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Prosecutors Fire Warning Shot After Cannon’s Order in Trump Case

Prosecutors in Donald Trump’s classified documents criminal case have filed a scathing response to Judge Aileen Cannon, calling the basis of one of her orders “fundamentally flawed” and suggesting the federal government would appeal to a higher court if it did not overturn it.

Cannon — a Trump appointee who previously won a ruling favoring the former president and was overruled by an appeals court — sparked confusion and concern among legal observers last month.

In an order regarding jury instructions, Cannon appeared to agree with Trump’s argument that the Presidential Records Act (PRA) could be interpreted to mean that the classified documents he brought to Mar-a-Lago were his personal property.

Legal experts outside the case said that argument — and Cannon’s recent order requiring the prosecution and defense to draft jury instructions suggesting she was open to it — marked a troubling and unreasonable reading of the law, the Washington Post reported.

It’s also rare for jury instructions to be discussed this early in the process — especially without a trial date being set, according to the outlet.

Federal prosecutors and special counsel Jack Smith’s office responded Tuesday evening, saying Cannon’s order was based on a “fundamentally flawed legal premise.”

“Indeed, it would be pure fiction to suggest that highly classified documents created by members of the intelligence community and the military and presented to the President of the United States during his term in office were ‘purely private,'” they wrote prosecutors in the 24-page ranking.

Prosecutors asked Cannon to vacate the order or make a final ruling quickly so they can appeal to a higher court before the trial begins.

Prosecutors also asked Cannon to reject Trump’s PRA defense by ruling against his defense team’s earlier motion to dismiss the case based on the same argument.

Last summer, federal prosecutors indicted Trump on 40 counts, accusing him of mishandling dozens of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago residence and then obstructing government officials who were trying to get them back.

It is one of four criminal cases the former president faces ahead of the November election.

businessinsider

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