Judge Denies Dismissal of Trump Classified Docs Case

(IntegrityPress.org) -A judge has refused to dismiss the classified documents lawsuit against Donald Trump, saying on Thursday, April 4, that she would not accept his legal team’s argument that his handling of the documents was protected by the 1978 Presidential Records Act. U.S. District Judge Aileen Connors stated that the case itself did not refer to the Presidential Records Act, and so the request for a pre-trial dismissal could not be granted.

Judge Cannon made the decision after asking both the prosecution and defense to present her with arguments relating to the possibility of identifying the documents as “personal” under the Presidential Records Act. Judge Cannon explained that she did so in order to better understand the complex nature of the case and disputed prosecuting special counsel Jack Smith’s characterization of such a move as “fundamentally flawed”.

Cannon’s three-page ruling made reference to a pre-trial dismissal being impossible but left the field open for the defense to argue in future that Trump’s actions should be considered acceptable under the Presidential Records Act. The act requires U.S. presidents to hand back all classified documents apart from those deemed “personal” at the end of their term. Personal documents could include medical records or diaries from their time in the White House.

Special counsel Smith has argued that the documents in question include military papers, and so could never be considered personal to Trump. Moreover, the charges levied against the former president include allegations that he broke the Espionage Act by carelessly storing documents in his Mar-a-Lago club house. The list of charges against Trump is numerous and includes conspiracy to obstruct justice, making false statements, and willfully holding national defense documents.

Previously Judge Cannon had proposed a trial date of May 20, but that date may yet be pushed back. She asked both sides to propose their preferred dates in February but has not yet ruled on the matter. Trump’s legal team has suggested that he should not be made to stand trial before the presidential election is over as he currently stands as the presumptive candidate for the GOP, but both teams have said that they could be ready for a summer trial if need be.

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