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Court Rejects ‘Orchestrated Campaign’ To Remove Judge Cannon From Docs Lawfare Case

Leftists have salivated at the possibility of removing Cannon from the case — likely in hopes of replacing her with a partisan judge like Juan Merchan, who oversaw Trump’s recent show trial in New York.

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A federal appeals court rejected an “orchestrated campaign” of complaints to remove the judge overseeing the Biden Justice Department’s lawfare case against former President Donald Trump over classified documents raided from his Mar-a-Lago home.

The 11th Circuit Judicial Council, which oversees the lower courts in Florida, announced on May 22 it would not accept a pile of complaints — or any similar complaints in the future — about Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee, who is overseeing the classified documents lawfare case. The council said since May 16, 2024, it had received more than 1,000 judicial complaints “that raise allegations that are substantially similar to the allegations raised in previous complaints.”

“These complaints appear to be part of an orchestrated campaign,” the council continued.

The council explained that many of the complaints seek the removal of Cannon from the case and want a different judge to be reassigned, with the complaints citing questions about “the correctness of [Cannon’s] rulings or her delays in issuing rulings in this case.” The council said those complaints were “unsupported by any evidence” that Cannon would have an “improper motive in delaying the case.”

“Because the orchestrated complaints received on and after May 16, 2024, raise allegations that have been or will be considered in previously filed complaints against Judge Cannon, accepting these complaints for filing and processing would not provide any benefit to the adjudication of the merits of the allegations against Judge Cannon,” the opinion reads.

The complaint blitz coincidentally began just over a week after Cannon indefinitely postponed the start of the lawfare trial.

Cannon’s postponement decision came after the Department of Justice admitted it tampered with evidence. As independent journalist Julie Kelly pointed out, DOJ prosecutors admitted some of the documents seized during the FBI’s unprecedented raid on Mar-a-Lago were not kept in the same order in which they were found. Other documents were also either possibly misplaced or mislabeled, my colleague Tristan Justice reported.

Special counsel Jack Smith admitted to such tampering in a court filing, and also admitted in a footnote that “The Government acknowledges that this is inconsistent with what Government counsel previously understood and represented to the Court.”

Leftists have salivated at the possibility of removing Cannon from the case — likely in hopes of replacing her with a partisan judge like Juan Merchan, who oversaw Trump’s recent show trial in New York. Merchan donated to Biden’s 2020 campaign, blocked witness testimony that would have helped Trump, and has familial ties to Democratic fundraising operations.

In fact, when Smith filed a motion requesting that Cannon gag Trump, leftists quickly celebrated it as a move that could lead to Cannon’s recusal, as Federalist Senior Legal Correspondent Margot Cleveland noted last week.

“Smart move by Smith as Judge Cannon won’t be likely to grant the gag order, will show her patent bias, and Smith can then appeal to the 11th Circuit,” Andrew Weissman posted on X. Former U.S. attorney and NBC/MSNBC legal analyst Barb McQuade hoped that Smith’s order could tee up a recusal from Cannon if she refuses.

But as Cleveland explained, those wishes are “fantastical.”

“Judge Cannon’s only appearance of a supposed bias comes from her ruling against Smith’s office,” she wrote. “In fact, it seems unlikely the 11th Circuit would reverse Cannon if she were to deny Smith’s motion because that motion seeks a vague and overbroad limit on Trump’s speech.”


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