Aileen Cannon Just Put Trump Case ‘in Reverse’: Attorney

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon has thrown a curveball in former President Donald Trump’s classified documents case, with former federal prosecutor and legal analyst Glenn Kirschner saying on Saturday that the judge put the entire case “in reverse.”

Trump, the presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee, has pleaded not guilty to Department of Justice (DOJ) special counsel Jack Smith’s indictment where it’s alleged that he retained classified materials after he left the White House in January 2021 and then obstructed the federal attempt to retrieve them from his Mar-a-Lago resort residence in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump has maintained his innocence in the case.

On Saturday, Cannon, a Trump appointee who is overseeing the high-profile case, issued a paperless order that paused several crucial deadlines. The move comes in response to Trump’s request for more discussion on presidential immunity following the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in a separate case involving the former president.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in a 6-3 majority ruling on Monday that Trump is entitled to at least presumptive immunity from prosecution for all his “official acts” carried out in office in a ruling connected to his federal 2020 election interference case.

Cannon’s decision has effectively pressed pause on when Trump’s team needs to share expert information, when they must provide reciprocal discovery, and when Smith’s team has to submit certain classified document procedures. Cannon has given both sides two weeks to argue whether more immunity talk is necessary.

Kirschner, a former assistant U.S. attorney and frequent critic of the former president, didn’t mince words when discussing the ruling on MSNBC’s The Katie Phang Show.

The legal expert shared his frustration with Cannon’s quick response to Trump’s legal team’s request while seemingly ignoring earlier motions from the prosecution.

“Think back to May when Jack Smith, special counsel, filed a motion asking Judge Cannon to modify Donald Trump’s conditions of release to stop him from saying and posting things that were endangering law enforcement,” Kirschner said.

He continued noting the timing of Cannon’s decisions and added: “She has yet to act on that, and yet within 24 hours of Donald Trump’s attorneys asking her to do something, she couldn’t jump on it quickly enough and entered an order basically taking a train that we’re going to be taking that was already stopped dead in its tracks and putting it in reverse. So, she’s moving away from a trial date rather than toward a trial date.”

Aileen Cannon Skeptical Donald Trump Claim Republicans
Former President Donald Trump is seen during a press conference in Washington, D.C., on June 13. Inset, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee, is seen. Cannon has thrown a curveball in Trump’s classified…

Anna Moneymaker; U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida

Meanwhile, prosecutors want Cannon to impose a gag order on the former president for falsely claiming that the FBI was instructed to shoot him if necessary while conducting a raid at Mar-a-Lago in August 2022 to retrieve the classified documents. That was based on an erroneous interpretation of a standard FBI search order request, which states that agents are trained to use lethal force. It is a printed formula that is standard for FBI search warrant requests.

However, the FBI said in a statement that the wording of the warrant was standard and the phrase “deadly force” was also included when agents searched President Joe Biden’s Delaware home for classified materials.

“The FBI followed standard protocol in this search as we do for all search warrants, which includes a standard policy statement limiting the use of deadly force. No one ordered additional steps to be taken and there was no departure from the norm in this matter,” the agency’s statement said.

Kirschner further asked on Saturday: “What is the Department of Justice supposed to do to dismiss it? Because Donald Trump would love to retake the reins of presidential power so he can flex his absolute presidential immunity muscle.”

Newsweek has reached out to the DOJ online form and Trump’s office via email for comment on Saturday.

Trump’s legal team is likely viewing this as a win since they’ve consistently argued for more time to address the immunity issue. On the flip side, prosecutors have warned that each day of delay could pose a national security risk, given the classified nature of the documents in question.

Kirschner, meanwhile on Saturday, didn’t hold back in his criticism of the broader implications.

“We have an imperial Supreme Court that just said presidents are also imperial,” he said. “They are monarch-like, and they now have the power of lawlessness with impunity and immunity.”

This case isn’t just about one former president—it’s a test for the entire system of justice. It raises questions about presidential power, accountability, and the balance between fair trials and national security concerns.

As Kirschner noted during his MSNBC appearance, “If that isn’t concerning and if that doesn’t get people up and out to the polls together with everything else, I don’t know what will.”

In addition, Trump’s classified documents case remains just one of several legal challenges he faces as he eyes another run at the White House against Biden.