United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida Judge Aileen Cannon was on the receiving end of advice from a noted legal scholar that she needs to handle the 37-count indictment of Donald Trump with care next week in light of her being "slapped down" the last time she handled a high profile case involving the former president.
Appearing with MSNBC host Ali Velshi, Harvard Law's Laurence Tribe called the allegations contained in special counsel Jack Smith's legal brief "jaw-dropping" and claimed Cannon -- who will likely oversee the initial hearing -- needs to 'call it straight" when making rulings.
Questioning how the Trump-appointed judge was assigned the case, Tribe told the host, "It's a little puzzling how she was chosen. The earlier case was not really a criminal case it was a civil suit brought by Donald Trump for the appointment of a special master, and the very conservative 11th circuit unanimously concluded she has no jurisdiction at all -- she was off the reservation -- and the former president didn't even appeal that."
"Her earlier experience, if anything, doesn't count in favor of her handling this," he warned. "Maybe she is only handling the arraignment on Tuesday afternoon, but if she is appointed, then, I do worry that the degree to which she leaned over backwards in the direction of ruling for Trump, in ways even a conservative court slapped her down for and criticized her for, suggests that her loyalty may be somewhat more towards the guy who made her a federal judge, the one who appointed her, than to the Constitution."
"I hope that if she does what I recommended all your readers do and read this very concise and easy-to-read indictment - and she will, she will surely read , that even she will have a jaw-dropping experience, thinking, is that the guy who appointed me? Is this the guy on whose behalf I went out on a limb?" he added.
"Hopefully that will be her reaction, and she will go back to a normal judicial role and any normal judge with an indictment the strong, with evidence that comes straight from the defendant's mouth or from the mouths of his lawyers after a definitive adjudication of the attorney/client provision, any judge would really decide that it's important one way or the other that will be a verdict in this case before the next election so, the people of the United States know whether it is someone who is guilty of espionage, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and lying to the government with dangerous secrets of our national security -- whether that's the kind of person they want as president."
Adding that he hopes she won't make "dubious rulings," Tribe continued that he hoped she will "call it straight and, if she does, it's very hard to see what defense Donald Trump can present."
"You read it and your jaw drops and you get scared for the country," he said of special counsel Jack Smith's filing, "So, I'm hoping that despite the fact that Aileen Cannon would not have been my first choice as judge, it won't matter who the judge is, justice will be done."
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MSNBC 06 10 2023 11 19 31youtu.be