Judge In Trump’s Federal Trial Slaps Down Jack Smith With Major Ruling

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In response to former President Donald Trump’s handling of sensitive documents, US District Judge Aileen Cannon ruled on Monday that special counsel Jack Smith was not permitted to file the names of 84 possible witnesses under seal in order to prevent them from testifying incriminatingly.

In a brief order, Cannon stated that she was not persuaded that federal prosecutors did not have other options available to them to support keeping the list of potential witnesses hidden from the public.

“The Government’s Motion does not explain why filing the list with the Court is necessary; it does not offer a particularized basis to justify sealing the list from public view; it does not explain why partial sealing, redaction, or means other than sealing are unavailable or unsatisfactory, and it does not specify the duration of any proposed seal,” Cannon wrote.

The judge, who was selected by Trump, mentioned that other media outlets, including The New York Times, CNN, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Insider, have also resisted withholding the names of the potential witnesses. In a previous letter to the court, the news organizations said that sealing the documents would prevent Americans from learning about “a highly significant initial step in this extraordinary prosecution.”

Trump is only permitted to communicate with possible witnesses about the case through his attorney as part of the terms of his release. The current incident started when the federal government was told to give a list of names to Trump and the court.

The potential witnesses may include senior officials and those who are still close to Trump, according to the former president’s own attorneys. The co-accused with Trump, Waltine Nauta, is still the ex-president’s “body man” and was spotted working for him outside the Miami courthouse the morning of Trump’s arraignment.

In prior cases involving Trump, Cannon came under investigation. It is unclear how Smith’s club will move forward.


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