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September 6, 2022



Blessings on you and your family from all the Huckabee staff!  I hope you enjoy today's newsletter.

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The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

Proverbs 18:10

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Judge to appoint special master: what you should know

The news broke Monday from U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, who worked on Labor Day to release this order that reads in part:

“A special master shall be APPOINTED to review the seized property, manage assertions of privilege and make recommendations thereon, and evaluate claims for return of property. ...The Government is TEMPORARILY ENJOINED from further review and use of any of the materials seized from Plaintiff’s residence on August 8, 2022, for criminal investigative purposes pending resolution of the special maser’s review process as determined by this court. The Government may continue to review and use the materials seized for purposes of intelligence, classification, and national security assessments.”

Significantly, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines (editorial aside:  yet another fervently anti-Trump intel official) is allowed to continue her investigation, alongside the DOJ, to determine the classification levels of these hundreds of pages of documents deemed classified.

Here’s the full 24-page order:

You might appreciate this irony on page 1, second paragraph: “Pursuant to the Court’s equitable jurisdiction and inherent supervisory authority, and mindful of the need to ensure AT LEAST THE APPEARANCE OF FAIRNESS AND INTEGRITY [emphasis ours] under the extraordinary circumstances presented, Plaintiff’s GRANTED IN PART [emphasis hers].” In other words, even the judge implies that only the appearance of fairness and integrity is what we’re going to get in this case, not the real thing.

A DOJ spokesman released this statement: “The United States is examining the opinion and will consider appropriate next steps in the ongoing litigation.” It might be that the DOJ will appeal to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, as they did not want a special master appointed.

Jonathan Turley said Monday on FOX NEWS that he thought this decision was the right one, saying it would offer “some reassurance” to millions of Americans about the purpose of the raid –- though we're not so sure it does much about that, especially with the obvious caveats in the order –- and also about the handling of these documents. At the same time, he said, it won’t “change the trajectory of the case” –- heck, they’ve already seen the documents –- though it temporarily prevents the DOJ from using confiscated documents “for prosecutorial purposes.” He thought that restriction might be the reason for an appeal, as “they have nothing to lose” by asking, “except the precedent they might create.”

“I think the Department of ‘Justice’ blew this one,” Turley said, “in how they responded to this motion. “They really overplayed their hand,” by saying national security would be threatened by the appointment of a special master, which is done all the time in cases involving sensitive materials. They never explained how something so routine would do that, especially when a special master with top-level security clearance is appointed. We would assume they didn’t explain it because they CAN’T, and add that their strong objection to the appointment of a neutral party raised even more suspicion that they had something to hide regarding when they were looking for and what they took.

We’d also caution that, depending on who is appointed special master, their protests might even be of the Br’er Rabbit “please don’t throw me in the briar patch” variety. If they manage to get someone who shares their biases against President Trump, it might be exactly what they DO want, because that places the stamp of approval on an unjust legal process.

In the meantime, of course, the DOJ will go on about their business, interviewing witnesses as planned. (For details, see page 6 of the judge’s order.)

Something else we noticed: Judge Cannon’s order mentions that earlier in the year, the “records in question were requested by the INCUMBENT PRESIDENT.” (That’s on page 3; emphasis mine.) So much for Biden’s claim that he knew nothing about this.  Not only was he briefed, he asked for the documents himself.  No word on whether he knew about the massive FBI raid, but if you think he didn't, would you like to buy a bridge from me?

They apparently are looking into charging the President with obstruction, and “for that,” Turley advised, “you need a knowing concealment,” so they’ll be querying witnesses about what was known to be in the boxes, who knew it was there, what steps were taken after documents were subpoenaed, etc. They’ll try to hit “low-hanging fruit” with collateral indictments and get them to incriminate Trump as part of a plea deal. It’s a dead-serious pursuit; Turley didn’t use the phrase “out for blood,” but we will.

