Judge in Trump Case Expresses Disappointment in Special Counsel Jack Smith

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(ConservativeHub.com) – On Sunday, May 19, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon expressed in a five-page order release that she was disappointed in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s position about whether or not the evidence in the case against former President Donald Trump needed to be sealed. The order partly rejected and granted Smith’s requests to seal and redact certain information in the case for the sake of the witnesses and jury. However, in it, Cannon delivered a strong rebuke of Smith’s lack of consistency regarding secrecy in the case.

Smith’s team previously brought forward 40 felony counts related to Trump’s handling of classified documents following his departure from the White House. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges and has maintained his innocence. 

Cannon, who was appointed by Trump, listed the names of former President’s co-defendants Carlos De Oliveira and Walt Nauta in her order. She wrote that in two separate filings, Smith had argued without any qualification that he was not against fully unsealing docket entries that were previously sealed. The entries all concerned prosecutorial misconduct. She continued by saying the court unsealed that material, as the defense had not objected to the public being given access. 

The materials were unsealed, despite the fact that they included certain information that Smith has argued in other filings should be kept under wraps. According to Cannon, the Special Counsel wanted to unseal the material in order to “refute” any allegations of “prosecutorial misconduct” made by the defense. She also pointed out that in August, the superseding indictment had included a number of quotes from the grand jury testimony, which Smith has argued should be sealed under Rule 6(e).

The federal statute Rule 6(e) dictates the handling of recordings and disclosing the proceedings of the grand jury.

Cannon acknowledged that this was fair but said the court was “disappointed” in the inconsistency. She argued there was no reason to believe the Special Counsel was not able to “defend the integrity of his office” while still keeping witnesses safe and remaining consistent regarding concerns about Rule6(e). She stressed the importance of the rules being adhered to “fairly” and dependably.

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