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Weissmann Criticizes Judge Cannon as Partisan Novice, Urges Action from Jack Smith

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Former Assistant US Attorney Andrew Weissmann criticized Judge Aileen Cannon, overseeing the Trump classified documents case, for proposing legally incorrect jury options at an unusual stage without a trial contemplated.

He analogized her options to assuming the earth is flat or square.

Weissmann said, “The first thing that’s unusual is the idea that the parties are supposed to address jury charges at this stage when there isn’t a trial that is even contemplated. The timing is sort of quite unusual. More than that, it’s the choices, because both of the choices are legally wrong.”

Weissmann said Cannon has consistently gotten the law wrong in favor of Trump, making it very hard not to view her as both a neophyte and partisan.

“There’s just no basis for either one. My analogy is, she would like the parties to address first what to do assuming that the earth is flat and then the second option is the jury charges that the party should propose if she goes with option two, that the earth is square. Of course, neither of those is correct. It’s very, very bizarre. In addition, of course, this is a string of rulings where she has consistently been getting the law wrong and always in favor of Donald Trump,” he said.

He added this will lead to deep thinking by special counsel Jack Smith on how and when to appeal Cannon’s rulings to the 11th Circuit, as something needs to be done given the bizarre nature of her most recent ruling.

Weissmann suggested Smith’s team will consider at what point Cannon’s rulings represent a bridge too far, noting she previously tried avoiding a ruling to prevent appeal.

He added, “It’s very, very hard to not view her as both a neophyte and partisan. This is going to lead to, I’m sure, some very deep thinking on Jack Smith and his team’s part about how and when to take her up to the 11th circuit. At what point is it a bridge too far? There was a ruling last week where she again tried to avoid making a ruling so that she couldn’t be appealed.”

He said this situation will be something to watch in terms of Smith’s response.

“There’s a whole variety of things that are building up. This is something to keep an eye on as to what Jack Smith does. It’s clear at this point, they have to do something given the very bizarre nature of her most recent ruling,” he said.

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