He did say it was almost unimaginable that they could have executed a warrant this “absurdly broad” and not have swept up privileged information. And that’s what we suspect was the real purpose here. The scope of the warrant was, as Turley said, “perfectly bizarre” --- allowing them to take virtually every scrap of material from the Trump presidency. As I remind my readers, I and my staff are not attorneys, but that looks like a clear violation of the 4th Amendment to us. You don’t have to be a law professor like Jonathan Turley to know that.

So, what next? Judge Cannon has directed Trump’s lawyers and the government lawyers to confer and submit a joint filing with a list of special master candidates and also their proposals for how that person should operate. (We reported several days ago about an outside group that had already submitted a list of four potential candidates –- all appearing to be infused with anti-Trump bias.  The judge should ignore this.)

Turley has a must-read piece on the prosecutors’ likely strategy of going after Trump on obstruction charges, including the inconvenience posed by the Hillary Clinton email case, in which she skated after clearly obstructing justice and using BleachBit and hammers to destroy many thousands of subpoenaed records.  Recall Trey Gowdy once said of BleachBit that it destroys records so thoroughly "even God can't read them."


Mar-A-Lago raid: Reader questions Trump's declassification "process"

In light of the news breaking Monday that a “special master” will be appointed to assess the significance of documents taken from Trump’s home, here’s a letter from a reader stating there’s a “missing piece” to the Mar-A-Lago raid and asking us to give prosecutors the benefit of the doubt. “Just maybe,” he says, some of those documents were very important and could even get people killed if they fell into the wrong hands. From Patrick Canan:

“There's a missing piece here. The issue is not whether the POTUS has the legal right to declassify. The issue is that there is a process to that declassification so that U.S. surveillance technology and foreign operatives are not inadvertently put at risk.

“Over the years you have cited many instances of legal, but counter-productive actions by Presidents.

“None of us is in a position to know, yet, whether President Trump's unannounced declassification and informal storage of Top Secret documents was dangerous. Perhaps those envelopes contained frivolous classifications by over-zealous agents but, just maybe, some are really important. Maybe their informal storage will result in the death of our informants. In any case, the papers are official records of the 45th POTUS, but are not his property. They are owned by the United States as a whole and belong in the National Archives.

Consider using your access to encourage President Trump to explain to the nation why he declassified and removed these documents. That could help to clear the air.”

Dear Patrick:

If only the DOJ (along with the Senate Intel Committee, the House J6 committee and the White House) hadn’t squandered every opportunity to persuade us to take this administration’s “investigations” of Trump seriously, we might grant them some benefit of the doubt now. A “get-Trump” mentality pervades the upper echelon of the DOJ/FBI (and no doubt some strategically placed rank-and-file), with one excuse after another used to target Trump with lawfare, going back years. And now they’ve upped the ante.

Under these circumstances, pardon us if we don’t faint at the thought of these documents resulting “in the death of our informants.” Hillary Clinton kept highly classified documents and even top-secret Special Access Programs from the State Department on her easily hackable home server, where they were arguably much more accessible, worldwide, than whatever hard copies Trump had under lock and key at his guarded home. Unlike a President, which thankfully she never was, Hillary also lacked authority to declassify the documents in her possession. She lied repeatedly about what they were. Then-FBI Director James Comey seemed minimally concerned; he called this “negligent” but lacking criminal intent, and simply dropped it, along with any charges of obstruction of justice for destroying over 30,000 subpoenaed documents.

If you were the outgoing President, and knew your political opposition had tried to FRAME YOU as the agent of a foreign menace, as they did in “Crossfire Hurricane,” you might want to declassify and take copies of anything exculpatory. And the DOJ might move heaven and earth to get it back --- not necessarily over matters of national security. We don’t know for sure yet, but that's very likely the real “missing piece.”

Former White House adviser Kash Patel has addressed the issue of declassification and says he was present when that process was going on, while Trump was still President. Also, there appears to be a great deal of disagreement within the legal community about what the declassification process necessarily entails, as no President has ever been attacked like this over his own process. Do you think in your wildest dreams that President Obama’s home would have been raided over questions about his declassification “process”?

