Former President Donald Trump is once again rolling the dice in court, this time filing an emergency request for the United States Supreme Court to step in and intervene in his contentious battle with the Department of Justice over classified documents retrieved in the FBI’s August 8th search of his Palm Beach home – and he may get his wish.
All Supreme Court emergency requests coming out of Florida go to none other than Justice Clarence Thomas, whose wife Virginia “Ginni” Thomas recently gained attention for her attempts to overthrow the results of the 2020 election, as CNN Politics reported.
Less than a month ago, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the DOJ’s request to continue their criminal investigation into the ex-president’s removal and storage of over 100 classified documents – after previously being restricted by Trump-appointed District Court Judge Aileen Cannon. The appeals court’s ruling prevents Trump and his legal team from viewing the confidential records – something they’re trying their hardest to do.
“Those records — which prosecutors have said contain highly sensitive national security information — are at the heart of the criminal investigation into the mishandling of federal records after the Trump presidency. Concern over them was a major factor that prompted the Justice Department and a court to authorize the unprecedented search of the former President’s home.” – CNN Politics
The special master, the former federal jurist and Reagan appointee, Judge Raymond Dearie, still has access to the non-confidential records – but for Trump, that’s not good enough.
Abandoning his effort to have the investigation stopped – per Judge Cannon’s order – what Trump wants this time is access, asking the high court to include the 100 sensitive documents that were removed from the rest of the materials by the appeals court be added to the special master’s review.
CNN’s top legal analyst Elie Honig thinks it’s a stall tactic by the former President, saying in an interview:
“This is part of the delay strategy,” Honig said on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper,” noting that Trump lost at the appeals court. “So either he accepts that loss and those documents don’t go to the special master and they go right over to DOJ, or his only remaining recourse is to try to get the Supreme Court to take it, and that’s the course he’s taking now.”
The Justice Department asserts that turning over the classified records could pose a risk to national security, but as we have learned since the legally executed search warrant at Mar-a-Lago – Trump could care less about that. The Federalist Society hack Judge Cannon sided with the person who appointed her to the bench.
Cannon ordered federal prosecutors to turn over sensitive materials to Trump’s legal team which could include potential witnesses – in a move widely condemned by legal experts.
Whether or not Justice Thomas refers the case to the full court, it’s by no means a slam dunk, despite the heavily partisan slant surrounding the issue. Previous attempts by Donald Trump to use the Supreme Court as his personal judiciary haven’t gone so well.
In what was probably their last “good” ruling, the Court rejected the former President’s claims of a stolen election – refusing to hear his baseless case.
Original reporting by Tierney Sneed at CNN.
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick