BY Jack Davis, The Western JournalJune 12, 2023
1 year ago
BY 
 | June 12, 2023
1 year ago

Chief Clerk Has Bad News for Those Furious Trump-Appointed Judge Is Presiding Over Docs Case

After her selection to hear the federal trial of former President Donald Trump on charges of mishandling classified documents, an outcry arose that U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon of the Southern District of Florida should not hear the case.

Cannon, who was nominated to the bench by Trump in 2020, issued rulings that were favorable to the former president after the raid on his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach during which documents that are the foundation of the case against him were seized. An appellate court largely overturned those rulings.

Thus the stage was set for howls of protests Friday when she was announced as the judge for Trump's case.

"This is bad news for everyone except Trump," Michael Bromwich, who was inspector general of the Justice Department under President Bill Clinton, tweeted Saturday.

"For a case as important as this one, it's critical to have a judge who is experienced, smart, and impartial," he said. "Judge Cannon fails on each of these dimensions. If she has any self-awareness, she should recuse herself."

But critics might just have to deal with it, a court official for the Southern District of Florida said.

Chief Clerk Angela Noble said Cannon would stay on the case unless she chose to recuse herself, The New York Times reported Saturday.

“Normal procedures were followed” in the random process that dropped the case in Cannon’s lap, Noble said.

She noted that the rotation of cases, by this time of year, excludes senior judges who are already at their quota.

Other factors, including the flow of cases from the Miami area that consume the time of other judges, lowered the odds that another active judge would handle the case, Noble said.

Cannon “draws 50 percent of her cases from West Palm Beach, increasing her odds," the chief clerk wrote.

Noble said that there was no procedure by which the judge would handle the start of the case and hand it off to another judge, affirming that the only way Cannon goes off the case is for her to initiate the action.

A Politico report Friday said that according to sources close to Trump it did not name, it remained uncertain that Cannon would oversee the former president’s trial even if she initially oversees the case.

Cannon was nominated to the federal bench in April 2020 after serving as a federal prosecutor. She graduated from the University of Michigan law school and had been an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of Florida prior to becoming a federal judge. Cannon is a member of the Federalist Society.

Former federal prosecutor Ken White spun a tale of how a judge could "absolutely tank this case" on the "Serious Trouble" podcast Friday.

"She can delay things forever by making rulings that can be appealed but delay the case a long time. ... She can make rulings that while they don't tank the case, make it very difficult, like excluding evidence, saying evidence was wrongfully gathered," White said. "And that can be something that has a very unfavorable standard on appeal.

"So, for instance, if she started to rule ... 'These statements Trump made, that's too prejudicial. It's unfair. I'm keeping it out.' If that goes up on appeal, that's an abuse of discretion standard. And normally, you can't appeal it before the case anyway."

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Jack Davis, The Western Journal

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