Aileen Cannon Thwarts Trump Attorneys' Strategy

Former President Trump's legal woes take a new turn

by Zain ul Abedin
Aileen Cannon Thwarts Trump Attorneys' Strategy
© Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In a pivotal turn in former President Donald Trump's legal battle over classified documents, Judge Aileen Cannon has imposed a key procedural change. Rejecting Trump's lawyers' request to file a consolidated 200-page document, Cannon has directed the submission of each motion separately.

This move, ensuring detailed scrutiny of each issue, includes motions on the contested Mar-a-Lago raid to claims of the prosecutor's illegal appointment. Judge Cannon, appointed during Trump's presidency, mandates a distinct filing for each of the expected ten motions, with each allowed up to 25 pages, excluding attachments.

This approach facilitates clearer adjudication and scheduling, albeit increasing the total documentation to over 250 pages. The legal team is tasked to file these motions by Thursday, February 22. Additionally, each motion must declare if a hearing is necessary, potentially leading to numerous additional hearings.

Amidst this development, Cannon has declined Trump's plea for a censored public release of certain motions, maintaining the secrecy of discussions around the highly classified documents found at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate.

Trump's Legal Challenges Intensify

Trump faces 40 federal charges related to the alleged retention of classified papers post-presidency and obstruction of justice. The saga escalated with the August 2022 raid at Mar-a-Lago, where agents retrieved classified documents.

Despite pleading not guilty and denying all charges, Trump remains embroiled in this legal quagmire. A key motion from Trump's team challenges the appointment of Special Counsel Jack Smith. Lawyers Todd Blanche and Christopher Kise are prepared to contest issues ranging from presidential immunity to attorney-client privilege violations.

The prosecution accuses Trump and his team of deliberate trial delays, potentially to postpone proceedings until after the 2024 presidential election. With Trump a possible Republican nominee, his re-election could significantly influence the case's trajectory, including potential self-pardon or influencing prosecutorial decisions.

As the case progresses, the outcomes in Judge Cannon's court will crucially affect both the legal and political landscapes as the U.S. approaches its next presidential election.