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Cannon Comes Out Firing

Now that Donald Trump has been arraigned, his (federal) case is headed to the courtroom of Judge Aileen Cannon. Yesterday, she issued her first order in the case.

Because the order was relatively brief and relatively straightforward, it does not appear to have been posted online yet, so we can't provide a link. However, what it says is that by today, "all attorneys of record and forthcoming attorneys of record" have to get in touch with the DoJ to discuss security clearances. And by Tuesday of next week, all attorneys have to file a notice with the court that they have done as they have been told. Both of Donald Trump's attorneys, Todd Blanche and Chris Kise, have already taken care of business. And presumably, the prosecution attorneys already have clearances. So, it would appear that hurdle #1 in this case has been cleared.

If you would like a "glass is half full" interpretation of this news, it suggests that Cannon is not dragging her feet, and she's prepared to adhere to her district's "rocket docket" reputation. This was an obvious order, and was going to be issued at some point anyhow, but "some point" could easily have been next week or even next month. She could drag her feet in other matters, of course, but do not discount the possibility that even if she's in the bag for Donald Trump, Cannon's own self-interest could argue for playing this case straight and avoiding further embarrassments courtesy of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

If you would like a "glass is half empty" interpretation of this news, on the other hand, it suggests that Cannon is not going to recuse, and that she plans to stick with this case. She still could recuse, of course, or she could be nudged (or ordered) off the case by one of her superior judges. But she does not seem the sort to willingly give up such a high-profile opportunity, and hitting the ground running like this would seem to argue in favor of that assumption.

And as long as we are on this subject, yesterday New York AG Letitia James answered a question that has been on the minds of politics-watchers across the nation. James said that the two Trump cases in New York—i.e., the one brought by James and the one brought by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg—will have to wait until the federal case(s) is/are resolved. The AG also guessed that any case brought in Georgia would also have to wait. Obviously, the latter isn't James' call; we'll have to see how Fulton County DA Fani Willis feels about the matter, assuming she does indeed bring charges against the former president. It's certainly possible for two cases to move forward at the same time, especially since Georgia and Florida are next to each other, and Trump has his very own airplane. But maybe Willis will also defer to the feds.

And finally, something that is not worth its own item, but is probably worth its own paragraph. As we, and everyone else, noted, Trump's first stop after being arraigned was the well-known Cuban restaurant Versailles. Cameras captured his triumphant entry, and the one-day-early chorus of "Happy Birthday," and Trump declaring that "food for everyone" would be provided. As it turns out, Trump stayed at Versailles for a grand total of 11 minutes—just long enough for the photo op. Not surprising; after all, the restaurant doesn't have Big Macs on its menu. Also, Trump skipped out without actually leaving any money, meaning he did not honor his promise, even though it would only have cost him a pittance, relative to his (supposed) vast wealth. It would be hard to think of a story that encapsulates the essence of Trump better than this one does. (Z)

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