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Judge Cannon Surprises Jack Smith with a Harsh Ultimatum

via C-SPAN

In a win for Trump, Judge Aileen Cannon ruled that Special Counsel Jack Smith must either allow a jury to review all classified documents seized from Mar-a-Lago or risk an acquittal by not presenting the evidence.

Cannon said the jury must be able to examine documents Trump claimed were personal or be instructed that a president has sole authority to declassify records.

She questioned if the Presidential Records Act clearly defines what a president can declassify.

The ruling backs Smith into a corner on presenting evidence and could further delay a trial already expected to extend beyond 2024.

“Although there is no formal means in the PRA by which a president is to make that categorization, an outgoing president’s decision to exclude what he/she considers to be personal records from presidential records transmitted to the National Archives and Records Administration constitutes a president’s categorization of those records as personal under the PRA,” Cannon wrote.

It provides more opportunities for Trump’s lawyers to cross-examine witnesses and accommodate his other legal cases.

While Cannon did not dismiss the case last week, she has handed Trump victories that benefit his defense.

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