It Will Be Up To History Now To Render A Verdict On Aileen Cannon

INSIDE: Stormy Daniels ... Juan Merchan ... Kristi Noem
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Stick A Fork In The Mar-A-Lago Case

You’ve already seen the top line from U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon’s new order yesterday: She is indefinitely delaying the trial of Donald Trump on charges he improperly retained classified documents post-presidency and obstructed justice to cover it up. But there were at least three headline-worthy decisions in the order. Let’s run through them:

1. Indefinite Delay. Cannon struck the May 20 trial date, but she didn’t set a new one and has no immediate plans to do so. She said she won’t set one until various pretrial matters are resolved and laid out a schedule that won’t resolve them until late July at the earliest. This comes even though she’d previously asked the parties to brief her on trial date options, which they had done. Her rationales for delaying the trial indefinitely were a mishmash of reasons she herself has created. Cannon has let pretrial motions linger unruled upon for months and has repeatedly pushed back the CIPA process. It’s been obvious for weeks that she’s gummed up the proceedings, and now she’s using that as an excuse for further delay.

2. Cannon is treating inane Trump claims as credible. Perhaps the most remarkable decision Cannon made in the order was to devote three days in June to an evidentiary hearing on Trump’s claim that the prosecution team should be defined to include the White House, the intelligence community, and your Aunt Marge. It’s a preposterous claim that Cannon is taking seriously. Ruling in favor of Trump would set a mind-boggling precedent in general, but in particular it would open up vast areas of the federal government to Trump discovery requests that would further delay the case, muddy the waters, and give fodder to hare-brained conspiracy theories about the Deep State targeting Trump.

3. Cannon is in over her head. Trump has thrown everything but the kitchen sink at Cannon – and it seems to have worked. In her new order, she bemoaned the scale of the case, the amount of discovery, and the sheer volume of issues to be resolved. Those aren’t accurate descriptions of the case, but they are how Trump has described it to her. In adopting Trump’s language, she also claimed that the case presents “novel and difficult questions,” which is simply not the case.

What Can Be Done About Aileen Cannon?

Every time I write about the latest corrupt mishandling of the Mar-a-Lago case by Judge Cannon, readers reach out wanting to know why nothing is being done about it. Why hasn’t Special Counsel Jack Smith tried to have her removed? Why hasn’t he appealed? Why hasn’t the appeals court stepped in?

I have reasoned explanations for each of those questions, but they aren’t satisfying answers. Is the system fundamentally rotten and broken? Maybe. It’s clearly failing in this case to do justice in a timely manner.

The next questions are often about Cannon herself. Is she personally corrupt, incompetent, naive and inexperienced? Some measure of all of the above.

So Much To Unpack From Stormy Daniels’ Testimony

The full liveblog that Josh Kovensky did for us yesterday is worth a read to give you the warp and weft of Stormy Daniels’ direct testimony and the first stab at cross-examining her. His end-of-the-day recap is a condensed version if you’re short on time.

A few highlights from the day:

  • A porn star testifying about her sexual encounter with a future president is not an every day event, but it was not titillating. It was dark and, the word Josh kept coming back to, “grim.”Daniels went into much more detail about the encounter than Judge Juan Merchan or Trump’s team wanted, but the judge overruled Trump’s motion for a mistrial. In doing so, he cut Trump’s lawyers off at the knees, saying he was surprised they hadn’t objected more and pointing out that he himself had objected on at least one occasion when they failed to do so. I can’t imagine the tongue-lashing Trump must have given the lawyers later.
  • The judge also upbraided Trump’s lawyers for Trump’s acting out during Daniel’s testimony, according to the transcript of a bench conference: “I understand that your client is upset at this point, but he is cursing audibly and he is shaking his head visually and that’s contemptuous. It has the potential to intimidate the witness and the jury can see that.”

No trial today. It resumes Thursday with the continuation of the cross examination of Daniels. We’ll have another liveblog running via Josh in the courthouse.

Speak Plainly

Jill Filipovic at The Atlantic:

Today, a clear line of argument has emerged from many progressive commentators: First, the overwhelming majority of the protesters are peaceful and not anti-Semitic. Second, it undermines and mischaracterizes a vital movement to focus on a few bad actors who spout anti-Semitic vitriol, or to emphasize a few chants that glorify Hamas or call for the destruction of Israel. Third, the obsessive coverage of these protests is coming at the expense of the much more important story, which is the war itself. And in many respects, this is a sensible position. A war costing tens of thousands of lives, conducted by a key U.S. ally following a horrific terrorist attack, is a much more important story than whatever college students are doing in the United States. The violent crackdowns on these protests strike many, myself included, as far more troubling than the protests themselves. And it isn’t fair to conflate what a handful of protesters do or say with a much broader movement.

Can’t Even Hack It On Fox Business

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