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Judge expands hearing to consider ‘unlawful’ appointment of Jack Smith

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Judge Aileen Cannon has expanded an upcoming hearing in the case against former President Trump regarding his retention of classified documents.

Cannon postponed the trial indefinitely and scheduled an evidentiary hearing for June 21st to consider arguments that the appointment of special counsel Jack Smith was unlawful.

Former Attorney General Ed Meese filed an amicus brief arguing Smith’s appointment violated the Appointments Clause as he was a private citizen not approved by Congress.

“Not clothed in the authority of the federal government, Smith is a modern example of the naked emperor,” the brief reads.

“Improperly appointed, he has no more authority to represent the United States in this Court than Bryce Harper, Taylor Swift, or Jeff Bezos,” the brief adds.

Smith was appointed “to conduct the ongoing investigation into whether any person or entity [including former President Trump] violated the law in connection with efforts to interfere with the lawful transfer of power following the 2020 presidential election or the certification of the Electoral College vote held on or about January 6, 2021.”

“There are regulations under which the attorney general appoint special counsel. They have been in effect for 30 years, maybe longer, under both parties,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said.

“The matter that you’re talking about, about whether somebody can have an employee of the Justice Department serve as special counsel has been adjudicated,” Garland said.

“None of those statutes, nor any other statutory or constitutional provisions, remotely authorized the appointment by the Attorney General of a private citizen to receive extraordinary criminal law enforcement power under the title of Special Counsel.”

Meese will present arguments at the hearing along with others challenging Smith’s authority.

Cannon set additional deadlines and hearings stretching into July as Trump also faces a related New York trial this month.

She did not set a new trial date in this case, where Trump has pleaded not guilty to obstruction and improper handling of classified records charges.

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