Judge rejects another Trump motion to dismiss classified document case

A federal judge denied former President Donald Trump’s request to have his classified papers case dismissed under the Presidential Records Act.

Trump’s attorneys had contended in four petitions to dismiss that, under the Presidential Records Act, Trump should have been permitted to retain custody of the records in question even after he was president.

Last month, Judge Aileen Cannon refused another of Trump’s efforts to dismiss the case due to unconstitutional vagueness.

Judge rejects another Trump motion to dismiss classified document case

The former president has also sought dismissal on the basis of presidential immunity and allegations that Jack Smith’s appointment as special counsel was illegal.

In her decision Thursday, Judge Cannon also criticized the special counsel for his late Tuesday filing urging her to reverse course on planned jury instructions.

In Tuesday’s filing, Smith urged Cannon to abandon the notion that Trump had personal possession of the sensitive data he is accused of illegally holding.

Judge Cannon declined Smith’s demand to disclose her view on whether the Presidential Records Act will play any role in jury instructions, calling it “unprecedented and unjust.”

Judge rejects another Trump motion to dismiss classified document case

“The Court’s Order soliciting preliminary draft instructions on certain counts should not be misconstrued as declaring a final definition on any essential element or asserted defense in this case,” Cannon wrote in a blog post. “Nor should it be interpreted as anything other than what it was: a genuine attempt, in the context of the upcoming trial, to better understand the parties’ competing positions and the questions to be submitted to the jury in this complex case of first impression.”

The judge also dismissed Smith’s proposal that he seek intervention from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to require her to clarify her position, stating, “As always, any party is free to exercise whatever appellate options it sees fit to invoke, as permitted by law.”

Last June, Trump pleaded not guilty to 37 criminal counts related to his handling of classified materials, after prosecutors claimed he repeatedly refused to return hundreds of documents containing classified information ranging from US nuclear secrets to the nation’s defense capabilities, and took steps to thwart the government’s efforts to recover the documents.

Trump has refuted all allegations and described the investigation as a political witch hunt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *