Jack Smith Goes ‘Nuclear’ in Trump Documents Case

Businessman with clenched fist on desk at office. Angry and furious businessman at meeting.

(RepublicanNews.org) – Special counsel Jack Smith, the attorney leading the prosecution against Donald Trump in the classified documents case, may yet attempt to have Judge Aileen Cannon recused from the case, legal experts say.

Smith was accused of throwing a “prosecutorial temper tantrum” by CNN legal analyst Elie Honig after he wrote a highly critical court motion in which he derided Cannon’s request for both legal teams to prepare arguments to allow jurors to consider Trump’s claim to presidential immunity.

While Cannon explained her request as being essential to explore the nuances of the claim, Smith derided it, saying that it could “distort the trial.” Smith’s argument stems from his view that Trump’s claim to immunity is factually incorrect, and so should not be considered.

Former President Trump maintains that he should be immune from prosecution for keeping classified documents after the end of his presidential term as he had the right to do so under the 1978 Presidential Records Act. The Presidential Records Act allows presidents to keep personal documents, such as medical records or journals, after their term has ended. Trump stands accused of keeping documents that pertain to the military and national security.

Smith has repeatedly lambasted Trump’s claim to immunity, calling it a “post hoc justification” devoid of any factual basis. He has argued that witness statements taken from Trump’s staff do not recall any occasion on which Trump informed them that the documents he moved to his Mar-a-Lago estate could be classified as personal, or that they fell under the protection of the Presidential Records Act.

While Judge Cannon has refused to dismiss the case based on Trump’s immunity argument, Smith still has the possibility of filing a motion “in limine” in which he can request that Trump’s legal team be barred from presenting their argument of presidential immunity to the court, according to former federal prosecutor Mary McCord. David Aaronberg, who serves as Palm Beach County State Attorney, believes that Smith may yet “push the nuclear button” and appeal to the 11th Circuit to have Cannon removed from the case entirely, although if he were to succeed in this, it would likely force the case to extend well past the upcoming presidential elections as the appointment of a new judge would take time to complete.

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