On Friday, MSNBC acted “concerned” over the news that Aileen Cannon was chosen as the judge to oversee the Trump documents case. However, the MSNBC reaction was mild compared to the sheer panic over Cannon in an article published by Slate magazine that same day. Mark Joseph Stern, Slate’s senior writer on legal matters sounds like he will spend many sleepless nights over his extreme fear that “Judge Aileen Cannon Can Absolutely Sink the Federal Prosecution of Trump.”
The federal criminal case against Donald Trump for mishandling classified documents will be overseen, at least initially, by Judge Aileen Cannon, according to the New York Times. This is excellent news for Trump and exceedingly bad news for special counsel Jack Smith. Cannon’s total lack of principle, combined with her evident incapacity to experience shame, renders her a uniquely favorable jurist for the former president. Indeed, if she maintains her grasp on this case, it is nearly impossible to envision Smith securing a conviction in her courtroom.
EEEK! And what gives Stern nightmares is that this case hasn’t been assigned to a liberal judge who can be counted on to pressure the jury into the desirable outcome of convicting Trump.
Cannon, a Trump appointee, gained notoriety while presiding over Trump’s attempt to halt the classified documents investigation in 2022. Following the search of Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s lawyers filed a complaint alleging that the search was illegitimate and unconstitutional; they demanded the appointment of a special master and, in the meantime, a freeze on prosecutors’ review of seized materials. In a calculated act of judge shopping, the case was assigned to Cannon, who leaped at the opportunity to prove her fidelity to the man who’d appointed her and, perhaps, audition for a future Supreme Court seat. Trump’s lawsuit amounted to pure gibberish, a glorified Truth Social post that alleged a Democratic conspiracy. So Cannon promptly encouraged his lawyers to rewrite the suit so it sounded marginally less asinine. She then issued an order prohibiting the government from “further review and use of any of the materials” seized from Mar-a-Lago “for criminal investigative purposes.”
GASP! She gave a decision favorable for Trump. Not permitted in a world where the federal government has largely been politically weaponized. You can’t fight weaponizers! Stern notes Smith has the option of requesting a different judge, although “Trump would surely fight such a request, and it’s impossible to say where the 11th Circuit would come down.”
It’s not impossible to say where Mark Joseph Stern and his fellow media liberals would come down. And is there a Xanax bottle big enough to calm him down if Judge Cannon remains on the case?
After all, Stern insists “her name is already synonymous with MAGA-style judicial corruption. The simplest way to put it is that if Cannon remains assigned to this case, Trump will not be convicted, no matter how damning the evidence. That conclusion is not defeatist or cynical; it is a mere acknowledgment of the reality that Republicans have created by stacking the bench with venal mediocrities like Aileen Cannon.”