Former President Donald Trump seemed to be trying to flatter his way out of part of his ongoing legal troubles by praising Judge Aileen Cannon — the U.S. District judge from Florida overseeing Jack Smith’s Mar-a-Lago classified documents case — during a Fox News interview Sunday.
“I know it’s a very highly respected judge. A very smart judge, and a very strong judge,” Trump said of Cannon when asked if he thinks the judge will grant his request to postpone his trial.
Trump and his legal team filed a motion last week, asking the judge to indefinitely delay the trial. Trump lawyers argued that there is “no ongoing threat to national security interests nor any concern regarding continued criminal activity” that would justify an expedited timeline for the trial. They also added that the presence of sensitive evidence and Trump’s busy schedule due to his 2024 campaign, will make it hard to prepare for the trial.
Judge Cannon — who was appointed to her role by Trump — has not yet made a decision on the Trump team’s motion. She oversaw a civil case brought by Trump related to the Mar a Lago documents last year, resulting in a series of rulings favorable to the former president that surprised even conservative legal observers. That history has raised as yet unanswered questions about how she’ll handle the new, criminal case.
This is not the first time Trump has publicly celebrated Cannon’s handling of his legal issues. Trump also praised Cannon during last year’s civil case. Although he did not mention the judge by name, Trump suggested that she acted courageously by giving him a win with her rulings.
“Remember, it takes courage and ‘guts’ to fight a totally corrupt Department of ‘Justice’ and the FBI,” Trump wrote on Truth Social after a favorable ruling. “They are being pushed to do the wrong things by many sinister and evil outside sources.”
“Until impartiality, wisdom, fairness, and courage are shown by them, our Country can never come back or recover,” Trump added. “It will be reduced to being a Third World Nation!”
When Fox host Maria Bartiromo noted Sunday that Trump appointed the judge in the case in question, Trump said, “I did, and I’m very proud to have appointed her.”
“But 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.”
In June, Trump pleaded not guilty to 37 counts of federal charges over his handling of the classified documents found in his Florida residence, becoming the first U.S. president to face federal criminal charges.