Trump Documents Trial: J’RECUSE!

Frank S. Robinson
3 min readMar 26, 2024

March 26, 2024

Trump operatives aggressively screamed conflict-of-interest because Georgia prosecutor Fani Willis, on his 2020 election crimes case, had an affair with a team-mate. How that could have prejudiced Trump’s case was never clear, and the claim was ultimately rejected.

But meantime — his trial for his classified document thefts is before Federal Judge Aileen Cannon — whom Trump appointed to her position.

How does she not recuse herself? (That means bowing out from the case.) She owes her job to the defendant! Could there be a more blatant instance of potential judicial bias? Indeed, it seems to be more than just a potential. Already Judge Cannon has issued a string of rulings favoring Trump (one of them vigorously slapped down by an appeals panel).

It is fundamental to our justice system that, to maintain public confidence, judges should not only be free from bias, but should avoid any appearance of it. Hence recusal is an important feature.

I have some personal experience in this realm. In 1973, sued for libel in a political case, I came before Judge Arnold Proskin. He had been politically active on the same side. That mere fact made him immediately recuse himself. He would not hear another word.

A decade later I was a Public Service Commission administrative law judge, on another politically sensitive case (involving the Shoreham nuclear project). A comment of mine to a reporter (off the record, I’d said) got published, questioning the merits of one party’s proposal. They moved for my recusal. I thought it was a close call, but finally ruled that the comment did not show bias. The Commission agreed on appeal.

The point is that, again, judges must not be seen to rule in cases where possible bias is a factor. Judge Cannon’s failure to recuse is a disgraceful violation of judicial ethics. A moral dereliction endemic to all Trumpworld. He’s been shrieking that our justice system is biased against him, conducting a “witch hunt,” it’s a centerpiece of his campaign. When in reality he’s been getting away with too much, for too long, making a mockery of justice in America. Judge Cannon’s role is just one piece of that picture.

It undermines public faith in our courts. Just as Trump has also cynically undermined confidence in election integrity. He is a civic wrecking ball. He and his MAGA fools have no clue what America is all about. Electing him president again would be insane.