If memory serves, at least one of Trump’s attorneys has said that if the National Archives (which is run by an extremely anti-Trump bureaucrat) had wanted the documents from Mar-A-Lago, they could have just come over and taken them; there was no need for this “shock and awe” invasion over land, sea and air by scores of armed FBI agents. Also, as far as we know, no one is arguing that all the documents taken from Mar-A-Lago “belong” to President Trump, but many clearly do, and the President has the authority to determine which are personal. He also gets to take his sweet time with that, as President Obama certainly has done.

The Biden FBI/DOJ has so ruined its reputation that it sparks headlines such as this from THE BABYLON BEE, which blurs the line between reality and satire: “After Using FBI to Suppress Son’s Crimes and Raid Political Rival’s Home, Biden Warns Democracy in Danger.” Here's one that's more clearly satirical: “FBI Says the Documents in Trump’s Possession Were So Classified They Were Printed with Invisible Ink on Invisible Paper.”

It would be nice to be able to assume altruistic motives on their part while we look for a “missing piece,” but that is just not possible. With political operatives such as Lisa Monaco and Avril Haines running the show, we place no confidence whatsoever in the fairness of their legal strategies. And considering that these prosecutors, having weaponized the legal system, are circling Trump like sharks, hungry to charge him with something very serious like obstruction, Trump will speak up when he and his attorneys decide it’s most advantageous. On the other hand, considering that the DOJ also wants to convict Trump in the court of public opinion, and is selectively leaking whatever it wants the story to be –- just as happened during the Trump-Russia Hoax –- we tend to agree that sooner would be better, at least given what we know.

Thanks for writing, Patrick. If you missed this Margot Cleveland column from a few days back, you might appreciate it.



Material success doesn't always mean happiness

In a story that’s eerily reminiscent of the 1929 stock market crash, Gustavo Arnal, the CFO of the troubled retail chain Bed, Bath and Beyond, reportedly fell to his death from his 18th floor apartment in Manhattan Friday. It appears to be a suicide, although no note was found.

The motive for his tragically drastic action is unknown. BB&B has suffered major problems, with second quarter same store sales down 26% from a year before. It recently announced the closing of another 150 stores (we all also remember the boycott by conservatives after BB&B dropped the MyPillow brand.) But Arnal and investor Ryan Cohen were also the subjects of a class action lawsuit, alleging that they made misleading statements to artificially inflate the company’s stock price in what’s known as a “pump and dump” scheme. Maybe he feared financial ruin or even prison, but I don’t like to speculate on people’s private motives.   

The one thing I can say for sure is that this once again proves the timeless wisdom of the poem “Richard Cory,” about a wealthy man who was envied by everyone until one day when he put a bullet in his head. We can never make assumptions about people from appearances, and we should never make the mistake of confusing apparent material success with happiness.

Great Observation

Responding to news that the FBI even ransacked former President Trump’s young son Barron’s bedroom, Benny Johnson of Newsmax tweeted, “The FBI raided Barron Trump’s room before Hunter Biden’s. Let that sink in.”

And speaking of the wall of protection around Hunter Biden, here’s what it’s made of:

What the First Amendment is For

President Biden spent Labor Day continuing to accuse people, this time Congress members who want to Make America Great Again (which, admittedly, does run counter to his entire agenda), of “anger, violence and hate” in speeches filled with anger, violence and hate.

Of course, being Joe Biden, the speeches were filled with verbal gaffes, divisive rants and long-debunked lies. As the cherry on top, when a heckler called him a liar (rude, but accurate), he was apparently escorted out and Biden accused him of “destroying democracy.”

No, he was exercising his First Amendment rights in precisely the way that the Founders intended. I don’t believe they wrote the First Amendment to protect the right to burn American flags or dance naked with feces rubbed on yourself, which are actual First Amendment cases. But the right to accuse the President of being a liar when he’s obviously lying to us? That’s definitely what it’s for.  


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