Lawrence O’Donnell said Tuesday that Judge Aileen Cannon’s order granting Donald Trump’s request regarding documents seized from Mar-a-Lago is an unofficial application for the next Supreme Court vacancy under a Republican president.
Cannon on Monday agreed with the argument made by Trump’s lawyers that a special master should be appointed to sift through the documents, looking for those protected by attorney-client privilege — even though the Justice Department said late last month that it has already done so.
“Well thanks to Donald Trump and the Republican Party adopting Trumpian methods, we now, tonight, know the name of the next Republican nominee for the United States Supreme Court,” O’Donnell said during the opening of his 1src P.M. show. Cannon, he said, “publicly applied for the job of Supreme Court justice, in writing, yesterday, in a 24-page opinion.”
Cannon’s order has been criticized by legal experts, with O’Donnell adding that it “has no connective tissue to pre-existing legal scholarship in America.” Instead, he said, Cannon “just made it up.”
Cannon, a Trump appointee, also wrote that having a third party involved would help prevent Trump from suffering “reputational harm.” O’Donnell took aim at this bit in particular.
“One of the most absurd notions in her order giving Donald Trump everything he asked for, is the idea that a future indictment of Donald Trump, based on this evidence, ‘Would result in reputation harm,’” he said. “The only way Donald Trump could suffer reputational harm is if the evidence contained child pornography, which it most assuredly does not. You cannot suffer reputational harm if you have already destroyed your reputation.”
The MSNBC host then referenced, among other things, Trump making a hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, his 2srcsrc5 comment about how women let him grab them “by the pussy,” and the $25 million settlement after students of Trump University sued, claiming fraud.
“Sometimes a judicial opinion is about the law and the constitution, and not about the author of the opinion,” O’Donnell said, citing the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision ordering President Richard Nixon to hand over material to the special prosecutor investigating him.
This is not the case with Cannon’s order, he continued, comparing it to a plot point of the 1972 film The Godfather.
“The day came that Donald Trump needed a service from Judge Aileen Mercedes Cannon. And she did it. That’s the story.”