Legal analyst tells Trump classified docs judge to ‘stay in your lane’

An MSNBC legal analyst warned Judge Aileen Cannon to stay in her “lane” as she’s set to continue a hearing into next week arguing that the special counsel of former President Trump’s classified documents case was illegally appointed.

“Girl, stay in your lane,” Melissa Murray, MSNBC legal analyst and New York University law professor, said in comments directed at Cannon during Friday’s edition of “All In with Chris Hayes” in comments highlighted by Mediaite.

Cannon heard the first day of arguments Friday as Trump’s lawyers once again hope to dismiss, or at the very least delay, what has been widely seen as the most clear-cut of the former president’s four legal cases.

The Trump team’s argument is that special counsel Jack Smith was illegally appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland because his special office and his approval was not done by Congress.

In defense, Smith’s team argued that appointing Smith was under Garland’s purview as head of the Justice Department, noting that a similar argument failed in a challenge to Robert Mueller’s appointment by the Trump administration. Despite the legal precedent pushback, Cannon did not opt to immediately rule.

Judge Cannon, a Trump appointee to the bench, has been characterized by some as a partisan sympathizer toward the former president. Her willingness to entertain this latest claim from the Trump camp has raised alarm bells, considering that the special counsel selection process was blanketed in legal precedent.

“If this were an actual issue it would ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court, not by a district court judge in Fort Pierce, Florida,” Murray concluded.

Cannon has long frustrated prosecutors with concessions made to Trump’s defense. Before Trump’s June 2023 indictment, she granted a Trump request in September to have an independent special master review the classified documents found in the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago. A federal appeals panel later unanimously overturned her ruling.

The New York Times reported Thursday that two judges attempted to persuade Cannon to hand off the case when it was randomly assigned to her. They, in part, reportedly urged her to consider the optics of her handling the former president’s case.

The hearing is set to continue Monday, when the two sides will continue to discuss Smith’s appointment, as well as a limited gag order on Trump proposed by the prosecution to protect law enforcement officers involved with the August 2022 Mar-a-Lago search.

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