Judge Cannon Issues Ruling Against Trump Prosecutors in Big Order
U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon on Tuesday rejected a request from special prosecutor Jack Smith’s legal team amid pre-trial wrangling in the classified documents case against former President Donald Trump.
Trump has been accused of mishandling classified documents, an allegation he rejects.
Smith’s team had sought a protective order to govern the use of the classified documents that are part of the case. “The language of the government’s filing indicated the [Department of Justice] wants some materials given to Trump’s lawyers to be off-limits to the former president,” the Washington Examiner reported.
Cannon rejected the request to impose the order, citing a “lack of meaningful conferral” between the two sides.
The court filing from the prosecution noted that the Classified Information Procedures Act “provides that the Court shall issue an order, upon the request of the United States, ‘to protect against the disclosure of any classified information disclosed by the United States to any defendant in any criminal case.’”
The issue appears to be that Trump’s defense team was not given enough time to respond to the prosecution’s request for a protective order.
The filing said that the government sent the proposed order to Trump’s team on July 12 and was told that the defense would “object to certain provisions” of it.
The prosecution said it sought a call with defense attorneys on July 14 “to see if it was possible to address the Defendants’ concerns. Defense counsel informed the Government that they were not available that day but could find a time for a call the following week.”
Smith’s team wanted the judge to force Trump’s team to make their objections on an “expedited schedule.” Instead, she rejected the government’s request for a protective order altogether.
One court watcher called Cannon’s decision “very odd,” while another confirmed that the DOJ did not give defense attorneys enough time to review the request and said the decision was “not that unusual.”
The decision was made “without prejudice,” which means the government can file a revised motion.
The major issue in the procedural pushing and shoving has been setting the date of the trial. The prosecution wants it to begin in December; Trump’s side has called for a delay until after the 2024 presidential election.