Judge Cannon Holds Lengthy Hearings, Further Postponing Trump’s Secret Documents Trial

Judge Cannon Holds Lengthy Hearings, Further Postponing Trump’s Secret Documents Trial

The secret materials lawsuit against former President Donald Trump has no trial date and is unlikely to have one.

Instead of moving the case to a jury as soon as possible, Judge Aileen Cannon has spent day after day in court listening to lawyers argue over defense motions that make what experts call long-shot arguments to dismiss charges, exclude evidence, or otherwise attack the prosecution.

On Friday, the latest chapter in this legal saga will unfold in Cannon’s courtroom in Fort Pierce, Florida, when she is set to preside over a daylong hearing on the question of whether special counsel Jack Smith’s appointment was proper under the Constitution — an argument similar to one rejected by other judges when applied to special counsels Robert Mueller, who ran the investigation into Trump’s relationship with Russia, and David Weiss, who is prosecuting Hunt.

On Monday, Cannon will hear a defense challenge to how Smith’s office was funded, which has been consistently dismissed by other courts. On Tuesday, she will examine whether a D.C. judge erred in permitting testimony from Trump’s lawyer under the crime-fraud exception to attorney-client privilege.

According to several criminal law experts, few judges would have entertained such motions during protracted hearings. Instead, they argue, she could have reviewed the legal arguments and delivered a decision.

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Cannon, a Trump appointment, has aided Trump’s goal of delaying a trial in this case until after the election by continuing to need hours of court time for practically every issue at hand. While she claims she is only attempting to ensure fairness, her activities have sparked debate among legal scholars. “Motions that other judges would decide routinely and quickly, Judge Cannon puts them on her docket and delays for an inordinate amount of time,” said Joyce Vance, an MSNBC legal contributor and former US attorney. “It’s like death by a thousand cuts.”Cannon’s decision to allow outside parties to argue before her on Friday that Smith’s appointment is unconstitutional is most unusual, according to experts.

“It’s highly unusual to bring in amicus,” John Fishwick, a former US attorney, said, using a portion of the Latin term for “friends of the court.” “That never happens.” Shira Scheindlin, who resigned after 22 years as a federal judge in New York City, said, “There’s no reason to let (outside parties) come in and defend their case. “They do not have the right to be heard.”It may be reasonable, she added, to allow Trump’s lawyers to argue briefly about Smith’s appointment because it is a unique situation – he is the only special counsel in recent memory who has not been confirmed by the Senate. Those opposing his appointment argue that the founders did not want to bestow such power in someone who had never been confirmed.

In summary, Scheindlin believes Cannon botched the classified documents case by failing to move quickly.
“She drags out everything…” She’s quite slow, and she’s increasing the time it takes, and now she has motions piling up; they’re all backlogged.”Cannon’s supporters strongly oppose this viewpoint. Jon Sale, a former federal prosecutor in Florida who suggested Cannon for the judgeship, believes the criticism of her judicial method stems primarily from disagreement with some of her verdicts.

“For the life of me, I don’t understand why she’s criticized for holding hearings in a case that is extraordinarily important, that the whole world is watching,” according to him. “It demonstrates that she is carefully considering the situation. If you remove politics from the equation, there should be no rush to judgment.”

Cannon did not return a voicemail request for comment left in her chambers.

Cannon was appointed by Trump in 2020 and has been on the federal court for less than four years, with this being by far the most high-profile case she has handled. She was born in Cali, Colombia, and received her undergraduate degree from Duke University in 2003. She then graduated from the University of Michigan Law School with honors in 2007. After clerking for a judge and working at a legal firm, she worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of Florida from 2013 to 2020, focusing on big offenses and appellate cases.

She is a member of the conservative Federalist Society and a long-time Republican, but she is not politically engaged. She claims her mother escaped Fidel Castro’s Cuba at the age of seven. Cannon originally attracted public attention when she was randomly assigned to the case involving the FBI search warrant for Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

To the surprise of many legal experts, she accepted Trump’s lawyers’ request to appoint a special master to assess what the FBI obtained. She pointed out that Trump was a previous president.In December 2022, a three-member panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta shut down the special master in a 21-page ruling that sharply criticized Cannon, saying that she sought to create “a special exception” for Trump that “would defy our nation’s foundational principle” that everyone is equal under the law.

That marked the end of Cannon’s involvement in the affair. However, once Trump was indicted, a judge was chosen at random from a tiny pool in the northern section of the Southern District of Florida. Cannon drew the case from among four available judges.

The New York Times reported on Thursday that Cannon rejected two federal judges’ advice that she not handle the case. One cited the optics of the reversal of her special master decision. The other stated that the issue should be handled closer to Miami.

Cannon has regularly sparred with the prosecutors assigned to the case, who have appeared frustrated at times by her slow approach. When one of the prosecutors pushed Cannon “to keep things moving along,” she became enraged.”I can assure you that in the background, there is a great deal of judicial work going on,” she told the audience. “So while it may not appear on the surface that anything is happening, there is a ton of work being done.”

However, experts think Cannon has not done anything that warrants Smith’s request that she be removed from the case.

Cannon has ruled against Trump on key matters. In April, she rejected his assertion that the lawsuit should be dismissed because the Presidential Records Act permitted Trump to treat the sensitive information he allegedly retained at Mar-a-Lago as personal records.

However, it took her several months to reign. In other cases, she has required prosecutors to jump through every technical hoop. When Smith submitted a motion a few weeks ago seeking her to restrain Trump from falsely claiming that the FBI was allowed to murder him during the Mar-a-Lago search, she denied it on the basis that the special counsel did not confer with Trump’s lawyers before filing. He refiled it, and it will be one of the topics examined during the marathon hearings over the next three days.

Most legal experts predict the case won’t go to trial before the November election. That means voters won’t know whether a jury thinks Trump is guilty of harming national security and obstructing justice.

“This is important information for voters to have,” Vance told the audience.

“Had she just done her job, we would have had a verdict by now,” Scheindlin remarked. “It’s a shame.”

Source: aol.com

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