Classified documents judge grants Trump a win and a loss

 June 28, 2024

Donald Trump won another delay in his classified documents trial on Thursday, even as the judge rejected his challenge to the search warrant based on certain omissions.

Judge Aileen Cannon denied Trump's request for an evidentiary hearing to challenge the probable cause finding.

"[Trump] identifies four omissions in the warrant, but none of the omitted information—even if added to the affidavit in support of the warrant—would have defeated a finding of probable cause," Cannon wrote.

On the other hand, Cannon granted a hearing to consider whether key evidence in the case violates attorney-client privilege, a move seen as likely to draw out the case further.

Win for Trump

Prosecutor Jack Smith has cited the so-called crime-fraud exception to justify including evidence from one of Trump's former lawyers, Evan Corcoran.

Normally, such evidence would be off limits, but a Washington D.C. judge found the crime-fraud exception applies last year and ordered Corcoran to testify to a grand jury. Smith later made significant use of Corcoran's notes to indict Trump.

In a win for Trump, Cannon has decided to re-examine the attorney-client issue, dismissing objections from Smith that it would result in a "mini-trial."

“There is a difference between a resource-wasting and delay-producing ‘mini-trial,’ on the one hand, and an evidentiary hearing geared to adjudicating the contested factual and legal issues on a given pre-trial motion to suppress, on the other,” she said.

And a loss

In a loss for Trump, Cannon found that Trump did not make a preliminary showing that the arrest warrant was based on misleading information.

Trump had requested an evidentiary hearing, called a Franks hearing, but Cannon said four omissions that Trump cited were not significant enough to alter the probable cause finding.

Trump's lawyers said the warrant should have noted that a top FBI agent suggested getting Trump's consent rather than raiding his home - but Cannon found the evidence held up regardless.

“Even accepting those statements by the high-level FBI official, the Motion offers an insufficient basis to believe that inclusion in the affidavit of that official’s perspective (or of the dissenting views of other FBI agents as referenced generally in his testimony) would have altered the evidentiary calculus in support of probable cause for the alleged offenses,” Cannon wrote.

Cannon has been targeted by the left for sometimes ruling in Trump's favor, although not always.

The judge has delayed the trial indefinitely, citing unresolved pre-trial issues, making it unlikely that the case will proceed before the 2024 election.

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