Judge Cannon Scorches Jack Smith’s Case Against Trump

Judge Cannon Scorches Jack Smith’s Case Against Trump

During a hearing held on Thursday, Judge Aileen Cannon delivered a critical assessment of Special Counsel Jack Smith’s indictment against former President Donald Trump. This morning’s courtroom session in South Florida added another layer to Trump’s ongoing legal saga concerning sensitive information.

Special Counsel Jack Smith is spearheading the case against Trump, alleging that the former president mishandled sensitive records. This accusation has garnered attention, especially in light of revelations about President Joe Biden’s handling of similar materials. In a significant development, Cannon explicitly commented on the perceived disparity in the application of justice between the two instances, notably referencing Robert Hur’s damning report on Biden.

Hur’s recent findings regarding President Biden’s mishandling of sensitive documents have stirred controversy. The report includes allegations of intentional mismanagement, misleading federal investigators, and potentially compromising national security. Hur’s report also mentions an Intelligence Community “damage assessment” conducted to evaluate potential national security threats arising from Biden’s actions.

Judge Cannon scrutinized the case against Trump closely against this backdrop. According to legal analyst Julie Kelly, Cannon challenged the Department of Justice’s stance, noting the absence of precedent for prosecuting a former president or vice president under the Espionage Act for retaining classified documents. The judge’s examination raised a crucial question: Why should Trump face different treatment if Biden’s alleged mishandling of sensitive documents has not led to charges?

Cannon’s inquiry delved deeper as she questioned the timing of the alleged offense of retaining sensitive national security information, linking the date mentioned in Smith’s indictment to Trump’s resignation. This line of questioning not only cast doubt on the prosecution’s timeline but also questioned the foundational aspects of their case.

Moreover, the judge introduced a new dimension to the discussion by challenging the formal procedures—or lack thereof—regarding a president’s security clearance post-tenure. Jay Bratt, representing the special counsel’s office, argued that a president’s clearance automatically expires at the end of their term. However, this assertion contradicts established protocols for former government officials to maintain their clearances, further complicating the legal landscape.

According to journalist Kyle Becker, today’s developments are great signs for Trump:

That is as clear a signal that the Trump classified documents case is in peril as could have arisen out of the day’s courtroom proceedings.

While both cases may contain elements of technical illegalities, Donald Trump’s case is far less egregious than Joe Biden’s, given the fact Trump was a sitting president with ultimate declassification authority; he stored the documents at Mar-a-Lago, his authorized presidential office away from the White House; and he has further protection by the Presidential Records Act.

Thus, in the event of a “guilty” verdict in the Trump case, it will be a case of “selective and vindictive prosecution” — as blatant a case of election interference in U.S. history.

A Trump guilty verdict would thus be a political outcome subverting the will of American voters. It would be the true “attack on democracy” that the Democratic Party is dishonestly protesting about, while it interferes in America’s elections and compromises institutions such as the rule of law.

If Judge Cannon dismissed the Trump classified documents case with prejudice, it would be a true victory for “democracy.”

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