Special master unexpectedly combative to Trump’s team: ‘You can’t have your cake and eat it too.’

Special master Judge Raymond Dearie’s first hearing on Tuesday proved to be far more contentious than former President Donald Trump’s lawyers had expected.

The judge not only slammed the former president’s attorneys for being unwilling to provide definitive proof that the documents retrieved from Mar-a-Lago last month were declassified, but also reportedly accused them of wanting to have their cake and eat it too.

“Dearie bristled at the effort by Trump’s lawyers to resist his request for proof that Trump actually attempted to declassify any of the 100 documents that the Justice Department recovered from his estate,” according to Politico.

“Without evidence from Trump, Dearie said his only basis to judge the classification level of the records was the fact that they all bear markings designating them as highly sensitive national security secrets — including some that indicate they contain intelligence derived from human sources and foreign intercepts.”

His exact words were as follows: “If the government gives me prima facia evidence that they are classified documents, and you don’t advance any claim of declassification, I’m left with a prima facia case of classified documents, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s the end of it.”

Attorney James Trusty pushed back on Dearie’s demands for proof by arguing that it was “premature” to address the declassification issue this early in the case and that offering proof would require exposing the former president’s legal strategy.

He said “that Mr. Trump’s legal team might in the future offer that sort of evidence — in witness statements, for example — but that to do so now would telegraph its legal strategy to the government,” according to The New York Times.

But Dearie was unimpressed, to the point that he reportedly said in court, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.”

The “cake” remark was specifically in reference to the arguments Trump’s attorneys have been making for why they’re unable to provide proof of declassification.

After the FBI raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property last month, he and his team began making “public statements claiming that he had in fact declassified some of the seized records, suggesting that the Justice Department had no case against him for illegally retaining sensitive government material,” the Times notes.

Here’s the catch: “[N]either he nor his lawyers have ever made those same assertions in court — or in court papers — where they could face penalties for lying.”

Instead, they’ve “danced a fine line between suggesting that, as president, Mr. Trump had the authority to declassify the documents, while remaining silent on the issue of what he actually did — or did not do.”

“At the same time, Mr. Trump’s lawyers have pursued another line of argument, telling Judge Dearie that he should not simply take the Justice Department’s word that some of the seized records are classified, as prosecutors claim,” the Times reports.

According to the judge, this is an example of Trump’s team trying to have their cake and eat it too.

What remains to be seen is how Trump will personally react to Dearie’s unexpected combativeness.

Dearie was chosen as special master in part because of a recommendation from the former president’s lawyers. Though to be clear, it wasn’t a bad recommendation.

His colleagues and former underlings have described him as “fair,” “smart,” knowledgeable,” and “uniquely protective of defendant rights.”

Nevertheless, the former president is known for expressing his anger when he perceives being treated unfairly.  And indeed, the expectation among Twitter leftists is that a new rant is incoming.

That said, as of Wednesday morning, Trump hadn’t posted anything to Truth Social about Dearie.

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Vivek Saxena

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