Trump-Appointed Judge Assigned to Controversial Criminal Case Involving Mar-a-Lago Documents

Gage Skidmore

Controversy surrounds the recent assignment of federal district court Judge Aileen M. Cannon, appointed by former President Donald Trump, to preside over the criminal case involving Trump’s handling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. Critics point to Cannon’s previous ruling in a lawsuit brought forth by Trump following an FBI raid on August 8, 2022, at his Palm Beach residence.

In a September ruling, Cannon sided with Trump, ordering the appointment of an independent special master to review the records seized during the raid, which included over 300 classified documents, medical and tax records, and thousands of other personal files. Cannon’s decision also halted the Department of Justice’s own review until the special master’s investigation was completed. The ruling sparked outrage among liberals who accused Cannon of granting Trump preferential treatment.

Notably, former CBS anchor Dan Rather voiced his displeasure on Twitter, stating, “A Trump judge delivers for Trump in a big way…A big win for Trump. A big loss for accountability.” He called on news organizations to delve into Trump’s alleged politicization of the federal judiciary.

Federal prosecutors opposed the appointment of a special master, arguing that it would impede their investigation. They contended that Trump lacked standing to request such an appointment and had no right to possess the classified documents.

In response to Cannon’s ruling, Reagan appointee Raymond Dearie was selected as the special master, agreed upon by both Trump and the DOJ. However, the DOJ swiftly appealed the decision, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta granted the appeal, permitting the DOJ to proceed with its investigation and blocking Dearie from accessing the seized materials. On December 1, the appeal was fully granted, effectively overturning Cannon’s original order.