U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon is criticized for letting Trump and his legal team to review documents obtained by the FBI
Florida – The decision of U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon this week to grant a request by former President Donald Trump’s legal team for an independent arbiter to review documents obtained during an FBI search of his Florida property last month has been met with harsh criticism. The search took place in Florida.
As part of the investigation into whether or not Trump improperly retained sensitive material after leaving the White House, Cannon on Monday gave authorization for an outside legal expert to analyze the data that were obtained during the search of Mar-a-Lago on August 8. The authority granted to the expert would include the ability to eliminate any information that could be deemed confidential due to claims of attorney-client privilege or executive privilege.
The order was issued against the vigorous opposition of the Justice Department, which argued that a so-called special master was not required because the department’s officials had already finished their review of possibly protected materials. Nevertheless, the order was issued.
Trump supporters who are looking for a check on the investigation being conducted by the government applauded the action. Others, however, believe that Cannon showed an excessive amount of respect to the previous administration and unduly halted key investigations that were being conducted by the Justice Department. Some others believe that she has slowed down the progress of the federal inquiry into alleged violations of the Espionage Act.
The Justice Department has not disclosed whether or not it intends to file an appeal, despite the fact that there are a number of potential reasons why it might not be eager to do so. These reasons include the possibility that it will further stall the investigation or produce case law that the department will view as unfavorable for future investigations. according to Brandon Fox, a defense attorney in Los Angeles who is also a former federal prosecutor.
In spite of this, he stated that Cannon’s viewpoint gives the impression that there are “two systems of justice.”
On Friday, a judge made public an affidavit that had been redacted and detailed the probable cause that the Justice Department had for searching the residence of the former president of the United States, Donald Trump, at Mar-a-Lago on August 8.
According to Fox, “the criminal justice system is put up to try to ensure that everybody is accountable for the purported crimes they have done in the same way.” It would appear that Mr. Trump is receiving a particular benefit as a result of his status as a former President of the United States.
On Tuesday, William Barr, who served as Trump’s attorney general before he was fired, gave an interview to Fox News in which he called the opinion “seriously defective in a number of ways.”
Although Cannon is a relatively unknown federal judge, President Trump elevated her to the court two years ago. On Monday, she made what is easily the most significant decision of her career. It catapulted the former federal prosecutor who was born in Colombia into the center of a smoldering legal argument about the limits of executive privilege and presidential power.
Cannon is the federal judge with the least amount of experience in the Southern District of Florida, which has a total of 16 active judges and five of them were appointed by Trump. Cases such as the special master request are “allocated on a blind rotation basis… to a judge designated to hear cases in the division to which the case has been assigned,” as stated in the regulations of the court.
Cannon worked primarily out of the United States Attorney’s Office in Fort Pierce, Florida, for the majority of the approximately seven years that she served as an assistant U.S. attorney. Fort Pierce is located in the same federal district as Miami, but is located approximately 130 miles (209 kilometers) to the north. In general, the cases in that region do not receive the same level of attention as those in the more media-heavy and densely inhabited areas that are located surrounding Miami.
When Cannon joined the Major Crimes Division in 2013, he immediately began prosecuting 41 cases. Later, he was responsible for processing appeals of criminal convictions and punishments.
One of those cases featured a defendant who was involved in a big Ponzi scheme that was worth $800 million and who attempted to appeal his several fraud convictions to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, but he was unsuccessful. Her adversary in that case, Richard Klugh, a defense attorney in Miami who has been practicing for many years, said that Cannon was “extremely brilliant and talented” and that she was fair to the defense.
“I didn’t see anything I could characterize as anything other than good lawyering, and there was absolutely no political bias,” Klugh said, adding that he has worked on cases handled by Cannon as a federal judge, although he has not appeared in her courtroom. Klugh also mentioned that he has worked on cases that Cannon has handled, although he has not appeared in her courtroom.
“She is well-known for her ability to provide a fair process and hearings. He said, “You like somebody who genuinely listens to what you have to say.”
Cannon was born in Cali, Colombia in 1981. Her father worked in advertising throughout South and Latin America, thus the family moved to the United States when she was a toddler. She attended Duke University and ultimately received her degree there in 2003.
Cannon contributed a number of articles to El Nuevo Herald, a newspaper published in southern Florida that uses the Spanish language and is owned by the Miami Herald, while she was still a student. According to a list of publications that were presented to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Cannon primarily wrote about subjects that were associated with health and culture.
After graduating with a degree in 2007 from the University of Michigan, Cannon worked as a law clerk for the United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit under the supervision of United States District Judge Steven M. Colloton. After that, she spent the following three years working as an attorney in private practice in Washington, DC, with the renowned international law firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.
During the process of her confirmation to the Senate in 2020, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California asked in written questions if Cannon had “any discussions with anyone — including, but not limited to, individuals at the White House, at the Justice Department, or any outside groups — about loyalty to President Trump?” This brought up the issue of whether or not Cannon was loyal to Trump.
The short and simple response from Cannon was “No.”
Being appointed to the bench by Trump in no way guarantees favorable rulings for the president in court proceedings.
For instance, in May, U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly—who had been nominated by Trump in 2017—allowed the House panel investigating the riot that occurred on January 6 in the Capitol to obtain the Republican National Committee’s marketing email data leading up to the violence. In doing so, he dismissed claims that the committee’s practices weren’t appropriate. Kelly was appointed by Trump. The work of the panel has been supported by a number of judges who were selected by Trump.
But Cannon’s judgment in this matter, as well as her musings about the likelihood of “reputational harm” given to Trump in the event that he is indicted, have brought renewed attention to her judicial history.
Cannon’s initial response to the special master request suggested some level of skepticism. In it, she asked the Trump team for more clarity about what exactly they wanted her to do and why they thought she might have jurisdiction. This action gave the impression that she had some doubts about whether or not she had jurisdiction. However, a few days later, she issued a new order in which she stated that it was her “preliminary purpose” to appoint a special master but that she would first give the Justice Department an opportunity to argue against it. This occurred after she had initially issued the previous order.
Cannon has been a member of the Federalist Society, a conservative legal organization, since 2005. The Federalist Society is an organization that has championed judges appointed by Trump, including Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. Cannon is a member of the Federalist Society.
The then-prosecutor mentioned in her testimony during her confirmation hearing in July of 2020 that her mother “had to abandon the tyrannical Castro regime in pursuit of freedom and security,” and that she left Cuba when she was just 7 years old.
Cannon said to her mother, “Thank you for teaching me about the blessing that is this country and the importance of securing the rule of law for generations to come,” and she was addressing her mother. “Thank you for teaching me about the importance of securing the rule of law for generations to come.”