Judge in Trump documents case made serious mistakes in prior, unrelated case

By Jen Krausz on
 August 4, 2023

Judge Aileen Cannon was selected to preside over former President Donald Trump's indictment on charges that he mishandled classified documents, but it has now come to light that she made several critical errors on a recent, unrelated case.

In a June trial of an Alabama man who was accused of running a website with child sex abuse images on it, Cannon closed the courtroom during jury selection, excluding the defendant's family members and the public, because of a lack of seating. This is a no-no because of the defendant's right to a public trial.

Cannon did allow family members into the courtroom after several jury members had been released, and seats were freed up, but the error could have seriously jeopardized the trial if a plea deal had not been reached before the case was presented.

The judge also apparently forgot to swear in the prospective jury pool, causing her to restart jury selection just before the plea deal was reached.

These errors bring up questions about whether she will run Trump's trial fairly and accurately.

No one involved in the case, including Cannon, would comment on the reports. Other experts said the mistakes likely reflect inexperience and usually diminish with time as experience grows.