Trump’s Pre-Election Sentence Unlikely Despite Detailed Indictment
The detailed indictment filed by special prosecutor Jack Smith holds strong evidence against former President Donald Trump. The 37 charges include 31 for withholding secret documents, obstruction of justice, and concealment of federal records, to name a few. However, there are several obstacles in the way of Trump’s pre-election sentence, including the controversial federal judge Aileen Cannon, whom Trump has previously nominated for the position. Her role in the case could jeopardize the outcome, as she has already made questionable decisions in this same case.
Judge Aileen Cannon’s Role in the Trump Case
Judge Aileen Cannon’s conservative position has raised concerns amongst Democrats about her impartiality. She made a controversial decision in the case when she stopped an investigation and granted Trump’s lawyers to appoint an independent expert to review the documents found by the FBI on his property in Mar-a-Lake. Although Cannon’s ruling was later overturned, she has control over the evidence that can be admitted and who can testify. Her role could favor Trump’s interest in the case, with time being a crucial factor as it overlaps with the electoral campaign.
The Nearly Impossible Task of Finding Impartial Juries Against Trump
Even if the case goes to trial, finding impartial jurors in Florida, a state known for its Republican roots, could put the prosecution in a precarious position. They need twelve jurors that are unbiased and do not sympathize with the anti-immigration and anti-gay movements that Trump and Governor Ron DeSantis have championed. If there is a single juror who disagrees, Trump cannot be convicted. Cannon’s influence in jury selection could also favor Trump’s interests. District judges have broad discretion in vetoing people, and Cannon’s decision could be a major factor.
Impartiality Questions for Judge Aileen Cannon
Democratic representative Dick Durbin expressed concern about the impartiality of Judge Aileen Cannon in investigating Trump’s alleged mishandling of secret documents. Although Durbin hoped she would remain neutral in the case, other members of the Judiciary Committee called for her recusal. Still, Cannon’s influence in admitting evidence and jury selection could tilt the case in Trump’s favor, making a pre-election sentence increasingly unlikely.