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Legal experts: Judge Cannon could ‘get herself booted’ from Trump case

via Guardian News
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Some legal experts argue Judge Aileen Cannon, who is overseeing the classified documents case against Donald Trump, could potentially be replaced by an appeals court if Special Counsel Jack Smith seeks her removal.

Cannon has issued rulings favoring Trump that have already been overturned once and her latest orders requesting competing jury instructions and potentially revealing witness names have drawn concern.

“Over the last six months, a slow-moving car-crash of a case has been unfolding, with a judge who seems committed to protecting the former president at every turn of the road,” Ray Brescia, a professor at Albany Law School wrote.

Experts say Smith may ask the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to intervene again via a “mandamus” motion, which could result in Cannon being removed from the case if the appeals court agrees she has shown bias.

“In a perverse way, the more difficult she makes it, she might actually help Smith in the end,” Brescia wrote. “Should Smith ask an appellate court to review Judge Cannon’s rulings, not only is he likely to get those decisions reversed, her actions to delay and attempt to block the effort to bring the former president to justice may end up getting her removed from the case altogether.”

Cannon’s “willingness to show favor for the former president may ultimately backfire and get her kicked off the case,” Brescia wrote.

“And the case could end being assigned to a new judge—who may not be as willing to bend over backward in support of dubious claims and defenses that support Trump’s ultimate goal of delaying the case until at least past the 2024 election, if at all,” he added.

While removal would be unprecedented, experts argue Cannon’s defenses of Trump’s claims over precedent increase the argument for reassigning the case to a new judge.

Smith is weighing seeking her removal but risks failure, though Cannon’s most recent order could be grounds.

Cannon’s order is the “kind of legal inanity that could lead Jack Smith to seek to mandamus Judge Cannon- ie to get the 11th Circuit appeals court to hear this and reverse her for the third time- which could also be the proverbial three strikes and you’re out,” prosecutor Andrew Weissmann wrote.

“While it’s unlikely, it seems to me Cannon’s latest order is sufficiently bonkers that Jack Smith might at least entertain the thought of a mandamus motion,” attorney Robert Kelner wrote. “I doubt he’ll do it. But he’s got to be thinking about it.”

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