Judge Just Dropped The Hammer On Special Counsel Jack Smith With Shock Move

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon is closely monitoring special counsel Jack Smith in the case involving the former president Donald Trump’s purported mishandling of secret documents. In a sharp order, Trump’s nominee Judge Cannon voiced her worries about Smith’s handling of confidential documents.

Smith, the lead prosecutor in the case against Trump, disagrees with Cannon about the latter’s desire to withhold some facts. Following Sunday’s court filing, in which Cannon expressed her concerns with Smith’s handling of grand jury proceedings and witness protections in secret, her complaints became public.

“The Court deems it necessary to express concern over the Special Counsel’s treatment of certain sealed materials in this case,” Cannon stated. Central to the controversy is the Special Counsel’s request for redactions in the public filings, aimed at protecting sensitive details and safeguarding the interests of the justice system. However, Cannon’s recent rulings have pushed back against these requests.

“In response to those inquiries, counsel explained that the Special Counsel took the position on unsealing in order to publicly and transparently refute defense allegations of prosecutorial misconduct raised. In addition, subject to further unsealing as becomes necessary, this Order marks the resolution of the limited disclosure issues transferred to this Court by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia,” the filing stated. “The Court also notes that the Superseding Indictment contains numerous quotes from grand jury testimony, the balance of which the Special Counsel continues to maintain require sealing.”

“Fair enough. But nowhere in that explanation is there any basis to conclude that the Special Counsel could not have defended the integrity of his Office while simultaneously preserving the witness-safety and Rule6(e) concerns he has repeatedly told the Court, and maintains to this day, are of serious consequence, and which the Court has endeavored with diligence to accommodate in its multiple Orders on sealing/redaction,” Cannon wrote.

Special Counsel Smith is now asking Judge Cannon to maintain the confidentiality of these details, notwithstanding his prior support for the documents’ unsealing. In a previous exchange of pretrial motions, Smith and the defense consented to make the records publicly available in order to refute claims of prosecutorial misconduct. However, Judge Cannon is clearly frustrated by Smith’s latest flip, which has similarly perplexed observers. The complexity of the case is increased by this shift of perspective.

“The Court is disappointed in these developments. The sealing and redaction rules should be applied consistently and fairly upon a sufficient factual and legal showing. And parties should not make requests that undermine any prior representations or positions except upon full disclosure to the Court and appropriate briefing.”

Republicans have charged that Smith, District Attorney Bragg, and other Trump’s legal opponents are skeptical of their chances of unseating him in elections. Rather, they assert that the Left is trying to rig the election in November by attempting to win a case in court. Forty criminal counts are brought against the front-runner for 2024 in this case.

 

 

 

 

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