Ex-Trump attorney: Cannon ‘playing right into the defense’s hands’

Michael van der Veen, an ex-attorney to former President Trump, argued the judge overseeing the classified documents case is “playing right into the defense’s hands” by slow-walking pretrial decisions.

When asked Monday if Judge Aileen Cannon is “just dragging this thing out,” van der Veen said, “She certainly seems to be taking a lot longer than is possibly necessary.”

He also noted that Cannon is “fairly new” and a “smart lady,” but criticized her for not handing down decisions “quick enough.”

“She’s asking too many other people that come in and give their opinions; the amicus curia brief that she’s invited. It’s just very unusual,” he said. “It’s really important when on the bench to give your decisions, well-reasoned, but also timely, and to continue to give people time to supplement the arguments and supplement evidence. It isn’t doing the justice any good, it’s really playing … right into the defense’s hand.”

Special counsel defends Mar-a-Lago search of ‘cluttered collection’ of documents

Cannon is currently presiding over a three-day hearing as Trump’s lawyers attempt to dismiss, or at least delay, the classified documents case.

The two sides on Friday discussed the legality of special counsel Jack Smith, who the Trump defense argued was illegally appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland to oversee the classified documents investigation.

Lawyers were also slated to discuss a gag order requested by prosecutors to prohibit Trump from making certain comments about the FBI agents and law enforcement involved in the case. The hearing is expected to wrap up Tuesday.

The former president is facing 40 charges of mishandling classified documents and obstructing the government’s retrieval of the records after leaving the White House. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The trial was initially set to kick off May 20, but Cannon indefinitely postponed the start date, citing the various legal arguments she needed to first consider. The delay handed Trump’s legal team a win as it seeks to push the former president’s trials to after the election.

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