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Trump’s docs case: Florida Judge’s special master appointment lifts her profile but raises legal eyebrows

Trump's docs case: Florida Judge's special master appointment lifts her profile but raises legal eyebrows

By Ashe O.

Washington, Sep 7 (SocialNews.XYZ) Florida federal Judge Aileen M Cannon's order on appointment of a special master to review the documents seized from ex-President Donald Trump's Florida residence might have lifted her profile from relative obscurity but has been termed "deeply flawed in a number of ways".

 

Taking an exception to the ruling, Trump's own former Attorney General William P. Barr observed that the judge did not adequately address a key issue in dispute: whether a former President may invoke executive privilege to keep the executive branch itself from reviewing documents while investigating a potential crime. He said the answer is NO.

"The opinion, I think, was wrong," Barr said on Fox News on Tuesday. "And I think the government should appeal it. It's deeply flawed in a number of ways."

However, Valentin Rodriguez Jr., a defense lawyer based in West Palm Beach, who worked opposite Cannon, 41, when she was a prosecutor and has appeared before her as a judge, said she was thorough, meticulous and often willing to rule against the government, as she did in Trump's case.

"The general feeling that I've gotten from her is: 'I don't buy everything the government has to tell me'," Rodriguez said. "You can't expect that if you and the government have some sort of agreement, over sentencing or a plea, that's necessarily going to convince. In that sense, you could call her something of a freethinker."

Judge Cannon has gone to the length of allowing Trump's legal team to clarify its argument after an initial filing that was too vague. During a hearing in the Trump case last week, she also seemed to help one of Trump's lawyers remember that his client's request for a special master included not only to review documents under attorney-client privilege but also to assess any that could be covered under executive privilege.

As a judge, she had not overseen cases that attracted much attention before she was assigned Trump's high-profile lawsuit. She got the case after Trump avoided visiting the issue with the magistrate who approved the search of his Mar-a-Lago estate, media reports said.

Many of her hearings in the Southern District of Florida were at first handled via Zoom during the pandemic days. And she works out of a courthouse in Fort Pierce, which has its share of routine drug and immigration cases but is generally a far quieter part of the region than bustling Miami. Its like visiting a mausoleum, reports said.

Little is publicly known about Judge Cannon, 41, whose name quickly became familiar after her ruling during the holiday weekend. She joined the conservative Federalist Society as a law student in 2005 and maintained her ties to the group as her career unfolded, a fact that she made public during her Senate confirmation hearings in 2020. But according to people involved in the group's activities, she was not an especially visible presence.

Howard Srebnick, a Miami lawyer who went to the same high school as her, said: "I don't think anyone could say she's professionally or intellectually unqualified. And as a prosecutor, he found her to be polite and respectful of defence lawyers - a trait that not all prosecutors share. "As a judge", he said, "you may not agree with her decisions, but she is always respectful of the process."

Source: IANS

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Trump's docs case: Florida Judge's special master appointment lifts her profile but raises legal eyebrows

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