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Judge Aileen Cannon Smacks Down Jack Smith In Scathing Court Order

CBS
This article was originally published at StateOfUnion.org. 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.

Judge Aileen Cannon

CBS

In a legal twist, Judge Aileen Cannon’s recent ruling rejected Special Counsel Jack Smith’s request for secrecy in the legal battle involving former President Donald Trump’s classified documents.

Appointed by Trump

CBS

Judge Cannon, appointed by Trump and overseeing the case, criticized Smith’s broad plea for confidentiality regarding FBI interviews, highlighting a growing dispute over the extent of information disclosure in the investigation.

Disagreement

CBS

The core of the disagreement revolves around the judge’s choice to unveil Walt Nauta’s voluntary FBI interview from 2022, just before a critical hearing on defense motions.

Obstruct justice

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Nauta, a former personal assistant to Trump, and Carlos De Oliveira, a Mar-a-Lago maintenance worker, are accused of collaborating to obstruct justice by allegedly moving boxes of sensitive materials to avoid federal retrieval efforts.

Special Counsel Smith

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Special Counsel Smith has raised concerns about revealing FBI witness identities, fearing intimidation from Trump supporters.

Firmly rejected

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While the judge agreed to anonymize some identities as per Smith’s request, she firmly rejected other censorship appeals, particularly regarding the substantive content of Nauta’s FBI interview.

Cannon’s ruling

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Judge Cannon’s ruling emphasized the public’s significant interest in accessing these materials and continued her critical stance towards Smith’s management of the case.

Government witnesses

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Nevertheless, on Tuesday, Judge Cannon sided with Special Counsel Smith regarding the protection of the identities of specific government witnesses set to testify that Trump purportedly removed documents from the White House.

Safeguard

CBS

Smith contended that shielding their identities would safeguard these witnesses from potential retaliation if Trump were to win the election in November.

Satisfied

CBS

“The Court is satisfied that the Special Counsel has made an adequate showing on this issue under Rule 16, at least at this juncture pending final trial preparations,” according to the court document reviewed by the Daily Caller.

File under seal

CBS

“The Court directs the Special Counsel … to file under seal an index containing the name of each potential government witness and a corresponding pseudonym/anonymization for use in the redactions of Defendants’ MTC.”

Statements

MSNBC

Smith may now release statements by certain witnesses using pseudonyms and redacting certain identifying information.

Government personnel

MSNBC

In addition to government personnel, former Mar-a-Lago employees are set to provide testimony regarding the handling of classified documents discovered at the Florida estate during an FBI raid in August 2022.

Unsuccessful

Fox News

Despite Special Counsel Smith’s unsuccessful attempts to limit the president’s access to these documents, Judge Cannon, appointed by Trump, rejected such efforts. Consequently, Trump’s legal team has sought the case’s dismissal based on alleged prosecutorial misconduct.

Ultimatum

Fox News

In a recent ultimatum, the judge instructed Smith to hand over all documents, including those containing national security information, or risk a mistrial. The trial’s commencement delays have compounded Smith’s challenges, with concerns raised that a verdict might not be reached before Election Day, a situation Trump could potentially reverse if re-elected.

Not guilty pleas

Fox News

Trump and his fellow defendants have entered not guilty pleas, with former Mar-a-Lago employee Brian Butler, identified as “Trump Employee 5”, disclosing to investigators that he inadvertently assisted in relocating and safeguarding the classified documents.

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