Federal Prosecutors Challenge Judge’s Handling of Trump’s Classified Documents Case


In a recent court filing, federal prosecutors have sharply criticized U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, who is overseeing the case concerning former President Trump’s handling of classified documents in the Southern District of Florida. They argue that the judge’s approach to potential jury instructions is based on a “fundamentally flawed legal premise.”

Image Credits: foxnews  (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

The dispute revolves around the judge’s request for both prosecution and defense attorneys to submit hypothetical jury instructions. These instructions were related to two different scenarios where Judge Cannon accepted Trump’s argument that he had the right to retain sensitive documents under the Presidential Records Act (PRA), despite facing criminal charges.

Prosecutor Smith denounced the judge’s request as “wrong” and warned that it would “distort” the trial. He asserted that the PRA is irrelevant to Trump’s case and emphasized that the former president was not authorized under the Espionage Act to possess highly classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida after leaving the White House.

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According to prosecutors, the documents recovered from Mar-a-Lago during a 2022 FBI raid were not designated as personal by Trump, nor was there any evidence to support his claim that they were. They argued that Trump’s assertion of personal designation only emerged after the public became aware of his possession of the documents and that no witnesses supported his claims during the investigation.

Smith warned that if Judge Cannon insists on her proposed jury instructions, prosecutors will appeal the decision. The prosecutors’ frustration with the judge’s handling of Trump’s case has been growing, with multiple defense motions still pending, including requests to dismiss the indictment.

Judge Cannon, who was appointed by Trump, has yet to rule on these motions, and the trial date remains uncertain. Despite overwhelming evidence presented by Smith’s team, the case may not be resolved before the November presidential election.

Earlier, Judge Cannon faced criticism for granting Trump’s request for an independent arbiter to review documents seized during the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago. She has dismissed Trump’s motion to dismiss charges based on “unconstitutional vagueness” and has expressed skepticism about his interpretation of the Presidential Records Act.

In response to the judge’s premise regarding the PRA’s role in categorizing records as personal or presidential, prosecutors have argued that this interpretation is incorrect and urged her to swiftly reject the defense’s remaining motion to dismiss.

The ongoing dispute highlights the complexity of the legal proceedings surrounding Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents, with significant implications for the trial’s outcome.

Data Source: foxnews

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