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Judge Permits Zilch Disclosure in Mar-a-Lago Affidavit
Appointment of Special Counsel Request Before Other Judge Now More Important
The judge who had earlier ruled that the Department of Justice [DoJ] could not keep the affidavit secret just ruled that a full unsealing would reveal identities of sources, methods, and scope of the investigation. Therefore he will permit DoJ to post a copy of the affidavit, but apparently with all the redactions which the government suggested.
Since the publication of the heavily redacted version of the affidavit, which Reinhart apparently approved without any changes, is likely to be heavily blacked out, many important questions regarding the fairness of the government's tactics, and the extent to which some may have been influenced by political considerations, will remain unanswered.
This makes the need for the appointment of a special counsel, which the law requires in cases such as this, even more pressing, argues Banzhaf, and the formal request before another judge even more important.
The federal judge to whom Donald Trump's motion for the appointment of a special master - to determine if any of the materials seized from Mar-a-Lago are protected by any privilege - has been asked, in the alternative, to consider instead the appointment of a special counsel who would have far more legal authority, says Professor Banzhaf, whose legal filings helped lead to the appointments of special prosecutors to investigate Richard Nixon, and who obtained a court order for an independent counsel to investigate "Debategate."
The formal request, filed this morning, points out that any appointment of a special master almost certainly would come too late since the documents have been in the hands of Justice Department [DoJ] attorneys for over two weeks already, and it is almost certain that no order pausing the review process is likely to be issued before all the documents have been seen by DoJ attorneys, and probably also by others at the National Archives and Records Administration.
Controlling law requires the appointment of a special counsel to oversee any criminal investigation when it "would present a conflict of interest for the Department or other extraordinary circumstances;"