Donald Trump heaped praises on the judge overseeing his classified documents case, calling her “smart,” “strong” and said she “loves our country.”
Federal Judge Aileen Cannon is overseeing the criminal case involving Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents. Cannon, an inexperienced lawyer, was nominated by Trump and confirmed to the federal bench in November 2020 by then-Republican-controlled U.S. Senate.
Cannon played a significant role in slowing the Justice Department’s investigation of the former president’s handling of classified documents by issuing a series of rulings favorable to him until a conservative appeals court ruled that she never had any legal authority to intervene.
Last Monday, attorneys for Trump asked Judge Cannon to delay setting a trial date for the criminal case. The former president’s legal team did not put forward a date but suggested proceedings could take place after the 2024 presidential election.
Such a timeline would be favorable for Trump because if he is reelected, his Justice Department could simply withdraw the charges, or a Republican president could pardon him.
Asked during his interview with Fox News‘ Maria Bartiromo on Sunday if he believes Judge Cannon will delay the trial, Trump said he’s not sure.
“I know it’s a very highly respected judge. A very smart judge, and a very strong judge,” Trump said.
“She’s very smart and very strong, and loves our country,” Trump added. “We need judges that love our country so they do the right thing.”
Trump was indicted on 37 counts relating to his alleged mishandling of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and conspiracy to obstruct justice. He has pleaded not guilty.