IT’S OFFICIAL: Trump’s legal gambit to avoid prosecution is dead
Donald Trump has battled to protect himself from prosecution in the Mar-a-Lago documents case, relying in large part on a case he brought before a sympathetic judge — who has now been forced to vacate her entire ruling issued in his favor and dismiss his case as she admits it’s outside her jurisdiction.
Judge Aileen Cannon was nominated to the bench by Trump himself in his last months in office.
It would be less than two years before she was called to rule on a case for him, as he requested that a special master be appointed to go over documents removed from Mar-a-Lago, and for the U.S. Justice Department to be prevented from examining documents until this procedure was completed.
The Justice Department appealed her ruling, and saw success at the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirmed two important points: one, that Cannon had “improperly exercised equitable jurisdiction;” and two, that when the government executes a search warrant, they do, in fact, have the right to seize relevant documents.
They also have a right to prosecution if the evidence leads that way.
Despite Trump’s Truth Social rants, there is neither an exception for ex-presidents, nor for defendants who throw a big enough public tantrum.
Now Cannon has followed through as required, issuing a new order that rescinds her previous one and dismisses the case on the grounds that she did not have jurisdiction to judge the case to begin with.
It’s official: this particular path has failed for Trump on the larger scale, though he was successful in stretching the case out by several months.
The 11th Circuit’s ruling earlier this month directed:
It is indeed extraordinary for a warrant to be executed at the home of a former president—but not in a way that affects our legal analysis or otherwise gives the judiciary license to interfere in an ongoing investigation…To create a special exception here would defy our Nation’s foundational principle that our law applies “to all, without regard to numbers, wealth, or rank.”
Cannon’s single-page final order in the case, in response to the higher court’s ruling, was terse and to the point, simply affirming that the case is dismissed and that any further hearings, deadlines, and pending motions should be considered canceled.
You can see a copy below, via CourtListener.
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Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.