Florida judge in Trump special-master review is assigned to new DOJ criminal case

Tribune Content Agency

A federal judge in Florida who handled Donald Trump’s dispute last fall with the Justice Department over classified documents found at his home appears to have been initially assigned to the former president’s new criminal case, according to a person familiar with the matter.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon’s name is on the summons that Trump’s lawyers received Thursday instructing him to make his first appearance at a Florida courthouse next week to face a criminal indictment over handling of those documents, said the person, who asked for anonymity to discuss confidential information.

It wasn’t clear if Cannon will remain permanently assigned to the case.

Cannon, who sits in the Fort Pierce division of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, was nominated by Trump to the bench and confirmed in November 2020

In September, Cannon granted Trump’s request to temporarily block federal investigators from using documents with classified markings seized from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in a criminal investigation. She named U.S. District Court Judge Raymond J. Dearie as special master to review all 11,000 documents that were taken.

The dispute tied up the case in months of litigation before an appeals court overturned her ruling and freed the Justice Department to resume using the documents to build a criminal case.

Trump was notified by his lawyers Thursday that he has been indicted by a grand jury in Miami federal court in connection with the documents in a first for a former president.