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Friday Round Up! 11/17/2023
Understanding Judge Aileen Cannon's stealth moves to help Trump kick the mar-a-Lago can down the road.
It’s that time of the year again. No, I’m not talking about Thanksgiving or the holidays, I’m talking about the need to make helpful charts to make sense of the various Trump cases. On this front, Judge Aileen “Loose” Cannon is the gift that keeps on giving — to Trump and to chartmakers like me. This week’s chart, though, isn’t mine: It’s one made up by Brian Greer, our special podcast guest, who walked through the various filings and delays in the Mar-a-Lago case. The Florida case is following a slightly different procedure than the other criminal cases because it involves classified documents and therefore involves the Classified Information Procedure Act (CIPA), which seeks to strike a balance between a defendant’s due process and discovery rights in a criminal trial and the government’s need to protect national security. You may or may not be surprised to know that in such cases, the process typically tilts in favor of the government, by design.
So, bottom line up front: Most of Judge Cannon’s various delays make no kind of sense, and effectively serve to prolong discovery — and burden the government unnecessarily — making the May 2024 trial date which Cannon has currently set practically impossible. As Brian explains in the podcast, even acknowledging that the CIPA process favors the government and she may have some valid concerns about taking extra steps to protect Trump’s due process rights, these concerns really ought not extend to Trump’s co-defendants, who are not charged under the Espionage Act at all. That she is burying her bias into these procedural delays and new deadlines also makes them essentially insulated from review, given the deference given for district judges to control their own schedule. Also, given how in the weeds these motions are and the lay public (and media’s) unfamiliarity with how CIPA works in most cases, her actions are not getting nearly the kind of scrutiny that her crazy “special master” civil case did a year ago (which also delayed this case by about three months before she was benchslapped by the 11th Circuit court of appeals.) Touché, Aileen.
You can use the chart above to follow along with our discussion with Brian:
Notable appearances this week:
No TV hits this week, but the Netflix series, “How to Become a Mob Boss” is now streaming, and I am featured in Episode 6! I spent a year in the late 90s on a Fulbright scholarship in Bogotá, Colombia, researching the impact of Pablo Escobar’s narcoterrorism on its judicial system and the reforms Colombia was implementing as a result. I never thought that almost 25 years later, I’d get to use all of that knowledge to talk about one of the most fascinating mob bosses of all time!
Other articles worth reading:
A piece in The Economist this week, entitled, “Donald Trump poses the biggest danger to the world in 2024.” I mean, what else is there to say.
Zoom Office Hours, November 30, 12 p.m. EST, Zoom office hours to discuss the latest. Zoom link will be sent to paid subscribers at 9 a.m.
“Section 702 for Dummies,” December 5, 4 p.m. EST: You asked, I answered. Former NSA litigation counsel and current fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, George Croner, will join us to explain Section 702. George speaks to my National Security Law class every year and breaks down exactly what Section 702 is and what it isn’t so that you can follow the debate as we inch closer to the expiration of this critical surveillance tool at the end of this year. Zoom link will be sent to paid subscribers at 1 p.m. The talk will be recorded and posted the following day.
Wine & Fries Club, December, December 10, 8 p.m. EST (NOTE: This is different than the tentative date posted last week!): I am SO excited that I will be hosting a holiday Wine & Fries happy hour withMary L Trump, author of theThe Good in Us by Mary L. Trump Substack and the amazing Backstory Serial! I always love talking to Mary and getting her thoughts on the Donald and everything else going on in the world. I hope you can join us! Zoom link will be sent to Wine & Fries members at 5 p.m.
January, Wednesday, January 17, 12 p.m.: Freedom Academy Book Club with by Scott Shapiro, author of Fancy Bear Goes Phishing: The Dark History of the Information Age, in Five Extraordinary Hacks. Zoom link will be sent to paid subscribers at 9 a.m. The talk will be recorded and posted the following day.
There won’t be a round up next weekend since I will be enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday — I hope you have a wonderful one as well with family and friends!