Report: Jack Smith may bring another documents case against Trump in D.C.

 August 20, 2023

CNN reported this past Thursday that Judge Aileen Cannon canceled a hearing requested by Special Counsel Jack Smith to discuss a protective order for classified evidence in former President Trump's documents case.

New York Sun editor A.R. Hoffman noted in a recent piece that the move represents a setback for Smith. This comes as some suggest that he has given up on the rule of law altogether.  

D.C. grand jury has been investigating Trump over documents

"Mr. Smith has already demonstrated a proclivity for a stepwise approach to indicting," and that he may seek "an escape hatch" from Cannon by bringing yet another case in the nation's capital.

Evidence for that can be seen in the existence of a separate grand jury in Washington, D.C.  which has been investigating Trump's handling of classified documents.

This is despite the fact that charges against Trump were brought in the Southern District of Florida, something which bothered Cannon.

Earlier this month, she called on both sides in the case to present her with briefs regarding the "legal propriety of using an out-of-district grand jury proceeding to continue to investigate and/or seek post-indictment hearings on matters pertinent to the instant indicted matter in this district."

Move to Washington would provide more favorable jury pool

In his piece, Hoffman pointed out that "are convened in the jurisdiction where the underlying crime can plausibly be alleged to have occurred."

Thus, Smith must therefore argue "that there was something unlawful about not only the documents' tenure at Mar-a-Lago but also their departure from the White House."

Should he succeed in bringing another case in D.C., then Smith would be rewarded with a jury pool "drawn from a Democratic stronghold rather than a conservative redoubt."

What's more, he would also have the benefit of having the case heard by Judge Tanya Chutkan, someone whom Republicans have accused of being politically biased.

Legal scholar says Smith is undermining the First Amendment

Chutkan is already presiding over a case Smith is bringing against Trump in Washington, D.C. relating to the former president's actions following the 2020 election.

That has brought criticism from George Washington University Law School professor Jonathon Turley. He told Fox News earlier this month that Smith is attempting to criminalize constitutionally protected speech.

"The most jarring thing about this indictment is it basically just accuses him of disinformation — this is a disinformation indictment," Turley explained.

"It said [Trump] was spreading falsehoods, that [he] was undermining integrity of the election — that is all part of the First Amendment," Turley continued before adding, "And I think that courts will look skeptically."

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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