Impeach Aileen Cannon Calls Grow as Trump Judge 'Eviscerated' by Court

Calls are growing for the impeachment of U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon after an appeals court overturned her order appointing a special master in a high-profile case involving former President Donald Trump.

Cannon, a Trump appointee who serves as a judge in the Southern District of Florida, had granted the former president's request for a special master to review documents seized from his Mar-a-Lago residence by the FBI on August 8.

On Thursday, a three-judge panel of the Florida-based U.S. Court of the Appeals for the 11th Circuit overturned Cannon's decision following an application from the Department of Justice (DOJ), which had opposed a special master.

Comp Image, Aileen Cannon and Donald Trump
In this combination image, a file photo of Judge Aileen Cannon and Donald Trump speaks during an election night event at Mar-a-Lago on November 08, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida. A petition is calling for Cannon to be impeached. uscourts/Getty

The judges made the decision in a strongly worded ruling that said that while the search warrant for Trump's home was "extraordinary" it did not give "the judiciary licence to interfere in an ongoing investigation."

Cristian Farias, who has written about law and justice for publications including Vanity Fair and The New York Times, tweeted: "Trump judge Aileen Cannon gets eviscerated here" and quoted from the three judges' ruling.

"The law is clear. We cannot write a rule that allows any subject of a search warrant to block government investigations after the execution of the warrant. Nor can we write a rule that allows only former presidents to do so," the panel wrote.

Other social media users directed criticism at Cannon and a petition has been set up calling for the judge to be impeached. It had garnered more than 1,900 signatures when reviewed by Newsweek early on Friday morning.

Mike Sacks, visiting scholar at the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media & Democracy at Duke University, tweeted: "Cannon avoided death threats from Trump's minions and managed to stay in Trump's good graces by bending the law to protect him."

"I'd say mission accomplished for her...if Trump runs and wins again. Otherwise she lit her entire judicial reputation and future on fire for nothing," Sacks said.

The petition accuses Cannon of having "single-handedly blocked a criminal investigation, usurping clear cut executive power. This is a clear-cut impeachable offense."

Cannon had previously prevented the DOJ from accessing documents seized at Mar-a-Lago until the special master Judge Raymond Dearie completed his review but the 11th Circuit later granted the DOJ access to materials that were marked as classified.

Twitter users also weighed in on impeaching Cannon, with some sharing the petition.

Sirius XM host Dean Obeidallah quoted from Thursday's ruling and added: "IMPEACH Trump 'Judge' Aileen Cannon!!"

User kenneth williams said Cannon "ought to be impeach[ed] for actions unbecoming of a judge: bias deception/conspiracy to distract Gov. in performance of duty: #DOJ investigation/search warrant."

Newsweek has asked Cannon and former President Trump's office for comment.

The U.S. House of Representatives has the authority to impeach a federal judge by a simple majority vote under Article I of the Constitution. However, a justice cannot be removed from office without a trial in the Senate and only if two-thirds of senators vote to convict, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.

Only 15 federal judges have ever been impeached in U.S. history and just eight of those went on to be convicted in the Senate.