Judge Rules on Trump Documents Case

A Florida federal judge denied a bid by former President Donald Trump to dismiss his classified documents case on the grounds that his actions were permitted under the Presidential Records Act.

Trump’s attorneys had moved to dismiss the case on those grounds, writing in a February filing that the PRA granted “unreviewable discretion on President Trump to designate the records at issue as personal.” While U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon did not grant Trump’s motion to dismiss the case on PRA grounds, she left open the possibility for Trump to raise the argument if a trial ever takes place.

Cannon also pushed back on special counsel Jack Smith‘s ‘demand’ that she make a final ruling on whether the PRA theory can be used at trial, in the event prosecutors seek to appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. Cannon said that demand was “unprecedented and unjust.” . . .

The first 32 counts in Smith’s indictment “make no reference to the Presidential Records Act, nor do they rely on that statute for purposes of stating an offense,” the judge wrote in a three-page order. As for the remaining counts against Trump tacked on in a superseding indictment that alleged efforts to obstruct a federal investigation, she wrote, “They too track the applicable statutory language and essential elements of the charged crimes.”

The decision comes just two days after both parties submitted their responses to Cannon’s proposed jury instructions based on competing interpretations of two laws relevant to the case.

via joemiller

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