MSNBC Hosts Note Judge Trying Docs Case Was Appointed By Trump — ‘Got Smacked Down’ By Higher Court


MSNBC hosts Alex Witt and Katie Phang raised concerns about Judge Aileen Cannon’s selection to handle the trial on 37 counts against ex-President Donald Trump related to Espionage Act violations.

Cannon — a Trump appointee — was selected at random to preside over the trial, and was also behind a controversial ruling that was overturned by an appeals court in a blistering decision by a panel that included two other Trump-appointed judges.

On Saturday’s edition of MSNBC’s Alex Witt Reports, Witt asked Phang if DOJ can “challenge” Cannon’s appointment  for the trial, and Phang said they might, or they might wait for grounds to challenge, or hope the “smackdown” from the higher court was enough to “chasten” her:

ALEX WITT: Katie, Trump-appointed judge Aileen Cannon has been assigned to the case initially. Of course, she previously, as you well know, made some favorable rulings for the former president. How are you expecting DOJ to handle that? Can they challenge it? And what would be their chances of winning?

KATIE PHANG: So, Alex, Aileen Cannon, who you just said and noted, is a very familiar figure dealing with Donald Trump and the Mar-a-Lago case. She was randomly selected. And I know there’s some people out there that think that’s not possible, but she was. She was randomly selected and a lottery system to be able to hear this case. The DOJ has a very interesting proposition in front of it. Do they immediately, straight out of the gate, move to recuse her, saying that she has a predilection or a predisposition to role in Donald Trump’s favor when it comes to particular issues? Or do they wait for some major decision to be made indicating that that’s where she’s leaning? There are options available to the Department of Justice. But previously, when Aileen Cannon was appointing the special master, that ultimately the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals said, oh, you were wrong on the law, you were wrong on the merits, you couldn’t have done that. You know, she got smacked down by the 11th Circuit. And so, Alex, the big question is, was that enough from the 11th Circuit to sufficiently chasten Judge Aileen Cannon to make sure that (s)he actually follows the law and stays within her guardrails when she’s ruling over cases like Donald Trump?

ALEX WITT: What can you can tell us about how the federal court there in Miami is preparing for Trump’s arraignment on Tuesday? And are there any specific Secret Service concerns?

KEN DILANIAN: Well, the Secret Service is saying they’re not making any special accommodations for Trump, but they do protect his life. And there were death threats to judges here during the whole saga over the search warrant. So there are very real security concerns. This is a federal courthouse that has experience dealing with high-profile trials. It’s on a square block here that can be they can be blocked off from traffic. And the Secret Service, the federal marshals, the Miami police are going to meet and they’re going to plan about how to secure this. But it’s going to be a real concern, even as we see Donald Trump, the former president of the United States, turn himself in to be booked and processed by the FBI and the federal marshals. Fingerprinted, mug shot taken. Then he’ll go into court. He’ll ask he’ll be asked how he pleads to these charges. Undoubtedly, he’ll plead not guilty. And then we’ll see whether a judge imposes any conditions on what he can say and do in this case. All, it’s going to be a remarkable set of circumstances. It comes with some significant security issues.

Watch above via MSNBC’s Alex Witt Reports.

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