After intervening on behalf of the former president who gave her her job, federal Judge Aileen Cannon has now admitted she never should have done so in the first place.
On Monday morning, Cannon dismissed a months-long order she enacted that hindered the investigation into Donald Trump’s alleged smuggling of classified government documents to his Mar-a-Lago resort home. This after Trump had specifically appealed to her in order to derail the investigation in the first place.
“The case is dismissed for lack of jurisdiction,” Cannon wrote in a short, defeated order.
Cannon’s order initially mandated the use of a special master to review classified, stolen documents seized by the Justice Department from Mar-a-Lago in August.
The order also barred investigators from “[using] the seized materials for investigative purposes.” In other words, she personally stopped federal investigators from investigating someone who had stolen a stash of national secrets.
On December 1, however, a three-judge panel from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals rebuked Cannon’s order. “It is indeed extraordinary for a warrant to be executed at the home of a former president … [but to] create a special exception here would defy our Nation’s foundational principle that our law applies ‘to all, without regard to numbers, wealth, or rank,’” the panel wrote in its ruling.
The panel consisted of three Republican appointees—two being Trump’s own.
Trump’s failure to maintain Cannon’s stalling of the investigation follows an earlier attempt to ask the Supreme Court to intervene in the probe and appoint a special master specifically to review classified papers. The judges rejected Trump’s plea in a short, unsigned order, with no noted dissents.
Now, with Cannon’s dismissal, the Justice Department is cleared to continue its investigation into the stolen documents with no further delay.
Meanwhile, that a federal judge was able to intervene so summarily in the federal investigation of the man who appointed her perhaps warrants its own serious legal inquiry.