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Legal Analysis: U.S. District Judge Cannon to Review Motions in Trump’s Classified Documents Case

“That is frightening”: Legal analyst thinks Judge Cannon signaling she may “get rid” of Trump case

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon is scheduled to preside over a hearing on Thursday where she will consider motions from special counsel Jack Smith’s team and Donald Trump’s attorneys regarding the former president’s case involving classified documents.

Cannon has set aside time to discuss Trump’s motions to dismiss the case, which assert arguments based on the Presidential Records Act and the claim of “unconstitutional vagueness.”

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance expressed skepticism about the merit of Trump’s motions, describing them as “barely better than frivolous” in a tweet. Vance highlighted Trump’s repeated assertion that the Presidential Records Act permits him to designate certain documents as personal records but emphasized that this does not supersede laws governing the handling of classified and national defense information.

She contended that even if Trump could argue that certain documents were personal records, his actions might still constitute obstruction of justice, as attested to by multiple firsthand witnesses.

Judge Aileen Cannon

Judge Aileen Cannon (Credits: Reuters)

Vance also remarked that while the motions would likely be dismissed before any other judge, Judge Cannon’s predisposition remains uncertain until her ruling.

MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Rubin criticized Trump’s interpretation of the Presidential Records Act, asserting that it does not align with the intent of the legislation. Rubin highlighted Trump’s actions in removing sensitive documents and misleading his own lawyers by relocating boxes containing those documents. She predicted that Trump’s motion to dismiss would not withstand scrutiny.

Judge Cannon, who has faced criticism for previous rulings perceived as favorable to Trump, has not yet set a new trial date despite proposals from both parties.

Rubin expressed concern that Cannon’s decision to hold oral arguments on the dismissal motions without setting a trial date might indicate an attempt to dismiss the case altogether, which she deemed troubling given the severity of the charges and the evidence supporting them.

Former federal prosecutor Donya Perry expressed surprise at Cannon’s decision to schedule a hearing on the dismissal motions, suggesting that the judge may be affording Trump and his legal team undue deference.

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough highlighted previous criticism of Cannon’s rulings by the 11th Circuit of Appeals, indicating skepticism about the likelihood of any preposterous arguments being upheld by higher courts.

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