Disgraced Former Sen. Al Franken Floats Conspiracy Theory About Judge in Trump Case Before Trial Even Begins


It’s gotten a bit lost as the establishment media blasts Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration” at top volume on repeat over the 37-count federal indictment against former President Donald Trump, but there is something the left is fretting about: namely, the judge assigned to the case.

Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee, is scheduled to hear the case against the former president, which includes felony charges of willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice and false statements. The press is going full-Chernobyl over this, given that Cannon gave Trump’s team what they saw as favorable rulings after the raid on the president’s Mar-a-Lago residence last August.

The freakout level at Politico, for instance, is about a 5: “Trump drew one of his favorite judges. Here’s how she could help his case.” MSNBC, maybe a 6: “Aileen Cannon doesn’t recuse (yet) from Trump’s classified documents case.” Slate, we’re going to give them a 9 on the freakout scale: “Aileen Cannon’s Previous Rulings About Trump Demand Her Recusal.”

And then there’s former Democratic Minnesota Sen. Al Franken — who, much like Spinal Tap’s amps, has a freakout scale that goes to 11.

Just hours after Trump was formally indicted Tuesday in Florida, Franken took to Twitter with a bizarre conspiracy theory: Cannon might be playing a long game to get on the Supreme Court.

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“Odds on Aileen Cannon being next Supreme Court Justice?” Franken wrote in a tweet.

“She delays the trial until after the election. Trump wins. Republicans take the Senate. Clarence Thomas resigns.”

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At first glance, the level of delusion on display here — bordering on derangement, given the outrageousness of the implied charge — was reminiscent of liberal journalist and media strategist Sally Kohn’s infamous “straightforward from here” tweet, just in reverse. (In case you’ve forgotten that social media gem — in which Kohn described how she thought Hillary Clinton could still become president one month after Trump had been inaugurated — well, here you go.)

It certainly has the same level of fallacious intrigue involved. For starters, it’s flat-out anti-factual; as multiple media outlets reported, including Forbes, one of the reasons that prosecutors decided to try the case in Florida instead of Washington, D.C. — Judge Cannon or no Judge Cannon — is that it’s a so-called “rocket docket” venue, where cases are much more likely to reach trial quickly and not be indefinitely delayed by procedural maneuvering.

Besides the fact that Kohn was stupidly optimistic and Franken is engaging in paranoiac pessimism, let’s not forget that Kohn is best known as an activist while Franken was a senator once upon a time. (He was forced to resign amid numerous allegations of sexual misconduct — including, at the very least, photographic evidence showing him pretending to grope a sleeping woman’s breasts while on a USO trip.)

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In other words, this isn’t just a former “Saturday Night Live” cast member’s rantings or the ravings of the former owner of a failed left-wing talk radio network. It’s both of those, too — but chiefly, this man was once a senator, and he’s now tacitly accusing a federal judge of engaging in deliberate misconduct to get herself appointed to the Supreme Court.

The trial hasn’t even started yet. Cannon hasn’t done a thing. And already, Franken is speculating about how she might use this as a springboard to the highest court in the land. Has he taken leave of whatever meager senses he ever possessed?

Now, how is dragging the Trump trial out going to help his chances, you may ask? How would she broker this deal to jump from the Southern District of Florida all the way to the nation’s highest court? Or is it just going to be an unspoken quid pro quo? Franken has no evidence or answers for these questions, of course, nor does he need it.

He, like most of the liberal media, believes the only thing that’s going to spoil their party is this sinister little Trump-appointed jurist — but he’s gone a step further and posited that there could be nefarious deal-cutting that would lead to Supreme Court Justice Aileen Cannon. Why? Because, um, that’s how Trump works. Or something. And he was just speculating about the odds. Anyway, #TrumpIndictment.

Twitterers, suffice it to say, weren’t necessarily impressed with this line of thinking.

Now, of course, Franken is entitled to his own opinions and conspiracy theories, stupid though they may be. This, after all, isn’t that much different than the fatuousness of Stuart Smalley’s judgment when he was an elected official, anyway.

However, we live in a social media environment where saying you think COVID-19 vaccines might not be as effective as advertised or that a 4-year-old boy who thinks he’s a girl isn’t really a girl, which can lead to demonetization, shadowbanning and outright termination of one’s account on some platforms. At the very least, it’ll garner a person some opprobrium from the Powers That Be™.

Franken — using the “I’m just asking questions” tactic to introduce a conspiracy theory while maintaining plausible deniability that he actually meant it — is suggesting that the judge in Trump’s case might be aiming for a Supreme Court appointment by intentionally slow-walking his case until after the 2024 election. Twitter users may think it’s sad and pathetic, but there’s not even a community context message noting that he’s engaging in baseless conspiracy theorizing.

Remember that, until Franken was forced to resign due to the sexual misconduct allegations, he was being considered as a possible 2020 presidential challenger. Instead, the folksy Minnesotan role in the primary gauntlet was played by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, whose main dysfunctions seemed to involve overlong stories about her dad and an allegation she once ate a salad with a comb. Thank heavens for small mercies, I suppose.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture