April 20, 2024

An attorney who worked in Donald Trump’s White House predicted that Judge Aileen Cannon’s “partiality” will lead to her removal from the former president’s documents case.

Special Counsel Jack Smith is prosecuting Trump for what Smith says was the former president’s willful retention of classified documents and Trump’s subsequent efforts to obstruct their recovery. The charges came after the FBI executed a search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in August 2022, where they found boxes of government documents. Trump claims he had every right to take the material. That prompted a rare public statement from the National Archives, which said presidents must hand over government documents upon leaving office.

Cannon, whom Trump appointed to the federal bench in 2020, has issued a series of odd rulings that have prolonged the case. That includes a since-vacated appointment of a special master to review the documents found in Trump’s possession, as well as Cannon’s request for proposed jury instructions from counsel based on interpretations of the Presidential Records Act, which Trump has falsely claimed gave him the right to take official material.

That request for instructions prompted an unusually combative filing from Smith on Wednesday, who insisted that “the [Presidential Records Act] should play no role in jury instructions.”

Moreover, Cannon has yet to set a trial date at this late stage, perplexing legal experts.

One of those is Ty Cobb, who served in Trump’s White House. He offered his view on Wednesday’s OutFront on CNN.

“Why do you think Judge Cannon’s stalling it?” host Erin Burnett asked.

“I recognize that many commentators today have tried to be polite about Judge Cannon’s missteps here and suggesting that they relate somehow to her experience or incompetence,” Cobb responded. “I think the evidence of her bias is pretty palpable at this stage of the game.”

He went on to note that Cannon has been twice rebuked by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals over her handling of the case, whose progress Cannon is delaying to help Trump – the presumptive GOP presidential candidate – as November’s election nears.

“But her delays here are extraordinary,” he continued. “I mean, as you highlighted as others highlighted, she hasn’t even set a trial date. That’s remarkable. She ignored the government’s request months ago to set the schedule under the Classified Information Procedures Act that there are multiple steps that have to be gone through and she hasn’t she hasn’t completed step one. I think that alone, frankly, doomed the case to not start before the election or next year’s inauguration of whomever wins.”

Cobb then predicted that Smith will ultimately and successfully seek Cannon’s removal from the case by the 11th Circuit:

I think that Jack Smith– I think the filing today makes it plain that she has to rule, and if she doesn’t rule under either scenario, they’ll be in a position to take her up to the 11th Circuit. And I think the 11th circuit will likely take her off the case.

“Just to be clear, you’re saying that you don’t buy that this is just incompetence or inexperience at this point,” Burnett followed up.

“No,” Cobb replied. “I think the evidence is just too overwhelming. I mean, yes, she may be incompetent, but at this stage of the game, her incompetence is so gross that I think it clearly creates the perception of impartiality– of partiality, and her attempt to put her thumb on the scale. So, I think that should disqualify her.”

Cobb has made no secret of his disdain for Cannon’s legal acumen. Last month, he called her handling of the case “embarrassing,” “baffling,” and “unhinged.”

Watch above via CNN.

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