Former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance argued on Twitter that if Cannon ultimately ends up fully assigned to the case, special counsel Jack Smith, who is overseeing the prosecution, would have grounds to ask the 11th Circuit to force her to step aside.
"Before everyone gets too spun up about reports Judge Cannon has been assigned to the Trump case, a little law. I used to be an appellate chief in the 11th Circuit (where Florida is) and I litigated a few appeals where we asked the court of appeals to order a judge to recuse," wrote Vance.
"Although a judge's behavior in court generally doesn't form the basis for recusal, the 11th Circuit has ordered 'reassignment' where a judge leans so heavily for a defendant they call their objectivity in the eyes of the public into question ... This is persuasive authority that Judge Cannon must step aside if the case falls to her as a permanent assignment. Her court and certainly the 11th won't tolerate the damage it would do to their credibility if she failed to voluntarily recuse."
But assuming that Cannon does end up trying the case, other experts weighed in on some of the implications.
Cannon will have a large amount of say in how the trial goes, from considering motions to dismiss, to deciding what can be submitted as evidence, to conveying instructions to the jury. Trump would likely want to go even further and request a bench trial, cutting out the jury entirely and simply allowing Cannon to determine the verdict herself. But not so fast, wrote former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti — that will almost certainly not happen.
"Trump could seek a bench trial instead of a jury trial, but the prosecution would have to consent," wrote Mariotti. "Unless both sides (and the judge) disagree, there is a jury trial."
Georgia State law professor Anthony Michael Kreis wrote, "Judge Britt Grant is just waiting here in Atlanta to reverse Cannon" — a reference to an appellate judge on the 11th Circuit, herself another Trump appointee, who both joined the opinion reversing Cannon's blockade on the FBI investigation and scolded Trump's attorneys for misrepresenting facts about the case.
One of the other conclusions, tweeted Supreme Court reporter Lawrence Hurley, is that if Cannon really does see the case through from beginning to end, and the jury finds Trump guilty, all of his claims about the case being a political hit look laughable.
"If Trump ends up being convicted in a case overseen by a conservative judge he appointed (w/ appeals handled by a conservative majority appeals court and SCOTUS) it would make it a little more difficult to claim it's a baseless partisan witch-hunt," he wrote.