On MSNBC Tuesday, former acting solicitor general and legal analyst Neil Katyal broke down the significance of the appeals court hearing where a panel of judges, including two appointed by former President Donald Trump, appeared set to overrule Florida District Judge Aileen Cannon and shut down the special master review demanded by the former president to block the Justice Department's investigation of classified documents stashed at Mar-a-Lago.
"So Neil, on the hearing today in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta over the appointment of the special master in the Mar-a-Lago case ... you tweeted you 'don't think [you've] heard an oral argument go worse for someone,'" said anchor Ayman Mohyeldin. "Why do you think their hearing went so poorly for Trump? You just described all the legal setbacks he's had this year on a host of different fronts. Now you have this one today, and you're describing it as pretty bad."
"Yeah," said Katyal. "This is a totally different thing than the tax returns. This is about the Mar-a-Lago investigation where Trump stole a bunch of documents, highly classified and otherwise. He went to a judge that he basically shopped for, and he said, I need a special master. And you got that special master, but the government said, hey we're gonna appeal this thing, and today was the appeal."
"I would say this was a trainwreck, but I don't think that quite gives justice to how badly this went for Donald Trump today," continued Katyal. "The panel was skeptical of everything that Trump's lawyer said. And yes, I think it went about as poorly as any opposing argument I've ever seen. I don't think it's about Trump's lawyer, by the way. His lawyer is a good lawyer. It's not that. His argument was horrible. He had to defend the indefensible. And to defend this judge in Florida, Judge Cannon, who wrote a ruling that was, to put it mildly, bonkers."
"You can never totally predict, but I think here we can predict what's going to happen, which is the Justice Department is going to get what it wants," said Katyal. "They're not afraid of the special master, special master's a great judge, Judge Dearie, but they're just saying it's a matter of propriety. Nobody gets to go and have a federal judge, in the special master, oversee the criminal investigation. There's literally no precedent where Trump can come up or a lawyer can come up with a single time in American history that it ever happened."
"They are going to lose," Katyal added. "The special master will be over, and then the criminal investigation into Donald Trump about stealing these classified documents and security documents will proceed."
Neil Katyal slams Trump's legal argument at the 11th Circuit www.youtube.com