Harvard law professor says Jack Smith made a mistake by charging Trump in Florida

 May 29, 2024

Special Counsel Jack Smith was dealt a legal blow this week when Judge Aileen Cannon refused his request for a gag order in former President Donald Trump's classified documents case.

However, one legal analyst recently suggested that a major mistake by Smith ended the case before it even began. 

"Charging this case in Florida rather than DC was a mistake"

According to Newsweek, that argument was put forward in a social media post on Monday by left-wing Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe.

Specifically, Tribe took issue with the special counsel's decision to charge Trump with mishandling classified documents in the Southern District of Florida rather than in Washington, D.C.

"Of course charging this case in Florida rather than DC was a mistake. Many of us argued that at the time, publicly and privately," Tribe wrote.

"Fears of a fight over venue were understandable but never justified the risk Smith took that he’d draw a judge like Cannon," the longtime Trump critic added.

Cannon indefinitely postponed trial start date

Newsweek noted that Smith is believed to have brought charges in Florida, where Trump is accused of illegally storing classified material at his home, in part to avoid a fight over whether the case was being brought in the correct venue.

However, that move ensured the case would be overseen by Judge Cannon, someone whose rulings have thus far not been favorable to Smith's team.

While Trump's trial had been scheduled to begin on May 20, Fox News reported earlier this month that Cannon had indefinitely postponed the start date.

In her ruling, the federal judge pointed to the "myriad and interconnected pre-trial" issues "remaining and forthcoming."

Case unlikely to wrap up before election

She went on to conclude that sticking with a May 20 trial date would be "imprudent and inconsistent with the Court's duty to fully and fairly consider the various pending pre-trial motions."

"The Court therefore vacates the current May 20, 2024, trial date (and associated calendar call), to be reset by separate order following resolution of the matters before the Court, consistent with Defendants’ right to due process and the public’s interest in the fair and efficient administration of justice," Cannon wrote.

It now appears likely that the trial will not wrap up before voters go to the polls in November. What's more, should Trump be reelected, then he has the option of instructing his attorney general to drop the case should it still be ongoing.

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