Fri. May 24th, 2024

Special counsel could seek removal of judge in Trump classified docs case, attorneys warn

By 37ci3 Apr5,2024

Even Trump defended the judge and argued writings Smith should be on his Truth Social platform “sanction or censure” For criticizing Cannon’s final request for jury instructions.

But instead of backing down, Aronberg ramped up the tension in a court filing that outlined Cannon’s proposed jury scenarios, including Thursday’s, so Smith will have no choice but to appeal.

“Apparently Cannon is daring Smith,” he said.

Cannon responded Thursday at the time It ordered Trump and the special counsel to present instructions to the jury based on two competing scenarios On the Presidential Records Act related to the charges against Trump, it was nothing more than a “genuine attempt to better understand the competing positions of the parties and the questions that will be presented to the jury in this complex case of first impressions.”

The judge also described as “unfair” the request for an urgent ruling on whether the legal basis behind Smith’s request was a “proper formulation of the law.” He later appeared in the special counsel’s office with a thumb on his nose.

“As always, any party is free to pursue any appellate options they see fit to pursue, as permitted by law,” Cannon said.

Trump’s lawyers have argued that the Presidential Records Act gives Trump the authority to decide whether a record, including classified documents seized by federal investigators at his Mar-a-Lago estate, is personal or presidential, and that his decision cannot be overturned. the courts. Smith’s office has described Trump’s defense of using the Presidential Records Act as “not based on any facts” and has questioned claims that the documents were made private while he was still president, saying there is no evidence.

Smith’s office has aired its frustrations with Cannon, including its speed, as Trump fights for more time to file his lawsuit in Florida and Cannon’s docket still has a number of legal issues to resolve.

In a separate case involving Trump, Smith argued that there was a “national interest in seeing the expeditious resolution” of the charges against the former president. (Trump counters that filing a lawsuit before an election is interfering with the election process.)

In addition to the classified documents issue, Trump faces two criminal charges related to his attempts to stay in office after the 2020 election — one federal case filed by Smith and another filed in a Georgia state court — and is set to go on trial in New York in April. York for allegedly falsifying business records to cover up a hush money payment in the run-up to the 2016 election. Cannon has yet to set a trial date in Florida.

For Smith to move forward with his appeal, Cannon must decide whether the Presidential Records Act allows Trump to keep classified records after he leaves office, a central allegation in the case against the former president.

“The problem is that Smith still can’t turn to him on this matter until he issues a specific order on the jury instructions,” Aronberg said. “If he wants to call Smith’s bluff, Judge Cannon should declare his jury instructions accepted or dismiss the case based on his understanding of the PRA.”

In his ruling Thursday, the judge instead rejected Trump’s bid to dismiss the charges against him, arguing that he was protected by the act.

If Cannon instructs jurors based on federal prosecutors’ contention, the government cannot challenge the jury’s acquittal. That means Smith is under pressure to get Cannon to settle, prosecutors and defense attorneys said.

“Smith’s fear is that he will enter a final judgment on the erroneous jury instructions after the trial begins, which would prevent Smith from appealing his decision under double jeopardy rules,” Aronberg said. By asking Cannon to rule, the special counsel could appeal to the judge and, if federal prosecutors rule, ask the Eleventh Circuit to remove him for prejudice.

“He’s trying to force her hand,” said Ken White, a federal criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles. “He’s trying to say, ‘I need you to make a decision on this now,'” and he’s denying his motions that indicate he has the option of seeking emergency relief from the circuit if he flouts the jury instructions. This is exactly the type of situation that should prompt the circuit to step in.

“If he does something crazy enough — and this jury instruction is crazy enough to force him to bring a civil case back — it makes it very likely that the circuit will send him to someone else,” White said.

Cannon was blasted by the circuit court two years ago He fulfilled Trump’s request for a special master to review evidence seized from his Mar-a-Lago property and temporarily block parts of the Justice Department investigation before it is dropped.

Reversing Cannon would force the judge to reset in the case with a wide range of issues to be read. This would make pre-election litigation virtually impossible.

“This case never goes to trial before an election,” Aronberg said. “He always gave defense the benefit of the doubt and great respect for planning.”

Trump facing numerous charges in classified documents cases, including willful withholding of national defense information, false statements and representations, conspiracy to obstruct justice, concealment of a document or record, and corrupt concealment of a document. He pleaded not guilty to all charges. His co-defendants, Walt Nauta and Carlos De Oliveira, have also pleaded not guilty to related charges.

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By 37ci3

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