New filing from Judge Cannon reflects ‘disappointment’ with Special Counsel Smith

by | May 20, 2024

Judge Cannon issued a stern rebuke to DOJ special counsel Jack Smith and his team of prosecutors in a filing posted Sunday concerning President Trump's classified documents case.

The filing, from the Southern District of Florida's West Palm Beach Division, reflects Cannon's “disappointment” with Smith for seeking to withhold information from the public to protect grand jury secrecy and witness safety, while allegedly ignoring similar concerns at other points during the case.

In the five-page order, Cannon “granted in part and denied in part” Smith's motions regarding sealing and redacting defense filings in the trial over Trump's alleged mishandling of classified documents taken to his Mar-a-Lago estate after leaving the White House in January 2021.

Judge Cannon criticized Smith, stating, “nowhere in that explanation is there any basis to conclude that the Special Counsel could not have defended the integrity of his Office while simultaneously preserving the witness-safety and concerns he has repeatedly told the Court, and maintains to this day, are of serious consequence, and which the Court has endeavored with diligence to accommodate in its multiple Orders on sealing/redaction. The Court is disappointed in these developments.”

Cannon expressed concern over Smith's handling of certain sealed materials, highlighting his previous stance on unsealing documents to publicly address defense allegations of prosecutorial misconduct. She has indefinitely suspended the trial's start date while related legal disputes are resolved.

She also denied proposed redactions by Trump's legal team but granted a merits hearing on the redactions in another motion. Trump's co-defendants, Walt Nauta and Carlos De Oliveira, are also mentioned in the order.


Read the filing here.

Source: Newsweek



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