The closer we get to Traitor Tot’s arraignment, the more dire and hysterical become some of the predictions in the media as to how much carnage the Divorce Court judge, Aileen Cannon can do to Jack Smith’s case. To which I can only quote Shakespeare, It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. McBeth
Yes, as a federal district court judge Aileen Cannon wields considerable authority and power. But there are limits to that power. And she also has to adhere to the traditional rules of evidence and procedure that every other federal court judge has to comply with. And if she bollixes it up, then the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals is waiting in the wings to slap her down yet again.
Look at it this way. Trump’s prosecution is actually going to break down into two completely separate parts. The first is the pre-trial hearings and motions. Once those are exhausted, then there is the trial itself.
Oddly enough, it’s the pre-trial hearings that Cannon can do the most damage. El Pendejo Presidente’s fondest dream is for the pre-trial motions to drag on long enough to take the trial past the national conventions, and into the general election. This would allow Cannon to delay the start of the trial until after the general election in November of 2024. This would spare FrankenTrump rom trying to run in a general election as a convicted federal criminal.
To which my short response if, Who gives a f*ck?! Trump is unelectable in a general election. If his dumb ass couldn’t get reelected in 2020, when he was the incumbent President, with control of all of the levers of power, how does he get reelected as an outsider, under federal indictment for 37 counts, possibly more federal indictments in the Capitol insurrection case, highly likely indicted on RICO charges in Georgia, and possibly a convicted felon in New York for the hush money scandal. Who cares if he gets convicted in June or December?
While Cannon’s greatest strength is to delay the trial for as long as possible in pre-trial motions, it’s also her downfall. because Trump’s team is going to throw up every strand of spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks in pre-trial motions, and Cannon is going to have to rule on them. But here’s the McGuffin. Because they’re pre-trial motions, Smith has the opportunity to appeal any of her rulings that color outside the lines. And the 11th Circuit Appellate Court has shown almost a relish to spank Cannon every time she steps over the line.
For instance, one of the first pre-trial motions that Trump’s K-Mart lawyers figure to file so to exclude any testimony or evidence that the government obtained from former Trump attorney Evan Corcoran, on the grounds that it actually was covered by attorney-client privilege. That issue was already decided by then DC chief judge Beryl Howell, who decided that the crime-fraud exception applied. Cannon can certainly hold her own hearing, and rule for Trump, but Smith will immediately appeal the ruling to the 11th Circuit. And will likely get her ruling overturned. And being repeatedly overruled by the appellate court may dent her integrity with a future jury.
But here’s why I’m really not worried about justice being served. because at its heart, this is a milk and honey style case for the DOJ. Because it is, at its heart a documents case.
Simple fact. Documents . Don’t. Lie. And neither does the law. One of Trump’s top defenses is likely to be his misguided attempt to go back to the Nixon era. When Nixon resigned, the National archives allowed him to spend two years sifting through the documents he took to separate personal papers from official documents, as long as the National Archives had a key to the secured storage areas. This caused a national outcry that led to the Presidential Records Act.
Repeatedly Trump has stated that in removing the documents from the White House and taking them to Florida, he followed the Presidential Records Act to a T. Which is a blatant lie. Trump wants people to think that he had two years in which to sort through the documents, and return official records to the Archives. In fact, the Presidential Records Act allows a President to sort through the documents for personal items, but requires that the sorting be completed before the records are removed from the White House. A simple reading of the law in open court blows Trump out of the water. And how does Cannon stop the prosecution from reading the Presidential Records Act into the court record?
The case requires almost no witness testimony. First of all, the DOJ has the photo documentary evidence of the documents they found in the raid on Mar-A-Lago. But forget that. Trump swears that all of the documents were secured. And Smith has photos of boxes of records stacked up on the stage of a ballroom used for public events, stacked up in a bathroom, in a shower, and spilled classified documents on the floor in the business center when a box tipped over and broke. And the beauty is that these aren’t FBI photos, they’re photos from Trump employees who were tasked with moving the boxes from one place to another.
The prosecutions case is simple and airtight. Trump took the documents, he’s publicly admitted to it. By law he had no right to possess those documents. And then properly presented with a federal subpoena for Trump to return the documents, he entered into a criminal conspiracy to conceal the documents from being discovered and returned. What more do you need? And it’s all bulletproof from Cannon’s nonsense.
Because here’s the happy ending. There are two things that the traffic court judge can’t do. She cannot bar jurors from serving on the jury that have already been agreed upon by the two opposing sides. And second, she cannot go into the jury room and tell the jurors how to vote on the case. And that’s the Achilles heel for Trump right there, letting the trial get to the jury.
The case is a lock. Trump’s lawyers can’t cross examine a document, nor can they cross examine a photograph. All the prosecution has to do is to prove that Trump possessed the documents, when he had no legal right to possess the documents, and that he used subterfuge to hide the documents from the government, and it’s game over.
Take a deep breath and relax. The arraignment tomorrow may not tell us much about judge Cannon’s state of mind, but normally the first preliminary hearing takes place about 21 days after arraignment. She will have to make some decisions then, from starting the discovery date and length to possibly setting a preliminary trial date. We’ll get a better idea then, and the 11th Circuit may want to clear its docket. Let’s just see what happens.