Trump Again Seeks Special Master, Again Too Late - Alternative

Judge Assigned to Trump's Case is Considering Special Counsel Instead
WASHINGTON - Aug. 27, 2022 - PRLog -- Attorneys for Donald Trump have, as the judge directed, filed a supplemental motion again seeking the appointment of a special master to review the documents seized from Mar-a-Lago to see if any are privileged, and to then prevent them from being seen by prosecutors at the Department of Justice [DoJ].

But since the original and much criticized motion was filed two weeks after the documents were seized, another week has now gone by, and even more time will pass before the DoJ can reply and the judge can rule, any appointment of a special master will almost certainly be much too late, and DoJ prosecutors will have seen all documents its own taint team has decided are not privileged, argues public interest law professor John Banzhaf, who suggests there is a much better alternative if any relief is to be granted.

The federal judge to whom Donald Trump's motion for the appointment of a special master is pending has been asked, in the alternative, to consider instead the appointment of a special counsel who would have far more legal authority, says 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 pointed out when it was filed almost a week ago that any appointment of a special master almost certainly would come too late since the documents have been in the hands of 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.

Judge Aileen M. Cannon has been told that "If appointed, an independent special counsel could do everything a special master reviewing the documents based solely on the basis of possible privilege could do, and much much more."

The filing argues that there is a "a clear and blatant and completely unavoidable conflict of interest" because the criminal investigation involves President Joe Biden's chief rival.  Thus prosecuting Trump, or even embarrassing him with searches, could help protect not only Biden's job in the future, but also AG Merritt Garland's own position, since Trump would not keep him on as attorney general on elected.

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;" and "that under the circumstances, it would be in the public interest," professor Banzhaf notes.   @profbanzhaf

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