Judge Aileen Cannon 'disappointed' by request from Jack Smith

 May 20, 2024

Judge Aileen Cannon dealt a major legal blow to Special Counsel Jack Smith earlier this month when she indefinitely postponed the start of former President Donald Trump's trial on charges of mishandling classified documents.

This past weekend saw Cannon inflict another setback on Smith when she shot down a request that certain information be kept from the public. 

Judge "disappointed" by Smith's request

According to Newsweek, Cannon's criticism came in the form of a Sunday filing from the Southern District of Florida's West Palm Beach Division.

In the five-page order, Cannon "granted in part and denied in part" two motions that the special counsel had put forward regarding the sealing and redacting of defense filings.

The judge said she was "disappointed" that Smith sought to have the material hidden on the grounds that it was necessary for grand jury secrecy and witness safety.

Cannon made a point of recalling how the special counsel had previously glossed over such concerns in Trump's case.

Smith "had no objection to full unsealing of previously sealed docket entries"

She wrote that "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 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."

"In two separate filings related to sealing, the Special Counsel stated, without qualification, that he had no objection to full unsealing of previously sealed docket entries related to allegations of prosecutorial misconduct," Cannon continued.

"In light of that repeated representation, and in the absence of any defense objection, the Court unsealed those materials consistent with the general presumption in favor of public access," she noted.

"The Court deems it necessary to express concern over the Special Counsel's treatment of certain sealed materials in this case," Cannon stressed.

Trump's prosecutors are struggling

Newsweek observed that while Trump also faces criminal charges in Washington D.C. and Fulton County, Georgia concerning his conduct following the 2020 election, neither of those cases are likely to wrap up before November.

The D.C. case remains on hold while the Supreme Court weighs questions of presidential immunity, while Fulton County District Attorney Fanny Willis has been mired in scandal.

Meanwhile, the star prosecution witness in Trump's New York hush-money case is a convicted perjurer who just admitted to stealing from the Trump Organization.

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