Judge Cannon Removes Paragraph of Indictment Then Denies Trump’s Request to Dismiss Part of Jack Smith’s Classified Docs Case

by J Pelkey
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On Monday, Judge Aileen Cannon denied President Trump’s motion to dismiss some of the counts in Jack Smith’s classified documents case against him.

Trump and his co-defendant Walt Nauta filed a motion to dismiss charges related to obstruction and false statements.

Cannon denied the motion but removed a paragraph, saying that it was “not appropriate.”

AP News reported:

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The federal judge presiding over the classified documents case against former President Donald Trump and two of his associates struck a paragraph from the indictment on Monday but denied a defense request to dismiss some of the charges.

The paragraph concerns allegations that Trump, in 2021 while no longer president, showed a classified map of a foreign country to a representative of his political action committee while discussing a military operation that he said was not going well.

Defense lawyers said the paragraph was prejudicial because it included information that was not irrelevant to the indictment, which accuses Trump of illegally retaining classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate, and U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon on Monday agreed that the language’s inclusion in charging documents was “not appropriate.”

She left the rest of the indictment intact, denying in her 14-page order a defense request to dismiss actual charges in the indictment. But even as she did that, she chided special counsel Jack Smith’s team for having included in the indictment language that she said was “legally unnecessary to serve the function of an indictment” and for creating “arguable confusion” in the allegations.

The motion to dismiss the counts is one of multiple pretrial requests and disputes that for months have piled up before Cannon, snarling the progress of the case and prompting the judge last month to indefinitely postpone a trial that had been set for May 20 in Fort Pierce, Fla.

She has scheduled additional arguments for later this month, including on a Trump challenge to the legality and funding of the Justice Department’s appointment of Smith as special counsel last year.

The delays are all the more startling given that many legal experts had seen the classified documents case as exceedingly straightforward in its allegations that Trump had illegally hoarded classified documents from his presidency at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., and obstructed FBI efforts to get them back.

The prosecution is one of four criminal cases Trump is facing as he seeks to reclaim the White House.

The defendants in this particular motion had sought to throw out more than a half-dozen counts in the indictment, which also accuses Trump of conspiring with valet Walt Nauta and Mar-a-Lago property manager Carlos De Oliveira to conceal the sensitive files from the government.

Judge Aileen Cannon will hold an expanded hearing to examine the legitimacy of Jack Smith’s special counsel appointment.

President Trump had previously filed a motion to dismiss Jack Smith’s charges related to classified documents, citing the “unlawful appointment and funding of Special Counsel.”

The evidentiary hearing is scheduled for June 21.

Last month, Judge Cannon indefinitely postponed the classified documents case after Special Counsel Jack Smith admitted to evidence tampering.

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