Trump Prosecutor Attacks Judge

Donald Trump

( – In a clear sign that the leftist legal persecution onslaught against Donald Trump is starting to run into trouble, the US special counsel in the former president’s classified documents case has attacked the judge presiding over the trial over what he says is a “flawed” juror request.

Special Counsel Jack Smith leveled criticism against Federal Judge Aileen Cannon late Tuesday, labeling her request concerning jury instructions in the upcoming trial of former President Donald Trump for holding classified documents in Florida as significantly misguided.

Smith articulated in a legal submission to the Southern District of Florida that Judge Cannon’s demand for specific jury instructions was founded on an incorrect legal assumption about “the possession and storage of classified information,” which could potentially skew the trial’s outcome if unchallenged, The New York Post reports.

Judge Cannon had proposed that both the prosecution, led by Smith, and Trump’s defense team should instruct the jury under the assumption that the former president had the authority to declassify any document in question, or alternatively, let the jurors decide which documents were of a presidential nature and which were personal.

This proposal was in reaction to Trump’s legal team seeking to dismiss the charges based on the Presidential Records Act (PRA) of 1978, claiming it granted the ex-president the right to deem sensitive documents as his personal property post-presidency.

Smith countered in his Tuesday submission that the president does not possess such powers and that the differentiation between personal and presidential records, under Section 793 of the Espionage Act, was irrelevant to Trump’s alleged unauthorized retention of “national defense information.”

“[T]he PRA should play no role in the jury instructions on the elements of Section 793. Indeed, based on the current record, the PRA should not play any role at trial at all,” the special counsel stated.

Smith also mentioned the possibility of appealing to higher judicial authorities if Judge Cannon decides to incorporate the PRA in the jury’s guidelines.

“[I]f the Court concludes … that a President has carte blanche to remove any document from the White House at the end of his presidency … that would constitute a ‘clearly erroneous jury instruction that entails a high probability of failure of a prosecution,’” he added citing a 1994 decision by the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals

He expressed concerns about potential delays in the trial timeline, hinting that it could extend beyond the 2024 Election Day.

Trump’s attorneys, Todd Blanche and Christopher Kise, responded on Tuesday by reiterating that the over 30 charges for improper handling of national defense information against Trump were “unconstitutionally vague” and persisted in their request to dismiss the case based on the PRA.

“[T]his prosecution is based on official acts that President Trump took during his first term in Office,” they reacted, suggesting that evidence to the contrary would not be admissible due to presidential immunity.

Blanche and Kise have also sought to postpone the trial pending a Supreme Court verdict on Trump’s claim of presidential immunity in a separate federal case brought by Smith in Washington, DC, for purported interference in the 2020 election.

The Supreme Court is set to deliberate on this issue in the week of April 22, with a ruling anticipated shortly thereafter.

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