Former President Donald Trump was handed a legal victory this week by the judge who is presiding over his classified documents case.
According to the Daily Caller, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon demanded that Special Counsel Jack Smith explain why a grand jury in Washington, D.C. is investigating matter pertaining to the indictment he brought in the Southern District of Florida.
What's more, Cannon also instructed Smith to unseal a pair of filings as part of an order she issued the special counsel on Monday.
"The Special Counsel states in conclusory terms that the supplement should be sealed from public view 'to comport with grand jury secrecy,' but the motion for leave and the supplement plainly fail to satisfy the burden of establishing a sufficient legal or factual basis to warrant sealing the motion and supplement," Cannon wrote.
"Among other topics as raised in the Motion, the response shall address the legal propriety of using an out-of-district grand jury proceeding to continue to investigate and/or to seek post-indictment hearings on matters pertinent to the instant indicted matter in this district," the judge went on to add.
The Daily Caller noted that the second grand jury came to light as a result of Smith's motion for a "Garcia" hearing, something which occurs if there is the potential for a conflict of interest with a defendant's attorney.
In this case, Trump assistant Walt Nauta is being represented by Stanley Woodward, who also represented at least three witnesses who may be called to testify against Nauta or the former president.
The Daily Wire noted that Cannon's order created an online "firestorm" among observers, who reacted with "indignation, speculation, and, in some cases, celebration."
Former federal prosecutor and MSNBC contributor Joyce Alene suggested that her decision "may tee up the issue of her fitness on this case."
Judge Cannon responds to the govt's request for a hearing on Nauta's lawyer's conflicts & discloses the existence of a grand jury investigation in another district while denying gov't's motion to seal. The govt can appeal. This may tee up the issue of her fitness on this case. pic.twitter.com/62fC57MpSc
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) August 7, 2023
Andrew Weissmann is a former federal prosecutor who investigated Trump as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team, and he suggested that Cannon was either exhibiting ignorance or bias.
Judge Cannon clearly shows her ignorance (bias? both?); the obstruction crimes that were investigated are charges that could have been brought in FLA or in DC and thus could be investigated in either district. And there was conduct that is alleged to have occurred outside FLA. https://t.co/KIGkUka59J
— Andrew Weissmann (weissmann11 on Threads)🌻 (@AWeissmann_) August 7, 2023
The reaction from conservatives was far more positive, with Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene declaring, "No judge should tolerate Jack Smith’s bulls--t."
No judge should tolerate Jack Smith’s bullsh*t. https://t.co/axBTjsvomA
— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) August 7, 2023