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HomeGeneralLegal Experts Raise Concerns Over Judge’s Handling of Donald Trump’s Document Case

Legal Experts Raise Concerns Over Judge’s Handling of Donald Trump’s Document Case

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Former President Donald Trump and District Judge Aileen Cannon
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In a legal battle over access to Trump administration documents, many are worried about the conduct of Judge Aileen Cannon. Legal experts are warning that her actions are quietly sabotaging the case, raising questions about the impartiality and fairness of the proceedings.

The case revolves around efforts to obtain crucial documents related to the Trump administration’s actions during his time in office. These documents are of public interest and could shed light on important policy decisions and misconducts, if any.

However, some legal experts are unsatisfied, especially with her recent ruling against special counsel Jack Smith. Cannon’s ruling denied Smith’s request to compel Trump to disclose whether he plans to use an “advice of counsel” defense ahead of the May 20 trial.

One of the reasons why advance notice of a defense is beneficial is that it streamlines and speeds up the trial process. Defendants opting for the “advice of counsel” defense must disclose all communications with their attorneys on the matter in question. This disclosure waives the attorney-client privilege that typically shields communications from being disclosed in court.

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ALSO READ: Judge Rejects Prosecutors’ Motion to Compel Trump to Disclose Legal Tactics

Unfortunately, the district judge ruled against Smith’s request. She cited that Smith’s motion was “not amenable to proper consideration at this juncture, prior to at least partial resolution of pretrial motions.”

Legal observers argue that Cannon’s decisions and demeanor suggest a bias or lack of commitment to ensuring transparency. One of the key concerns raised by experts is the pace at which the case is progressing. Despite the urgency of the case, there are allegations that the district Judge was allowing unnecessary delays and procedural hurdles to obstruct the process. 

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Additionally, the timing of Cannon’s appointment to the bench added another complex layer to the unfolding legal drama. Cannon was appointed by Trump just days after his loss in the 2020 presidential election to Biden. Critics have now pointed out that this move has political influence and fuels partiality in cases involving Trump.

Former federal prosecutor Dennis Aftergut and Harvard legal scholar Laurence Tribe critiqued the judge’s actions. They believe it was strategically aimed to delay the trial until it was too late for a trial before the next election.

ALSO READ: More Trouble for Trump? Classified Document Status Could Lead to More Charges

“By continuing to maintain the trial date while rendering the date virtually impossible to keep, Cannon evidently hopes to maintain plausible deniability from charges like Greer’s or Weissmann’s,” the legal scholars wrote.

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“At the same time, her pretense that the trial will commence on schedule prevents any attempt by Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis to seek to advance into May the scheduling of her prosecution of Trump for attempting to interfere with Georgia’s 2020 election,” they continued.

Regardless, legal experts do not foresee any positive outcome soon. “It’s difficult to imagine that anything that deserves to be called justice will emerge from a criminal proceeding over which Cannon presides in which the fate of her benefactor, and thus her own career, is at stake.” Lawrence Tribe concludes.

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