JUST IN: Judge Cannon Orders Major Hearing That Could Damage Jack Smith’s Case


Judge Aileen Cannon has issued a directive that could reshape the course of the case in former President Donald Trump’s ongoing legal battle over classified documents. Cannon’s order on Thursday opens the door for additional hearings and permits the questioning of witnesses concerning the investigation and the high-profile search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.

The case involving former President Trump and the classified documents found at his Mar-a-Lago estate has been a significant legal and political issue since it first came to light. Judge Cannon’s decision to hold further hearings aims to scrutinize the specificity of the search warrant used during the raid at Mar-a-Lago, particularly whether the warrant’s language was too vague, and if law enforcement was adequately briefed on the nature of documents they were authorized to seize.

Central to the judge’s concerns are the terms “government and/or Presidential records” and “national defense information,” which she suggests may lack the clarity required by the Fourth Amendment, thereby potentially leading to an overly broad interpretation during the search. The legal scrutiny arises amidst swirling controversies over the sheer volume of documents involved.

Mounds of evidence collected during the search could, upon closer inspection, turn out to be less salacious than initially portrayed. Many documents were marked with cover sheets indicating they were “classified,” but Smith’s team disclosed that these sheets were dispersed at random in some cases. Trump and many of his supporters have claimed the investigation is a politically motivated “witch hunt” by the Biden administration to damage Trump politically.

Investigative journalist Julie Kelly reported on Cannon’s order on X:

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Further complicating matters is the role of the former chief judge of the DC court, Beryl Howell, who authorized the piercing of attorney-client privilege. This decision forced one of Trump’s lawyers to turn over records to Special Counsel Jack Smith, a move that has caused considerable debate about the limits of judicial authority and the protections afforded under attorney-client privilege.

Trump’s supporters have criticized Judge Howell’s actions, viewing them as part of a broader pattern of judicial overreach and political bias against the former president. The Department of Justice (DOJ) appointed Jack Smith as a special counsel to oversee the investigation into the classified documents as well as other aspects of Trump’s activities, including parts of the investigation into the January 6 Capitol breach.

Judge Cannon, who was appointed by Trump during his presidency, has seen some of her decisions in the case attacked by left-wing observers. Her rulings have sometimes favored Trump’s positions, including granting his request for a special master to review the documents seized during the FBI’s search.

On Thursday, the judge from Florida requested additional evidence concerning the wording of the FBI warrant that authorized the seizure of classified documents from Mar-a-Lago in 2022. Cannon also sought more details on the grand jury testimony given by Trump’s former lawyer, Evan Corcoran. These topics were discussed in Tuesday’s hearings, yet Judge Cannon has not yet decided on these matters. She did not specify when further hearings would occur, according to a new court order.

Judge Cannon has not scheduled the next hearing yet. Trump is charged with 42 felony counts in this case, including the willful retention of national defense information, corrupt concealment of documents, and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

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