HomeFlorida NewsTrump-appointed Judge Aileen Cannon "under fire" over undeclared luxury retreats

Trump-appointed Judge Aileen Cannon “under fire” over undeclared luxury retreats


Florida – Judge Aileen Cannon presides over the Florida case involving former President Donald Trump, which concerns the alleged mishandling of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate. Cannon, appointed by Trump in 2020 to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, has drawn considerable attention due to her pivotal role in this high-profile case.

Cannon drew attention when she initially ruled in Trump’s favor by appointing a special master to review the seized documents, temporarily delaying the Justice Department’s investigation. This decision was later overturned by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which stated that Cannon had overstepped her authority.

In light of her alleged oversight of the classified documents case, Cannon has come under further scrutiny following an investigation by National Public Radio (NPR). The investigation revealed that she had attended two “luxury” resort seminars at Sage Lodge Colloquium in Montana. Cannon’s office responded that technical issues were responsible for the delayed postings, and the court clerk confirmed that “any omissions to the website are completely inadvertent.”

Aileen Cannon, the federal judge presiding over former President Donald Trump’s classified documents case, has admitted to declaring two “luxury” resort trips to Montana. This information surfaced after a National Public Radio (NPR) investigation shed light on her attendance at two seminars at Sage Lodge Colloquium. Despite NPR’s inquiry suggesting a delay in disclosure, Cannon’s office attributed the omission to technical difficulties.

Check also: Judge’s decision in Florida case sparks bias accusations as many argue redaction ruling favors “DOJ’s political agenda” against Trump

Clarifying the Montana Trips

NPR’s online investigation suggested that the privately funded seminars were not immediately disclosed until the news outlet began inquiries. However, court clerk Angela Noble explained to NPR via email that “Any omissions to the website are completely inadvertent.” In response to Newsweek, Cannon’s office clarified that these trips were reported on the federal judge disclosure website. They were both funded by the George Mason University Foundation and occurred between late September and early October in 2021 and 2022.

NPR’s Investigation into Judicial Ethics

NPR’s investigation suggests that Cannon’s case is part of a broader pattern involving federal judges who allegedly failed to declare complimentary luxury travel. The investigation claims that “dozens of federal judges failed to fully disclose free luxury travel to judicial conferences around the world, as required by internal judiciary rules and federal ethics law.”

Furthermore, the investigation alleges that some judges were influenced by corporate interests and environmental groups who used lawsuits to push policy changes. NPR reports that some judges traveled with family members and even their pets, receiving free lodging, meals, and travel expenses.

Check also: Trump files another motion to have his Florida case dismissed, claims prosecution was lenient toward Biden, Clinton in similar instances

Scrutiny of Judicial Ethics in the Supreme Court

The inquiry into Cannon’s travel disclosures follows scrutiny of some Supreme Court judges for undisclosed trips. In December 2023, the Senate Judiciary Committee issued subpoenas to conservative activist Leonard Leo and billionaire Harlan Crow, compelling them to explain their relationship with Justice Clarence Thomas. This step was part of an ongoing inquiry into the ethics practices of Supreme Court justices.

Justice Thomas is under investigation for allegedly receiving extravagant vacations, including a $500,000 trip to Indonesia funded by Crow. He is also accused of accepting financial support for purchasing a recreational vehicle. The committee’s minority, supportive of Thomas, protested the inquiry by walking out of the hearing.

Check also: Staunch Trump supporter from New York accuses special counsel in the Florida case of trying to sway election outcome, files complaint

Cannon’s acknowledgment of her Montana trips underlines the growing scrutiny on judicial ethics and transparency, particularly in cases involving high-profile political figures like Trump.

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