Trump-appointed judge assigned to classified documents case

  • Trump appointed Judge Aileen Cannon to the bench in 2020
  • Cannon issued rulings favorable to Trump during investigation last year
  • Expert: It's unlikely Cannon will remain on the case

Former President Donald Trump applauds as he departs after speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC 2023, Saturday, March 4, 2023, at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

CHICAGO (NewsNation) — U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, a former President Donald Trump appointee, has been initially assigned to oversee his classified documents case, according to multiple reports.

Cannon’s name appeared on the summons for Trump’s Tuesday appearance, as did Judge Bruce Reinhart, who approved the warrant to search the former president’s Florida home, ABC News first reported Friday.

Trump‘s historic criminal case on felony charges of mishandling classified documents is set to unfold in Florida.

The Trump-appointed federal judge had issued rulings favorable to the former president last year during the Department of Justice’s Mar-a-Lago investigation. She expressed repeated skepticism of Justice Department positions, which substantially slowed the DOJ’s investigation.

Cannon later appointed a special master in the case tasked with assessing whether documents aligned with Trump’s claims that documents might be covered by executive privilege. Her ruling was twice overturned months later by a three-judge panel of a federal appeals court.

Joyce Vance, an attorney who helped draft a model prosecution memo in the case, tweeted in response to the report, saying it is unlikely she will remain on the case — even if permanently appointed.

“It is not clear Cannon is permanently assigned to the case. If she is, it’s extremely unlikely it stays with her and as a last resort, DOJ will challenge her participation and win,” Vance wrote.  

The Associated Press and The Hill contributed to this report.

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