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Shady Judge Cannon Does Trump’s Bidding Yet Again—but It May Backfire

A legal scholar explains why Aileen Cannon’s latest pro-Trump decision might not help him in the long run—and why he may still face more criminal trials before the election than expected.

Andrew Kelly/Pool/Getty Images
Former President Donald Trump at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 28

On Tuesday, Judge Aileen Cannon temporarily denied special counsel Jack Smith’s latest request for a gag order on Donald Trump’s lie that the FBI was set to use lethal force on Trump at Mar-a-Lago. In keeping with a shady pattern of favoritism toward Trump, Cannon said no, but she may feel pressure to grant the gag order later, lest Smith seek her removal. We talked to legal scholar Matthew Seligman, who has done great work road-mapping Trump’s legal travails, about why Cannon’s move may not help Trump in the long run—and why it’s premature to assume he won’t face a federal criminal trial before the election. Listen to this episode here.