The FBI recovered some 11,000 documents—United States property—from Donald Trump’s Mir-a-Lago home/hotel. In Donald J. Trump v. United States of America, the former president petitioned for a Special Master to look into the claim that revealing the content of certain seized document would violate his rights of “executive” and “client privilege.”
Citing “extraordinary circumstances,” federal district judge Aileen M. Cannon ruled that, “Plaintiff’s former position as President of the United States, (puts) the stigma associated with the (FBI’s) subject seizure . . . in a league of its own. A further indictment . . . would result in reputational harm of a decidedly different order of magnitude.”
It came as no surprise to sophomore law students when an Eleventh Circuit Court three judge panel slapped down Judge Cannon’s decision.
Still, America’s justice system is heavily weighted to favor some and punish others. For falsifying results of one urinalysis, a foolish young man served over two years in federal prison. Given Donald Trump’s bottomless pockets, had a five-hundred-dollar-an-hour lawyers argued that conviction might result in a “stigma” or “reputational harm” to his client, would the judge have ruled differently?
For driving seventy on a fifty-five-mile-an-hour highway, I faced a judge and paid a fine. If the State Trooper had discovered Donald Trump, Chuck Schumer, Mitch McConnell, or Kevin McCarthy behind the wheel, would he have considered “stigma” or “reputational harm” in issuing or not issuing a citation?
Lady Justice is blindfolded and holds a scale. Shifty lawyers and prejudiced jurists notwithstanding, no one is above the law. No one!
“EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW” is chiseled over the portico of the Supreme Court building. It’s the glue that holds America’s democracy together. Without it come anarchy or dictatorship.