Judge Cannon's delays could lead to her removal from Trump case

 March 29, 2024

Aileen Cannon, a federal judge appointed by former President Donald Trump, has become a subject of criticism from those opposed to Trump's administration.

Special counsel Jack Smith's prosecution could have the judge removed over actions that have led to delays in the case.

The details

In a piece published on March 28 by political and legal blogger Philip Rotner on The Bulwark, he contended that recent orders issued by Cannon have provided an opportunity for Smith to pursue her removal from the case.

Rotner pointed to Cannon's directive instructing defense lawyers and prosecutors to propose jury instructions that he claims distort the law and facts of the case. This move, according to Rotner, undermines Smith's efforts in prosecuting the case.

"In short, Smith has a path to remove Cannon from the case, albeit not an easy one. If he’s going to take that path, he has to act soon. It’s too risky for him to wait for Judge Cannon’s next oddball order," he wrote.

Rotner stresses the importance of Smith acting promptly if he intends to seek Cannon's removal from the case. He highlighted the urgency, warning that delaying could lead to further complications.

The risks

Rotner outlined the potential risks associated with not removing Cannon, suggesting that the consequences far outweigh the challenges of attempting to do so.

He underscored the potential impact of Cannon's involvement in the case and the need for decisive action from Smith.

Rotner also presented a scenario in which Cannon could delay the trial until after the 2024 presidential election, potentially aligning with Trump's interests.

He outlines the legal mechanisms through which Cannon could acquit Trump without requiring input from the jury or a defense, effectively halting the prosecution. Rotner explains the complexities involved and the potential obstacles Smith may encounter if Cannon remains a part of the case.

Experts call for her removal

Harvard Law professor emeritus Laurence Tribe wrote: "Judge Cannon clearly cannot be permitted to preside over this case.

"Whether she should be removed from the federal judiciary altogether is another matter. She probably should. Her ruling makes utter nonsense of the Presidential Records Act."

Overall, Rotner's analysis sheds light on the intricate legal and political dynamics surrounding Smith's prosecution and the significant role Cannon's decisions could play in shaping its outcome.

The ballet shows the challenges Smith faces and the necessity of taking decisive action to navigate the complexities of the case.

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