On Friday, District Judge Aileen Cannon issued a new order in the Donald Trump classified documents case adding to the mountain of evidence that she is firmly in the former president’s pocket. Trump appointed Cannon in 2020 and the Senate confirmed her appointment in the days after he lost the 2020 election. It’s deeply offensive to the rule of law for judges to bend the law to benefit those who put them on the bench. Sadly, Cannon does just that.
Cannon’s new ruling rejected special counsel Jack Smith’s entirely standard request that she order Trump to state whether he intends to rely on an “advice of counsel” defense ahead of the trial, currently scheduled for May 20. Advance notice of the defense helps expedite a trial because defendants asserting it need to provide additional discovery to prosecutors—raising the defense means that defendants must disclose all communications with their attorneys, as the defense waives the attorney–client privilege.
Judge Cannon’s brief order asserted that Smith’s motion was “not amenable to proper consideration at this juncture, prior to at least partial resolution of pretrial motions” and further discovery.
Sound innocuous? It’s anything but. Instead, it’s part of a pattern we’ve already seen of Cannon laying the groundwork for delaying Trump’s trial—until it’s too late for a jury to be empaneled and the case tried to verdict before the election.
That is, of course, just what Trump has been angling for. [Continue reading…]