Michael Steele Cannon Puts Trump Classified Documents Prosecution on Trial

Michael Steele Cannon Puts Trump Classified Documents Prosecution on Trial

**Michael Steele Cannon Puts Trump Classified Documents Prosecution on Trial**

In the ongoing saga of Donald Trump’s legal battles, the prosecution of the former president for mishandling classified documents has taken center stage. This case, which has seen its fair share of controversy and delays, is now under intense scrutiny, particularly due to the actions of U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon. Michael Steele, former chair of the Republican National Committee and current MSNBC host, has been vocal about the implications of this case and the role Judge Cannon is playing.

### The Background

Donald Trump was indicted last summer for allegedly mishandling classified documents after leaving the White House in 2021. The FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida, in August 2022, leading to charges of obstruction and mishandling of sensitive government materials. Trump, who is also the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, has pleaded not guilty to all charges, claiming the case is politically motivated.

### Judge Aileen Cannon’s Role

Judge Aileen Cannon, appointed by Trump, has been a controversial figure in this case. According to Michael Steele, two of her more experienced colleagues on the bench had urged her to pass the case to another judge, but she refused. Since then, her actions have raised eyebrows. Steele pointed out that Judge Cannon has shown hostility towards prosecutors, handled pre-trial motions slowly, and indefinitely postponed the trial.

“It’s almost as if those judges who encouraged her to decline the case knew how all of this would play out,” Steele remarked. He further criticized her for entertaining far-fetched arguments from Trump’s defense team, such as the claim that Special Counsel Jack Smith’s appointment was unconstitutional. Steele argued that such challenges would typically be dismissed by any other judge.

### Trump’s Social Media Attacks

Trump has not shied away from using his social media platform, Truth Social, to attack the Department of Justice (DOJ). Recently, he claimed that the DOJ “AUTHORIZED THE FBI TO USE DEADLY (LETHAL) FORCE” during the Mar-a-Lago raid, a standard clause in federal search warrants. He also sent an email to his supporters accusing President Joe Biden of being “ready to take me out,” further escalating the rhetoric.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland responded by calling Trump’s allegations “false” and “extremely dangerous.” He clarified that the language in the warrant is a standard policy limiting the use of force, even used in the consensual search of President Biden’s home.

### Legal Experts Weigh In

Glenn Kirschner, a former federal prosecutor, emphasized that Trump and his family were not in Florida during the raid, a detail coordinated by the FBI. Kirschner criticized the leniency shown towards Trump, stating that any other pre-trial defendant exhibiting such behavior would be detained pending trial.

“There is a vehicle in the law designed to address this. When a pre-trial defendant on release is a danger to even a single person in the community, the law says he is to be detained pending trial,” Kirschner explained. Steele echoed this sentiment, urging the justice system to treat Trump like any other defendant.

### The Political Implications

The political ramifications of Trump’s legal troubles are complex. A February Reuters-Ipsos poll found that 55 percent of Americans would not vote for Trump in 2024 if he is convicted of a felony. However, a Yahoo-YouGov poll in March showed a close race between Trump and Biden, with Biden having a slight edge if Trump were convicted of a serious crime.

Polling expert Mark Blumenthal cautioned that hypotheticals are not always predictive. He cited the example of Bill Clinton’s impeachment, where public support for his resignation did not increase after the House voted to impeach him.

### The Mug Shot Phenomenon

Trump’s mug shot from Fulton County, Georgia, has become an iconic image among his supporters. The photo, taken after he was charged with conspiring to overturn the 2020 election results, has been emblazoned on T-shirts, mugs, and other merchandise. For many of his supporters, the mug shot symbolizes defiance against what they perceive as politically motivated prosecutions.

Michael Steele, however, sees it differently. He argues that the mug shot is a stark reminder of Trump’s alleged criminal behavior and should not be glorified. “We need to step back and recognize he’s no different from any other criminal defendant,” Steele said.

### The Road Ahead

The timing of Trump’s trials remains uncertain. While the New York trial is set to begin soon, the Washington trial is on hold as the Supreme Court considers Trump’s argument that he is immune from prosecution for actions taken as president. Judge Cannon originally scheduled the Florida trial to begin in May, but it is likely to be delayed. The Fulton County prosecution has also faced delays due to misconduct allegations against District Attorney Fani T. Willis.

As Trump continues to campaign for the 2024 presidential election, his legal battles will undoubtedly play a significant role in shaping public opinion. Michael Steele and other critics argue that the justice system must hold Trump accountable to ensure the rule of law is upheld.

In the words of Steele, “If we believe he’s not above the law, then put his behind in jail. And that’s how that would work for everybody else.”

Source: The Washington Post, Newsweek

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