Labor Day. That last long weekend to cap off the summer. It’s supposed to be a day of honoring American workers and some do that. Most who get the day off (so many don’t) simply treat it as just another three day weekend. I mentioned there are a lot of people who don’t get the day off, or choose to work on it even if it’s a federal holiday. I’m of the mind federal District Court Judge Aileen “Loose” Cannon was hard at work today. The more I’ve thought about it, the more I think in her eagerness to help (or rather continue helping) Trump she, because she’s in so far over her head screwed up and has done enormous legal damage to him.
Let me backtrack. Merrick Garland wanted no part of DOJ prosecuting Trump. I could write multiple articles about why and how he dragged his feet, at least when it came to going after Trump and his closest associates who put together the attempted coup and riot. Let’s just for the moment leave it at Garland would rather have had every tooth root canaled without anesthetic than prosecute Trump or his closest advisors. Then we have Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg who talked tough during his campaign but ran away like Chicken Little screaming not about the sky falling but instead about Trump saying mean things about him on social media Outgoing DA Cyrus Vance Jr. handed him a ready to go case with tough, seasoned prosecutors ready to go to court and Bragg tanked it. Only when he realized his career with sitting their like a turd in Trump’s fake gold toilet and New Yorkers had every intention of hitting the flush handle did he build a new case and get an indictment. However it’s clear he’s in no hurry to go to trial, even letting it be known he’s fine “deferring” his case so others can go first.
Fulton County DA Fani Willis is made of much stronger stuff. There was publicly available evidence Trump likely broke Georgia laws, but also that he had plenty of other involved in a broader, multi-faceted scheme to overturn Georgia’s election results. It seemed like it was taking for-freaking-ever but it turns out there was a reason Willis was so deliberate in her approach. I’ll get to that. And finally we have Special Counsel Jack Smith who is also made of sterner stuff than Bragg, and Garland too. The last thing Garland wanted to do was appoint a Special Counsel but things got to the point where he had no choice. And he STILL dragged his feet! Smith should have been brought in at least two months before Garland relented. But he got to work. Now we have four criminal cases, two federal and one each in NY and GA on the docket. I wrote an article about the “batting order” not long ago you might want to read.
That brings me to federal District Court judge Aileen “Loose” Cannon down in Florida. Smith actually had a fairly broad case when it came to documents and items Trump stole from the WH and took to FL, Bedminster, perhaps Trump Tower and who knows where else? Yet Smith understood the need to get Trump into court and facing a jury so given the National Security implications he kept that case to a small portion of the hundreds of classified documents Trump stole and refused to return. Even more specifically Smith limited his case only to some of the items found during that search of Mar A Lago in August 2022. AFTER Team Trump certified in a filing everything had been returned. Only thirty one documents and charges were part of the 38 count indictment, and only a couple of co-defendants were indicted with Trump. There was no reason, none at all that case couldn’t have gone to trial before the end of this year.
Cannon of course had other ideas. Again I refer you back to Bragg and Garland and how apparently DOJ had gone after lots of lower hanging fruit but not so much Trump and his inner circle. That DC case is a sprawling one and even if as was speculated Smith were to file charges it was a big enough case with enough parts that getting it to trial before the election was unlikely. Again I refer you to the earlier article of mine I linked to when I say Cannon thought things over and made her choice. She didn’t want to get slapped down again by the appellate court but had enough discretion to push Trump’s FL trial to May, 2024. Is there anyone, anyone at all who doesn’t know in their heart she’d have ruled favorable next spring on Trump delay motions so that the trial would be pushed into the fall when DOJ policy dictates everything would have to “be put on hold?”
Cannon looked at the lay of the land, the other cases and how it seemed unlikely they’d go to trial before the election and made her ruling. As this report from CBS News indicates she laid out a just plausible (to probably pass muster if Smith appealed) explanation noting among other things:
“The Court will be faced with extensive pre-trial motion practice on a diverse number of legal and factual issues, all in connection with a 38-count indictment,” wrote Cannon
However as I’ve said there’s no doubt she’d have gone along with, if not outright helped (from the bench) Trump’s lawyers get delays to that May 2024 trial date. So Cannon figured she’d covered Trump’s butt and would be able with relative ease to keep doing so. However, it’s now apparent she felt the need to do more to help out her idol over at Mar A Lago and that’s where she started crapping the bed.
Smith made some perfectly routine filings and Cannon raised a huge fuss about him continuing with grand juries in DC and FL. Which is not only legal but fairly standard practice. Still, she started demanding an accounting and one she had no basis to be demanding. What is DID seem to do was get attention and in a place where she least wanted it to do so. Smith made another routine filing about people in the FL trial all having the same attorney. (not to mention paid for by Trump) That sets up a potential conflict of interest between an attorney’s multiple clients as they might have competing interests. Prosecutors don’t like getting overturned on appeal any more than judges do so it’s common for prosecutors to file a motion in such cases for the court to ensure multiple clients using the same attorney understand their right to have their own counsel so as to avoid conflicts of interest. Sometimes clients are cool with such an arrangement and sometimes not.
However judge Cannon again hit the roof and started making statements and issuing orders for “explanations” from Smith. Which again brought attention. News coverage. We don’t know who said what, but we DO know that one of the FL witnesses, “employee #4 decided instead of a Trump paid for attorney he’d rather find another lawyer. And that he “revised his testimony” which is legal speak for “sorry I lied before but I realized that I wasn’t getting good legal advice and now that I am I want to tell the truth.” THAT is very bad news for Trump. The kind of thing he can’t keep quiet. Add that in with the fact that with his civil trial in NY state coming up next month Trump is throwing is own freaking son Fredo, I mean Eric under the bus and not just witnesses in the FL case but maybe even at some point Walt Nauta nd Carlos DeOliveira might decide to get a non-paid Trump lawyer too.
My point is that in trying to go the extra mile for Trump “Loose” Cannon appears to have set off what could become a devastating chain of events for Trump’s FL case. She didn’t just crap the bed. She set a hundred angry howler monkey loose in her tiny courtroom to start flinging their poop all over the place!
Now, too late Cannon can see that in Georgia lots of people have non Trump paid for attorneys and some are seeking deals. That number is likely to grow substantially after Wednesday. Up in DC, far away from FL and even far enough from NJ other Trump people he’s kept in the fold by paying for their lawyers are almost certainly reconsidering. And might get themselves a lawyer who’s first and only concern is THEM and not what’s best for Trump. And worst of all, I think it’s a safe bet more people in FL will decide a lawyer paid for by Trump, or his promise to cover the cost isn’t a good idea.
From where I sit this can all trace back to judge Loose Cannon’s obsession with doing all she can to help Trump. I predict she will have wound up doing far more damage to him than any help she’s provided. Worst of all, it seems Jack Smith had a backup plan if Cannon pulled a stunt like that May 2024 trial date. Just as he filed a pared down indictment n FL, he did the same in DC with the Jan. 6 case! I truly believe from the time he chose to (properly) file the National Security case in FL he knew he might get Cannon and started working on a backup plan which is now in motion. With December open (thanks to Cannon) Smith asked for trial then. DC federal judge Tanya Chutkan didn’t go that far, but she had a chat with the judge in Manhattan and set a trial for March of next year.
Chutkan won’t let Team Trump get away with their typical delaying bullshit, and neither will the appellate court. Trump will be tried in DC before his scheduled date in FL. And almost certainly convicted. And judge Cannon will look even worse than she’s already made herself look! But again, bear in mind that as I wrote yesterday the string of people getting their own lawyers and turning on Trump is likely to grow into a giant snowball headed downhill right at Trump.