Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Legal experts say Jack Smith appeal threat ‘puts Cannon on notice’

via CNN
This article was originally published at Publications approved for syndication have permission to republish this article, such as Microsoft News, Yahoo News, Newsbreak, UltimateNewswire and others. To learn more about syndication opportunities, visit About Us.

Special counsel Jack Smith and Donald Trump’s lawyers submitted competing proposed jury instructions in the classified documents case, in response to an unusual order from Judge Aileen Cannon.

Smith argued Cannon’s instructions were based on a “fundamentally flawed” view that the Presidential Records Act could allow Trump to claim government records as personal property.

Smith asked Cannon to rule before trial so he can appeal, warning any PRA-based instructions could distort the trial.

“The PRA’s distinction between personal and presidential records has no bearing on whether a former President’s possession of documents containing national defense information is authorized under the Espionage Act, and the PRA should play no role in the jury instructions,” Smith stated. “Indeed, based on the current record, the PRA should not play any role at trial at all.”

“Things just got very real in the classified documents prosecution,” New York University Law Prof. Ryan Goodman wrote.

Legal experts said Smith’s filing puts pressure on Cannon and threatens an immediate appeal if her ruling risks a “miscarriage of justice.”

Trump’s instructions suggested various ways for jurors to find him not guilty.

“To make this crystal clear, if trial begins and Judge Cannon makes a ruling that is legally erroneous *in the middle of the trial*, resulting in a not guilty verdict, prosecutors *cannot* appeal the verdict,” former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti said. “That’s why Jack Smith wants a ruling before trial, so he can appeal.”

The filing “puts Cannon on notice that he has had enough,” National security attorney Bradley Moss said.

“The PRA angle is a question of law, not fact, and if she believes Trump’s PRA defense she should grant his motion and let Smith take this to the 11th circuit already,” he wrote.

“You heard evidence during the trial that President Trump exercised that authority, at times verbally and at times without using formal procedures, while he was President,” Trump’s lawyers wrote. “I instruct you that those declassification decisions are examples of valid and legally appropriate uses of President Trump’s declassification authority while he was President of the United States.”

Experts argued Cannon bears responsibility for the situation and that Trump is making desperate arguments given the strength of evidence against him in the classified documents case.

“Cannon is definitely in a pickle, but has nobody to blame but herself for it,” former U.S. Attorney Harry Litman wrote.

“The Mar-a-Lago case remains the steepest legal challenge Trump faces,” Mariotti wrote. “Absolutely devastating evidence that is almost impossible for Trump to overcome. That’s why he is trying to delay and is making absurd arguments about the Presidential Records Act.”

You May Also Like