all sorts of reasons that he be given every opportunity to defend himself," Truax wrote. "His hardcore supporters will complain about anything short of canonization, much less a criminal prosecution. But there is a critical segment of people who might not follow the detailed twists and turns of Donald Trump’s brushes with the law but want to know that he is being treated fairly."
However, he faulted Cannon's ruling in two significant ways, saying the Trump-appointed federal judge had misapplied a 1975 appeals court ruling on a case involving a businessman's records being seized by the IRS, and he said that error would likely be corrected if prosecutors appeal.
"The Department of Justice is reportedly considering an appeal and I suspect the court will issue a slightly modified opinion in the next couple of days," Truax wrote. "The first problem — and this is kind of nerdy, though important — is that the court actually misquotes the language from an appellate case to make it look like it directly refers to the search of a former president’s home."
"This mistake was almost certainly inadvertent," he added, "because if it were done intentionally by a lawyer, it would be a sanctionable offense."
Truax also faulted the judge for using inept language in her ruling that has been twisted by Trump's allies to make him look like a victim.
"The second is perfectly ethical, but more serious," Truax wrote. "The court, Judge Cannon writes, is 'mindful of the need to ensure at least the appearance of fairness and integrity under the extraordinary circumstances presented.'"
"At least the appearance of fairness is a poor turn of phrase for a legal setting and is manifestly not what the court meant," he added. "Nonetheless, conservative media are quoting this line to imply that actually it’s Trump who isn’t being treated fairly."
'That's right zero' Hillary Clinton corrects Donald Trump's false equivalency about classified docs www.youtube.com