Judge Cannon rejects Trump’s motion to dismiss classified documents indictment based on unconstitutional vagueness

by | Mar 14, 2024

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon has denied President Trump's motion to dismiss his federal classified documents case based off the argument of unconstitutional vagueness.

She has not ruled on another motion to dismiss argued during today's hearing.

During the hearing, Judge Cannon had expressed skepticism about the motions to dismiss the indictment, particularly regarding the Presidential Records Act, stating that dismissing it on those grounds would be “difficult to see.”

Cannon commenced the proceedings without addressing the trial date for the case and instead instructed the defense attorneys to present their arguments for the motion to dismiss based on unconstitutional vagueness.

Cannon responded skeptically to the defense's argument, indicating at one juncture that the motion seemed “premature.” She further engaged Bove with inquiries about definitions and hypothetical scenarios pertaining to Trump's conduct.

Judge Cannon directed a question to special counsel prosecutor Jay Bratt, inquiring whether any “high-ranking official,” including a president or vice president, had ever faced charges of mishandling classified documents.

The judge also queried Bratt about instances in which individuals who “no longer had clearances” were prosecuted.

“I have had a Q clearance for 15 years,” Bratt responded. “I can view classified documents in a SCIF. I can't take them home and leave them in my basement.”

Defense attorney Todd Blanche contended that Trump possessed the authority to designate his records as personal rather than presidential before removing documents from the White House. Blanche asserted that Trump's actions aligned with the longstanding approach adopted by past presidents.

Judge Cannon indicated on two separate occasions that the argument would not justify dismissal, stating that Blanche's argument would be more appropriate for consideration during trial rather than in a motion to dismiss.

Cannon concluded the hearing on Thursday by stating that she would consider the motions and deliver her rulings promptly.

Source: ABC News

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