As if it were a serious legal document

Lawyers are laughing at Trump’s filing.

It might be tempting to scrutinize the filing as if it were a serious legal document, submitted in a credible way. That would be a mistake. Orin Kerr, a conservative law professor at UC Berkeley, noted overnight that many actual lawyers “are giggling at Trump’s motion, and how poorly it was done.”

Go on, just say it. Badly. The word is “badly.” There’s no need to soften it with “poorly.” Trump isn’t poor, he’s bad.

Among the many problems is the fact that it’s oddly late. The FBI executed its search warrant on Monday, Aug. 8. At that point, federal law enforcement officials reclaimed classified materials the former president brought to his glorified country club, taking stock of what he improperly took. Two weeks later, Trump’s lawyers went to court, apparently in the hopes that the FBI would stop reviewing the documents.

The FBI, with once voice: “Oops! Sorry! Our bad!”

The idea that the FBI’s search was “shockingly aggressive” is even more difficult to take seriously. The Justice Department tried a series of lesser means, including subpoenas and in-person meetings in the hope of avoiding this step. When Team Trump refused to cooperate, the FBI went to court, obtained a search warrant, and executed it in the least aggressive way possible: The bureau sent plain-clothed agents who coordinated in advance with the Secret Service.

I’m guessing that “shockingly aggressive” is trumpese for lèse-majesté. One doesn’t rifle the cupboards of the god-emperor.

The former president keeps calling it an illegal “break-in” and “raid,” hoping that the public will imagine swarms of agents in tactical gear, pointing assault weapons at scared Mar-a-Lago customers. That’s plainly absurd.

To adults it is. Trump aims everything toward people as childish in their thinking as he is. It turns out there are a hell of a lot of them.

Perhaps most entertaining was an accompanying written statement from Trump, which read in part, “This Mar-a-Lago Break-In, Search, and Seizure was illegal and unconstitutional, and we are taking all actions necessary to get the documents back, which we would have given to them without the necessity of the despicable raid of my home, so that I can give them to the National Archives until they are required for the future Donald J. Trump Presidential Library and Museum.”

Would have given to them when? He’s only had a year and a half already. Also they’re not his to “give” to the National Archives, much less to grab back for his “library.”

That said, misguided court filings sometimes work, and in this instance, the case was assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon — a Trump-appointed Federalist Society member, who was confirmed after Trump’s 2020 defeat, and who has a reputation as a far-right jurist.

Fīat jūstitia ruat cælum.

5 Responses to “As if it were a serious legal document”

Leave a Comment

Subscribe without commenting