Aileen Cannon’s Mistake May Have Her Thrown Off Trump Case

According to one legal expert, Special Counsel Jack Smith should demand the judge’s dismissal from her position in the secret materials case involving Donald Trump because of an “extreme error” she committed.

In response to the continuing contentiousness with Judge Aileen Cannon—who has been repeatedly asked to step down from the federal case in which Trump has entered not-guilty pleas to forty charges—former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance thinks Smith has grounds to have Cannon removed from His Trump case. People are worried that Cannon’s rulings may have benefited the former president.

Cannon, who was nominated to the bench by Trump, has recently been criticized for her request that the attorneys representing the former president and Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office present two sets of suggested jury instructions prior to the start of trial deliberations. These instructions would provide competing scenarios regarding interpreting the Presidential Records Act (PRA), the foundation of Trump’s defense.

Opponents of the proposal argue that it will lead jurors to find Trump not guilty based on contested or incorrect readings of the PRA, rendering the government’s appeals moot.

Although this is not the first time Cannon has been the target of demands that she be removed or recused from the trial, Vance argued in her Civil Discourse blog that Smith should attempt to do so because of Cannon’s judgments.

For example, in December 2022, Trump would have been able to contest the search warrant executed at Mar-a-Lago had the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit not overruled an earlier judgment. Additionally, the appeals court overturned a decision by Cannon that would have barred the Department of Justice from accessing its evidence—all the documents that the FBI had taken from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort—by directing a special master to review them. Cannon lacked the authority to do so.

According to Vance, Cannon’s impartiality was questioned after the latest judgment.

In a request to dismiss the filing, Trump and his attorneys said he is not liable for the unlawful retention of the secret records he removed from the White House in January 2021 because he could identify their ownership under the Presidential Records Act.

Cannon has taken heat for suggesting possible jury instructions tied to the former president’s contentious argument to dismiss the case instead of directly rejecting the Presidential Records Act defense.