Mistakenly unsealed court documents show that a Donald Trump-appointed judge is bending over backwards to help the former president in his battle against the Department of Justice, according to a new analysis published at The Daily Beast.
An Aug. 30 letter to District Court judge Aileen Cannon was mistakenly posted on the public document Tuesday night and quickly noticed by Bloomberg reporter Zoe Tillmann, and the filing reveals the court was notified that the DOJ intended to return numerous personal records to Trump six days before the judge claimed he was suffering "real harm” by being “deprived of potentially significant personal documents."
“She seems to be cooperating quite well with the former president,” said Carl Tobias, a law school professor at the University of Richmond.
The filing shows that "medical records" Cannon feared would be leaked to the media were actually the infamous declaration by Trump's doctor that he would be the "healthiest individual ever elected," which the former president released himself in 2016, and the letter also reveals that FBI agents never saw any of the privileged material the Cannon-appointed special master was sorting through.
“She's just giving him the delay that he’s asked for,” said legal scholar Peter M. Shane, of New York University’s law school. “She has obvious sympathy for Trump’s contention that, as a former president, he deserves super-consideration.”
“This is how a judge would behave," he added, "if her motivation was simply to be helpful to Trump."
Cannon appointed former federal judge Raymond Dearie, who Trump's lawyers suggested, to sift through the documents seized at Mar-a-Lago, but the judge has already moved to rein in his authority, and some experts doubt he'll stay on the job for long.
“This is a person who spent 38 years building his enormous reputation," Tobias said. "If I were a judge for 38 years… I wouldn’t want to be ordered around by someone who’s a lackey to Trump."
The former president's lawyers have tried to get cases before Cannon in the past, and they filed this lawsuit in the court where she's the only judge and avoided the South Florida magistrate judge who authorized the Mar-a-Lago search warrant and was already overseeing the matter, and Tobias said she never should have agreed to take this case in the first place.
“I just don’t think she ever had jurisdiction,” Tobias said. “She could have kicked this back to the magistrate. To the extent this case had any validity, it belonged there, rather than have this. They forum-shopped to get her. It raises all kinds of issues.”
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