April 2, 2024

EXPERT: Judge’s Recent Order in Classified Documents Case Benefits Trump

Last month, Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee, asked prosecutors and defense attorneys to craft jury instructions.

In her guidelines, many experts believed that her instructions would benefit Trump in either scenario.

April 2 was the deadline for submission, so we should be seeing the text of those instructions very soon.

Benefitting Trump

Trump has always maintained that all of the documents he was keeping at Mar-a-Lago were legally obtained via the 1978 Presidential Records Act.

This legislation allowed presidents to keep records not related to their official responsibilities.

Special Counsel Jack Smith has countered that argument by stating that legislation has nothing at all to do with classified documents being possessed illegally.

Judge Cannon then ordered both parties to come up with “alternative draft text that assumes each scenario to be a correct formulation of the law to be issued to the jury while reserving counterarguments.”

She further stated that both parties had to respond to the jury instruction that, in part, states, “A president has sole authority under the PRA to categorize records as personal or presidential during his/her presidency. Neither a court nor a jury is permitted to make or review such a categorization decision.”

Kel McClanahan, a national security lawyer, believes the competing scenarios will benefit Donald Trump in the case.

Former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani also agreed that Special Counsel Smith is facing a serious challenge here.

Rahmani stated, “Smith is in a no-win situation because an appeal or writ will delay the trial even further, but he can’t allow Cannon to abdicate her responsibility and make the possibility of jury nullification even more real.”

I have always believed this is one of the two cases that had the most teeth against Trump, and surely Trump feels the same way because he and his defense team have been doing everything possible to delay this case until after the general election.

Right now, the only case that is locked in that would conclude before the general election is the Alvin Bragg hush-money case, which is scheduled to start later this month.

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