Donald Trump-appointed Judge Aileen Cannon on Thursday dismissed an order from Judge Raymond Dearie, the special master in the Mar-a-Lago case, who ordered the former president to show proof to back his claims the FBI planted evidence during their raid at Mar-a-Lago last month. The judge also extended the deadline for completing the review of documents as requested by Trump’s lawyers, The Hill Reports.
In her ruling, Cannon agreed with Trump’s team, saying his attorneys would not be required to affirm the accuracy of the FBI’s inventory from Mar-a-Lago at this time.
“There shall be no separate requirement on Plaintiff at this stage, prior to the review of any of the seized materials. … The Court’s Appointment Order did not contemplate that obligation,” the U.S. District Court Judge wrote, according to The Hill.
Her order also extends the timeline to review the roughly 200,000 pages Trump stored at his home from Nov. 30 until Dec. 16. The deadline extension allows Trump’s legal team to wait until the midterms for key filings in the case.
Cannon’s latest move comes after the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the Justice Department, ruling the Trump-appointed judge erred by failing to siphon off classified documents from the special master process so DOJ could continue with its national security review.
As noted by The New York Times, Cannon’s extraordinary decision to interject in the criminal investigation into Trump’s hoarding of sensitive government documents at his Florida alarmed legal experts, who said she showed unusual solicitude to him.
This was “an unprecedented intervention by a federal district judge into the middle of an ongoing federal criminal and national security investigation,” Stephen I. Vladeck, a law professor at University of Texas, told the newspaper.