On Friday, June 21, 2024, Newsweek reported that the appeals court in charge of overseeing the judge presiding over the Donald Trump classified documents case is interested in replacing her with a new judge.

According to legal analyst Harry Litman, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is located in Florida, wants Judge Aileen Cannon removed from the case. Cannon, a Trump appointee, had long been criticized for delays in the proceedings against the former president.

Trump is facing 40 charges related to his handling of classified materials after leaving the White House in January 2021. Documents were seized from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida during an FBI search in August 2022. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Litman, a former federal prosecutor, and Democrat Party supporter, expressed his view that Cannon’s recent ruling on a possible gag order for Trump, as well as her decision to hold an evidentiary hearing on special counsel Jack Smith, could lead to an appeal. While he felt the 11th Circuit would like to appoint a new judge, Litman noted removing Cannon would likely cause further delays.

The evidentiary last Friday, aims to determine if Smith’s appointment as special counsel was valid. But Litman argued this should have been a “straightforward case of law” without needing witness testimony. He also criticized Cannon’s allowance of outside expert evidence submitted on Trump’s behalf, saying it was a recipe for more delays.

In addition, Cannon plans to hold a separate hearing on Monday on whether Trump should face a gag order for his comments criticizing the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago. If Cannon rules in Trump’s favor on either matter, Litman suggested it could give the 11th Circuit reason to replace her with a different judge presiding over the high-profile classified documents case.



Source: Newsweek