Prosecutors fire warning shot after Florida judge’s ‘flawed’ order in Trump criminal case

Prosecutors fire warning shot after Florida judge’s ‘flawed’ order in Trump criminal case
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A split image of Special Counsel Jack Smith (left) and Donald Trump (right)
Special Counsel Jack Smith and former President Donald Trump.

  • Prosecutors in Trump’s classified documents fired back at Judge Aileen Cannon.
  • Jack Smith’s team says her order for jury instructions was “fundamentally flawed.”
  • In their response, prosecutors raised the prospect of taking her order to a higher court to stop it.

Prosecutors in Donald Trump’s classified documents criminal case filed a scathing response to Judge Aileen Cannon, calling the basis of one of her orders “fundamentally flawed” and suggesting the feds would appeal to a higher court if she didn’t reverse it.

Cannon — a Trump appointee who had a previous favorable ruling for the former President smacked down by an appeals court — sparked confusion and concern from legal onlookers last month.

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In an order about jury instructions, Cannon appeared to embrace Trump’s argument that the Presidential Records Act (PRA) could be interpreted to say the classified documents he’d taken to Mar-a-Lago were his personal property.

Legal experts outside the case said that that argument — and Cannon’s recent order asking the prosecution and defense to craft jury instructions suggesting she was open to it — marked a troubling and unreasonable reading of the law, The Washington Post reported.

It’s also rare for jury instructions to be discussed so early on the process — especially without a trial date even set, according to the outlet.

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Federal prosecutors with special counsel Jack Smith’s office responded late Tuesday night, saying Cannon’s order rested on a “fundamentally flawed legal premise.”

“Indeed, it would be pure fiction to suggest that highly classified documents created by members of the intelligence community and military and presented to the President of the United States during his term in office were ‘purely private,'” prosecutors wrote in the 24-page filing.

The prosecutors asked Cannon to reverse the order or rule definitively on it quickly so they could pursue an appeal with a higher court before the trial began.

Prosecutors also asked Cannon to reject Trump’s PRA defense by ruling against his defense team’s earlier motion to dismiss the case based on that same argument.

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Last summer, federal prosecutors indicted Trump on 40 felony counts accusing him of mishandling dozens of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago residence and then obstructing government officials who were trying to get them back.

It is one of four criminal cases the former President is facing ahead of the November election.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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