Trump witness speaks out, leading to backlash against Trump Judge Aileen Cannon

 March 13, 2024

Judge Aileen Cannon is under fire as a former employee at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, Brian Butler has come forward to make his experience and testimony public in a recent interview with Newsweek. 

Butler, who worked as a catering director at the exclusive club, said that he "unwittingly" helped Trump aide Walt Nauta move boxes containing classified documents onto Trump's private plane in 2022.

Butler said he felt compelled to come forward because Cannon allowed names on the case's witness list to be made public at Trump's request.

"I'd rather just get it out there"

"It's been almost a year since FBI agents showed up at my house when my wife was at home. And over the course of the last year, emotionally, it's been a roller coaster," Butler said. "A couple of weeks ago, Judge Cannon says she's going to release the names of the witnesses. You go from highs and lows in this."

"And instead of just waiting for it to just come out, I think it's better that I get to at least say what happened, than it coming out in the news, people calling me crazy. I'd rather just get it out there, and the hope is, at least I can move on with my life and get over this."

Butler then described what he says happened with the documents: "We got to the airport. I ended up loading all the luggage I had—and he had a bunch of boxes. They were the boxes that were in the indictment, the white bankers boxes. That's what I remember loading."

In another interview with CNN, Butler said, "I had no clue" about what was in the boxes until Trump was indicted.

He told The Guardian that "anyone" could have had access to the documents at Mar-A-Lago.

The bottom line as far as press sources were concerned is his statement about his former employer: “I personally would just say I just don’t believe that he should be a presidential candidate at this time. I think it’s time to move on.”

Critical mass

Butler's move to come forward has led to a number of legal experts coming forward to express their concerns about Cannon's decision.

"Concerns that Judge Aileen Cannon in the Mar-a-Lago prosecution is about to release the names of the government's witnesses led a key one to come forward publicly today," Joyce Vance, a former U.S. attorney in Alabama and Trump critic, stated. "As a former prosecutor, it's hard to express how disturbing this is on multiple levels."

National Security lawyer Bradley P. Moss said, "Reminder: Cannon's actions have consequences."

Conservative commentator Bill Kristol, also critical of Trump, said he thinks Cannon is slow-walking the case so it can be postponed until after the 2024 election as Trump desires.

Cannon was appointed by Trump, and also sits on the bench in staunchly Republican Florida.

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