Jack Smith May Be ‘Building A Record’ To Undercut Judge Cannon, Legal Figure Argues


Attention has turned again to federal Judge Aileen Cannon, who is handling the criminal case accusing former President Donald Trump of mishandling government classified documents.

Following the propagation of what was widely decried as extreme deception by the Trump campaign, Special Counsel Jack Smith — the prosecutor behind Trump’s case — is pushing for new restrictions on Trump’s public comments, arguing they put law enforcement in danger. What’s under dispute is a claim that federal authorities were angling to assassinate Trump around the time of a raid on his Florida property Mar-a-Lago ahead of what became this case against him, a misrepresentative idea drawn from a routine — and limiting — allowance for the use of force in the course of the judicially authorized search.

And, of course, no such force was actually utilized during the search, which recovered a cache of government-originating documents. But federal prosecutors argue that the claim of some kind of violent plot against Trump puts law enforcement agents in danger by way of the idea they were complicit in such a thing, creating a possible foundation for threats and violence comprising an imagined defense against a (not real) threat.

Some are expressing skepticism that Cannon — a Trump nominee known for siding with the former president in legal issues following his tenure — will grant Smith’s request for protective restrictions.

“It’s highly unlikely Cannon will grant Smith’s motion. She has been virtually unable to rule against Trump except (a) “without prejudice”; (b) silently; or (c) apologizing that her hands were tied by precedent. Special counsel Jack Smith may be building a record,” journalist Roger Parloff argued. Parloff also explained that Smith was using some of Cannon’s own past claims of an ambition on her part to protect the court proceedings’ integrity in trying to make the case. Now, anti-Trump conservative lawyer George Conway is saying that those next steps might include Smith seeking Cannon’s removal if she rebuffs the government’s push.