Judge Aileen Cannon has ordered Donald Trump to provide her with a list of classified documents that he wants to bring up at his trial. However, she has refused to set a deadline he must meet. She did say that she would set a deadline in March 2024 since, after all, these things require at least 100 days' careful thought. That deadline could be months later and the trial might not even begin until 2025 or 2026. Needless to say, Trump is in no hurry. And it seems that Cannon isn't either.
Many of the documents are being kept in a special storage room in Miami, but some are so highly classified that Trump's lawyers must specifically request them. In that case, special couriers from the intelligence community hand-deliver them to the lawyers and take them back after the lawyers have read them.
Several former U.S. attorneys have noted that it is now obvious that Cannon is trying her best to delay the trial until after the 2024 election. Brandon Van Grack, who was on Robert Mueller’s team, tweeted that the order is a "clear indication May trial date won't happen." Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance agreed that Cannon is "on track to delay past the election." National security attorney Bradley Moss tweeted: "I have long been opposed to [Special Prosecutor Jack] Smith's team getting the 11th Circuit involved with respect to Cannon's scheduling rulings. I just didn't see it as worthwhile and expected any such step would cause the very delay Smith was trying to avoid anyway. At this point, it might be needed." Former prosecutor Andrew Weissmann said: "Judge Cannon's bias is showing over and over again. Not scheduling a CIPA section 5 hearing, which is routine, is a clear sign she is just as much in the bag for Trump as when she issued her horrendous pretrial rulings (both reversed in scathing language by the conservative 11th Circuit)."
What's with Cannon? Why is she dragging out simple things like setting a deadline for delivering a list of documents to her? She's not saying, but it is important to realize that she was appointed to the federal bench by Trump. She is no doubt aware of the possibility of her being promoted to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit if Trump is reelected, and from there potentially to the Supreme Court if a vacancy arises. The worst that could happen to her is that Smith asks the 11th Circuit to remove her from the case and it does. Even if that happens and a vacancy arises on the 11th Circuit, Trump might still elevate her because he thinks she is his kind of gal. For Cannon, there is a lot of upside and no real downside to her being in the tank for Trump. Joe Biden would never promote her, no matter what she does, so it's better to bet on the other horse. (V)