When the FBI entered Donald Trump’s Florida golf resort with a search warrant, it took possession of files about the “nuclear capabilities of a foreign country.” The Washington Post broke the story Tuesday evening, reporting that only a dozen people in the U.S. would have the clearance to even see these documents.
These special files are not only held in Washington D.C. in a skiff but further protected inside a safe. Just a president and a handful of his staff are authorized to even see these documents. And yet, the former president left them unguarded at Mar-a-Lago, which is known for being porous to foreign nationals, not only guests but also employees. The Post wrote:
‘The stunning implications of such documents — which are classified at some of the highest levels existing in federal law — being held at a private residence where concerns have been raised about the organization and security of their keeping cannot be overstated. The allegation suggested a reason for why US intelligence agencies would need to conduct an assessment of any risks to national security in the wake of the FBI raid.’
Although the Republicans tried to downplay 45’s theft of top secrets as mere paperwork, this latest news blasted through that argument.
Judge Aileen Cannon decreed the investigation by the FBI into Donald Trump’s criminal activities had to halt using any of these seized documents or persons involved in the matter. She was selected by the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation at the early age of 39 and was appointed by Donald Trump.
The judge decided to appoint a special master to review the documents unless the Department of Justice appeals her decision. Judicial pundits call these decisions unparalleled and without “any logic,” according to PBS.
Barbara McQuadem professor at the University of Michigan Law School and a former federal prosecutor said:
‘It’s really nonsensical to think that a former president can assert executive privilege against the executive branch. We have seen some courts recognize a residual privilege in a former president that can be requested and then asserted by the incumbent president, if he agrees, but only as to third parties, like Congress, when they’re asking for information.’
The former federal prosecutor continued, saying that the DOJ has two options:
‘The idea that you can assert executive privilege against the executive is really kind of illogical. And so it seems to me that the Justice Department needs to either appeal this order, or it may be able to manage this question by getting some clarification when it submits its order defining the parameters on Friday.’
The prosecutors and defendant (Donald Trump) must agree to the special master the judge chooses to review the documents for privileged information or files. The Department of Justice officials have said that they are “weighing their options.” The idea that one judge can hold the security of America in her hands begs for more logical thinking.
As the news shows guests expressed their alarm, it became apparent that the only people who might be qualified to be the special master would be someone such as a retired Supreme Court justice.