Ty Cobb says 11th Circuit may remove judge from Trump documents case

Ty Cobb says 11th Circuit may remove judge from Trump documents case | The Hill

Ty Cobb, former White House special counsel, holds an umbrella while walking near the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, May 17, 2018. (Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Former White House attorney Ty Cobb on Wednesday predicted that the 11th Circuit Court could ultimately decide to remove Judge Aileen Cannon from the case involving former President Trump’s mishandling of classified documents at his estate in Florida.

In an interview on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront,” the former Trump administration official pointed to special counsel Jack Smith’s most recent filing and said he thinks it makes clear that Smith could take the case up to the 11th Circuit if Cannon does not rule promptly.

“I think that Jack Smith– I think the filing today makes it plain that she has to rule, and if she doesn’t rule under either scenario, they’ll be in a position to take her up to the 11th Circuit. And I think the 11th Circuit will likely take her off the case,” Cobb said.

Cannon recently instructed both sides in Trump’s documents case to propose jury instructions that would largely take into account Trump’s view of the Presidential Records Act (PRA), the law that dictates how records created during a president’s term must be handled and later archived. Cannon gave the instructions despite failing to consider Trump’s earlier motion to toss the case on those grounds.

In an uncharacteristically direct filing, Smith blasted Cannon for embracing Trump’s “fundamentally flawed legal premise” that the classified documents recovered from his Florida home were somehow his personal property. He called on Cannon to rule on the matter promptly.

Cobb noted that the 11th Circuit has rebuked Cannon’s handling of the case before, which has been tremendously delayed under Cannon.

“Her delays here are extraordinary,” he said, noting that it was “remarkable” that Cannon has not yet set a trial date.

Cobb pushed back on the idea that Cannon’s so-called missteps could be explained simply by inexperience or incompetence, saying, “the evidence of her bias is pretty palpable at this stage of the game.”

“I think the evidence is just too overwhelming,” he later added. “I mean, yes, she may be incompetent, but at this stage of the game, her incompetence is so gross that I think it clearly creates the perception of partiality, and her attempt to put her thumb on the scale. So, I think that should disqualify her.”

Trump is largely being prosecuted under the Espionage Act, which prohibits the willful retention of national defense information. He is also charged with obstruction of justice for seeking to conceal the records from authorities after they demanded their return.

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