The U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday responded to Donald Trump's request for the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in the Mar-a-Lago documents case.
"The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to reject former President Donald Trump's bid to again empower an independent arbiter to vet classified records seized from his Florida home as part of his legal battle against investigators probing his handling of sensitive government records," Reuters reported. "Trump filed an emergency request on Oct. 4 asking the justices to lift a lower court's decision to prevent the arbiter, known as a special master, from vetting more than 100 documents marked as classified that were among the roughly 11,000 records seized by FBI agents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach on Aug. 8."
DOJ argued there were three key flaws in Trump's arguments.
Harvard Law's Laurence Tribe, who has argued three-dozen cases before the Supreme Court, was among the legal experts analyzing DOJ's filing.
"The Justice Department’s response opposing the emergency application Trump’s legal team filed in the Supreme Court, with a stopover in Justice Clarence’s chambers, is utterly devastating," Tribe tweeted. "It pulverizes all of Trump’s arguments and leaves none standing."
Attorney Luppe Luppen of the popular @nycsouthpaw account wrote, "with a new filing at SCOTUS, we get to read what the Solicitor General’s office thinks of Judge Cannon’s order appointing a special master to review the Mar-a-Lago search. Not much!"
MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Rubin posted a thread, writing, "I've read DOJ's brief opposing Trump's emergency request for relief so you don't have to. DOJ nicely swats away the legal thrust of Trump's argument -- that the appellate court lacked pendent jurisdiction."
Rubin explained, "what interests me is whether DOJ refuted any of Trump's factual allegations with its own narrative. While it could have addressed Trump's insistence that all of the classified docs were sent to Mar-a-Lago *before* his presidency was over, it didn't. And the reason, says DOJ without raising that or any other particular 'fact' Trump offered, is that it doesn't matter. Even a purportedly declassified document can't be his personal property and can't be the subject of any attorney-client privilege. It's still a 'red herring.'"
"That doesn't mean DOJ didn't take some swipes at Trump. Swipe 1: Trump can't claim he's allowed 24/7 access to documents under the PRA because having never returned them to the National Archives, he's basically forfeited the right to invoke the Presidential Records Act," Rubin noted. "Swipe 2: Trump insists he's declassified everything in public, but he's 'never represented in any of his multiple legal filings in multiple courts that he in fact declassified any documents -- much less supported such a representation with competent evidence.'"
"Swipe 3 (in a footnote!): Trump used to yammer about executive privilege--but not recently. That's probably because it doesn't exist vis a vis other executive branch agencies -- e.g., DOJ -- but even if it did, we've proven an urgent need for the stuff," Rubin added. "And swipe 4? If he wants 'emergency' relief, he has to show he's likely to win on the merits and that he's being irreparably harmed. He didn't even try."
"So nothing especially new or sexy, but a clear, highly competent brief that feels a little like a veteran kindergarten teacher calmly correcting a naughty kid," Rubin concluded.
\u201cSpeed-reading my way through the Justice Department's response to Trump's emergency petition to the Supreme Court with @JohnBerman\u00a0on #TheLead. DOJ said there is no basis for SCOTUS to step into this dispute at this stage. Now it's wait and see if SCOTUS gives Trump what he wants\u201d— Jessica Schneider (@Jessica Schneider) 1665520175
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