Federal judge shoots down ‘orchestrated campaign’ to remove Trump-appointed judge in classified documents case

A federal judge derided an apparent effort to get the judge overseeing former President Trump’s criminal classified documents case removed, arguing the Florida judge appeared to be the victim of an “orchestrated campaign.”

Judge Aileen Cannon was the target of more than 1,000 complaints in a single week last month, with critics accusing her of intentionally stalling the criminal case against Trump until after the election, according to a report from CNBC.

But 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Chief Judge William Pryor shot down the effort, saying in a May 22 order that he “has considered and dismissed four of those orchestrated complaints as merits-related and as based on allegations lacking sufficient evidence to raise an inference that misconduct has occurred.”


The order comes as Cannon has come under fire for her handling of the case, according to the CNBC report, which cited a recent “Justice Matters” podcast by former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner that accused the Florida judge of grinding the case to a halt.

“She has brought the case to a screeching halt by declining to resolve motions in a timely manner and by refusing to even set a trial date. Judge Cannon is NOT an honest broker of the law, and the federal law requires a judge to be removed when his/her ‘impartially might reasonably be questioned,’” said Kirschner, who also pointed out that Cannon was appointed by Trump.

The same podcast contained a link to a YouTube video that gave step-by-step instructions on how to file a complaint against Cannon with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.


In his order, Pryor noted that “many of the complaints” against Cannon “request that the Chief Circuit Judge remove her from the classified-documents case and reassign the case to a different judge” and “question the correctness of her rulings or her delays in issuing rulings in the case.”

The chief judge also noted that the judicial-complaint process “is not the appropriate way to seek review of Judge Cannon’s orders, her orders are nevertheless subject to appellate review in normal course.”

Pryor also argued in the order that there had been little evidence presented that would warrant action to remove Cannon.

“Although many of the complaints allege an improper motive in delaying the case, the allegations are speculative and unsupported by any evidence,” the judge wrote. “The Complaints also do not establish that Judge Cannon was required to recuse herself from the case because she was appointed by then-President Trump.”

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