Judge Cannon Will Allow Hearing After Trump Attorneys Motion On Smith

June 5, 2024

This is big.

In a recent development, Judge Aileen Cannon has granted former President Donald Trump’s request to examine the legality of appointing Jack Smith as special counsel in the classified documents case. This case revolves around Trump’s handling of classified documents after leaving office.

Judge Cannon has agreed to expand the hearing to include parties not originally involved in the case. The hearing, scheduled for later this month, will assess Trump’s argument that Smith’s appointment was unlawful. Among the third parties permitted to participate in the oral arguments are attorneys Josh Blackman and Gene Schaerr, who support Trump’s motion to dismiss the case based on these grounds.

However, not everyone agrees with Trump’s position. Matthew Seligman, representing a group of former government officials, has labeled the motion as “meritless.” This comes amid ongoing debates about the appointment’s legality, which have even touched upon topics not yet argued in the Supreme Court.

Some of this stems from a line of questioning during a House hearing before Cannon’s ruling. Rep. Thomas Massie noted that he believed Jack Smith was nominated to special council unconstitutionally.


Things have not gone as planned for Jack Smith. Last Tuesday, the special counsel was criticized by Judge Cannon, who warned that he could face sanctions if he doesn’t change his approach. The Florida U.S. District Judge denied Smith’s motion to implement a gag order preventing Trump from criticizing him and elements of the case.

In her ruling, Judge Cannon wrote that Smith did not give Trump’s attorneys enough time to consider his motion, stating, “Sufficient time needs to be afforded to permit reasonable evaluation of the requested relief by opposing counsel… Because the filing of the Special Counsel’s Motion did not adhere to these basic requirements, it is due to be denied without prejudice.”


Judge Cannon further warned Smith that he risks sanctions if he continues to bury evidence requiring counsel in footnotes rather than including them as addendums to his filings. Additionally, he will be required to report unbiased statements on each filing of less than 200 words by Trump’s defense team.

In May, Judge Cannon told a member of Smith’s prosecutorial team to “calm down” after the lawyer lost his cool while opposing a motion by a Trump codefendant. A large number of redacted documents have also been ordered to be unsealed, which has reduced Smith’s ability to hide evidence from Trump’s attorneys. Among the disclosures was evidence that prosecutors threatened an attorney for a Trump codefendant and conspired with NARA officials to keep Trump’s representatives out of the loop in the weeks leading up to the FBI’s August 8th, 2022 raid of Mar-a-Lago.

 

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