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 March 19, 2024

Judge issues 'unusual' order in Trump's classified documents case

Special Counsel Jack Smith's classified documents case against former President Donald Trump just became a potential nightmare for the prosecution

That's because Judge Aileen Cannon made what was described as an "unusual" request on Monday evening, asking lawyers "to contemplate how a jury could be told to weigh the criminal law around national security records if Trump could say the PRA gave him authority to keep documents he chose."

Legal experts, baffled at the request, implied that such a request could help the former president during the trial.

The DOJ has maintained that the Presidential Records Act (PRA) has nothing to do with their case against Trump, leaving many to wonder where the judge is going with such a request.

What's happening?

The judge's request was explained:

Cannon’s order asked both the special counsel’s office and Trump’s attorneys to write jury instructions defining terms of the Espionage Act, under which the former President is charged for mishandling 32 classified records.

The judge requested that both the prosecution and defense write versions of those instructions incorporating the PRA, and set a deadline for April 2.

"Engage with the following competing scenarios and offer alternative draft text that assumes each scenario to be a correct formulation of the law to be issued to a jury," Judge Cannon wrote.

Brad Moss, a national security lawyer, told CNN on Monday that he's perplexed as to why the judge made the request.

"I don’t get what she’s doing with this. I don’t understand where she is going with this order," Moss said.

He added, "It’s a bizarrely written set of questions that doesn’t lend itself to an easily understandable set of answers."

Instant backlash

Clearly, Cannon's request triggered Trump's critics, with many calling for her to be removed from the case as a result of issuing the order for both sets of instructions.

"Okay, I’ve seen enough. Not only should Aileen Cannon not be sitting on this case, but she should not be sitting on the federal bench at all. This is utterly nuts," George Conway wrote on X.

Only time will tell how both sides respond to the order, but Trump's lawyers definitely received a much-needed legal boost in the matter. Judge Canon can also expect a torrent of hatred for not going along with the left's mission to torpedo Trump.

Written By:
Ryan Ledendecker

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