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United States District Court Judge Aileen Cannon expressed her disapproval of special counsel Jack Smith and his team for not affording former President Donald Trump’s legal team “timely” access to evidence materials in the case concerning the classified documents.
Smith requested a secure location in Washington, D.C., which was approximately 1,000 miles away from the court in southern Florida where the lawsuit was submitted.
In her order, Cannon advised that production of classified discovery to defense counsel would be considered timely if it was placed in an accredited facility within the Southern District of Florida rather than in another federal district.
“It is the responsibility of the Office of the Special Counsel to make and carry out arrangements to deposit such discovery to defense counsel in this District, in consultation with the Litigation Security Group for security purposes,” she added. “The Office of the Special Counsel shall update and/or clarify any prior responses to the Standard Discovery Order in accordance with this Order.”
Earlier this year, Cannon issued an order outlining how documents that Trump is accused of mishandling can be viewed. Despite their recent court losses, Trump’s legal team achieved a minor victory last week that could potentially pave the way for a more significant ruling.
Cannon said she was “temporarily delaying a previously set schedule of deadlines stretching from October through May for the Justice Department to make classified documents available to Trump’s lawyers and for the defense team to have time to review them,” Yahoo News reported.
Trump’s legal team has requested a delay in the start date of the trial from May 2024 to after the November election, which Judge Cannon has yet to decide on. This decision by Cannon to move back deadlines was seen as an indication that the trial will likely not start on May 20 as previously ruled.
The reason that matters is because should Trump succeed “in pushing back the trial and also manages to win reelection in 2024, critics fear that he will simply attempt to pardon himself if found guilty of the felony charges Smith has brought against him,” Yahoo News noted.
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