July 7, 2024

Trump wins temporary halt in classified documents case

Jack Smith's lawfare against former President Donald Trump has faltered in a number of key ways in recent months, and the special counsel has just suffered yet another defeat that could have potentially substantial implications.

On Saturday, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon granted a request from Trump's legal team for a delay in his classified documents case in order to assess the matter in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling on presidential immunity, as the Washington Examiner reports.

Trump team pursues pause

On Friday, attorneys for Trump asked Cannon to halt the classified documents proceedings as a result of the high court's aforementioned blockbuster decision, as the New York Post reported.

In the opinion of Trump's legal team, the Supreme Court decision “guts” Smith's claims that the former president enjoys no immunity whatsoever and can be prosecuted on claims that he mishandled sensitive national security information.

Trump's lawyers argued that Smith has been rendered unable to introduce evidence stemming from the former president's “official acts,” something they suggest was a cornerstone of his strategy.

Partial stay sought

In concrete terms, Trump's attorneys asked Cannon to provide a partial stay in the case and to move forward on resolving “threshold questions” related to the SCOTUS ruling and the way in which it may impact Smith's legal theory against their client.

The legal team proposed a briefing schedule related to immunity issues that would necessarily stretch into September.

The request underscored the increasing likelihood that the case will not reach trial ahead of the November presidential contest, a fate that is increasingly befalling other cases against Trump.

Smith's team reacted to the request by opposing it and by asking for an opportunity to submit a detailed response to the motion.

Delay granted -- for now

As the Examiner later revealed, on Saturday, Cannon granted Trump's request, providing a temporary delay in the case in order to provide leeway for a thorough review of the SCOTUS ruling and its effect on the matter at hand.

Cannon allowed for a two-week halt on several upcoming deadlines in the case, declaring a July 18 date for receipt of Smith's response for Trump's motion for a stay.

Though Cannon gave Trump just a partial win in that the delay is merely a temporary one and does not cover all matter related to the case, this development is the latest in a series of obstacles Smith likely did not anticipate encountering.

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