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September 21, 2022

Judge Raymond Dearie, the “special master” appointed to go through the presidential documents seized from Trump’s Mar-A-Lago home, circulated what’s called a “draft case management plan” among the parties involved ahead of the preliminary conference that was held Tuesday afternoon at his Brooklyn courthouse.

According to the court filing, the draft case management plan “requires that the Plaintiff disclose specific information regarding declassification to the Court and to the Government.” Trump’s attorneys responded that their client would do better to wait for a “Rule 41” motion “that specifically alleges declassification as a component of its argument for return of property.” Such a motion assumes that in order for documents to be brought back to Mar-A-Lago, they would have to have been ruled declassified, so those two issues would be taken up together.

Trump has claimed that he personally declassified documents that had been previously marked classified, by his authority as President. (Of course, some other documents might be protected under attorney-client privilege.) If the special master is looking for evidence that Trump did declassify those documents while he was still President, we wonder what form the special master thinks that proof should take. Would it be enough, for example, for former White House aide Kash Patel to say under oath what he has said publicly, that he was there when Trump was at the White House and witnessed him doing this?

Margot Cleveland has written an outstanding summary of what’s happened since U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon appointed Judge Dearie last Thursday. The best thing you could do to understand all the legal angles here would be to read her piece. She argues that trust in our ‘Justice’ Department has fallen so far that their appeal to the 11th Circuit Court to dispense with the special master should be denied. The arguments they’re sticking to on this have already been rejected by Judge Cannon, she says; they offer nothing new that’s persuasive.

The DOJ also fails to make their case that the 100 documents purportedly marked “classified” should be withheld from view by the special master. Judge Cannon has already said that she is unwilling to “adopt” the Government’s premise that those documents are necessarily classified. Cleveland elaborates on this, saying that some of them might not even bear marks of classification, and those that do might have been classified at one time but no longer need to be a state secret. (Example: the itinerary for Trump’s November 2019 trip to Afghanistan to visit the troops.) She also cites what might be copies of Crossfire Hurricane documents that Trump has already publicly declassified. If those are included in the 100 supposedly “classified” documents, not only are they NOT CLASSIFIED, they are Trump’s personal property. These possibilities require the decision of a special master; the court can’t just take the government’s word.

Might it be copies of Crossfire Hurricane documents –- again, not classified and the President’s personal property –- that the ‘Justice’ Department is really most interested in? For all we know, those papers were the actual reason for the raid; there’s good reason to suspect it. And if that’s the case, it makes sense that they SURE wouldn’t want some judge to see them, especially after they’ve made such a big deal about “national security.”

That’s the one way I can think of that letting someone else see the “classified” documents might actually cause the DOJ harm. The catch is, it’s also the one reason they can’t admit to the court.

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Comments 1-10 of 10

  • Jim Hunt

    09/23/2022 01:23 PM

    And I bet that the 'classified documents' the Special Master can now examine can most certainly be planted by the Special Master or the FBI/DOJ.
    It's a sad day when our citizens can't trust our government now. Trust is at an all time low: thanks Biden!

  • Randy P

    09/21/2022 10:41 PM

    None of it is classified!
    President Trump ( yes President!)
    Declassified everything when it left with him. He had that power and privilege to do so.
    This was an illegal shake down.

  • Lisa Peterson

    09/21/2022 06:36 PM

    Dear Governor Huckabee,
    Your commentary on issues give a perspective truly more balanced than the average journalist. I read your emails every day. And I love to read the daily Bible verse. Just wanted to say thanks again.

  • Tom Wendt

    09/21/2022 04:13 PM

    Trump certainly has multiple copies of any incriminating Crossfire documents. His chess move.

  • Vincent Viellenave

    09/21/2022 03:35 PM

    Unless there’s a paper trail for each document that has allegedly been declassified that document is still classified according to the classification markings on it.

    The President can declassify anything he wants but it has to be done according to the rules and regulations. He first has to tell the documents originator that he wants to declassify it, then the originator has to go through the document and redact anything that cannot be declassified (for whatever reason) and then the document has to be marked “unclassified”, then and only then it is declassified.

    And even if that has been done the document still belongs to the government and cannot be held by anyone other than the government.

    If I had taken one page of a classified document (without authorization) home while I was in the Navy or after I had retired, I would already be in prison.

    Only the sitting president can claim executive privilege and he has already waived that for everything the FBI seized from the former president’s residence.

  • Patrick Canan

    09/21/2022 03:21 PM

    Judge Dearie seems an excellent choice for Special Master. Thanks to the Trump legal team for submitting his name for consideration, and thanks to the DoJ team for agreeing to it. Both sides can move forward with confidence.

  • Shauna dickerson

    09/21/2022 01:34 PM

    I watched a movie called "Woman in Gold" true story of Artwork stolen by the Nazis in WWII. As I watched the scenes of Nazis walking into the apartment of wealthy Jewish Austrian family, and with supreme arrogance, pulled valuable artwork off the walls, including the Woman in God, by Klimt, I had to think of our Nazi FBI going through Mar-a-lago with the same attitude. Take whatever we see that we want, ignore the rightful owners, or family of the estate. So, this is terrifying - in America - by bureaucrats and service members in an agency meant to guard American's rights mirroring a Nazi, wartime maneuver. The agents involved in this, not just the ones "in charge", but the rank and file should be extremely embarrassed, and even frightened by their participation.

  • Paul Matthew Acree

    09/21/2022 12:32 PM

    Governor I love you and all but are totally incorrect in saying that documents relating to Cross Fire Hurricane that is incorrect they are property of the US Federal Government as defined by the Presidential Recording and Materials Preservations Act and affirmed in Nixon V GSA if those particular records are truly declassified he has every right to request a copy of those records through the Freedom of Information Act but they do not belong to him no matter what he says the law is clear on the matter and has been for over 40 years


    09/21/2022 11:29 AM

    Our government has become corrupt.

  • Debbie Sarich

    09/21/2022 10:24 AM

    Full disclosure, I am Canadian. I lived in North Carolina for 23 years and just recently moved back to Canada. Yuck. Love the US.

    During my years in NC, I witnessed the complete dumbing-down of Americans. I thank God for men (yes, men!) like you, D.JTrump, your daughter, Sarah (the best press secretary I’ve ever heard, bar none!), DeSantis, Abbott and so many more. God is in control. The deep state is pulling every trick to keep their illusion of President Trump’s guilt in everything he did for this country.

    I believe President Trump has irrefutable proof, declassified, of numerous traitorous actions taken by many of our elected and unelected officials that required the FBI to confiscate everything from President Trumps’ home in Mar-A-Lago. They need the American people “dumb” to all they have done and are doing. It’s election time. In my opinion, the raid on Mar-A-Lago was illegal, as everything they’ve done since.

    God bless you Mike. I’ve watched your programs for years (Fox News and CBN). I pray for your good health, peace and good success. Stay safe.

    A Voice from the North!

    P.S. I’m praying for Sarah and thank Jesus for such a gifted and beautiful woman. God bless and keep her healed, in Jesus Name, Amen.