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Judge Aileen Cannon Rejects Trump and Co-Defendants’ Bid to Dismiss Charges in Classified Documents Case


On several technical grounds, the federal judge in Florida who is in charge of the federal criminal case involving classified papers against Donald Trump and his two co-defendants has turned down attempts to drop almost ten of the 41 charges that were brought against them.

Judge Aileen Cannon agreed with the defendants that some of the language in the accusation was “legally unnecessary.” She ordered that one of the paragraphs be taken out of the indictment because of this.

Cannon didn’t see why prosecutors included a paragraph in the charges that described an incident in which Trump allegedly showed a political organization official an unnamed classified map and said that he shouldn’t be showing the map to that person. This was a small win for the defense.

Prosecutors used a rule of procedure that lets information about behavior that isn’t being charged be used. On Monday, Cannon said that this kind of proof should be subject to some pre-trial litigation before it can be used in a case.

As she talked about that narrow decision, she made fun of the prosecutors for using what is called a “speaking indictment.” This is an indictment that goes beyond the few legal requirements for charging someone and gives a longer story of the accusations.

In her order, Cannon talked about “the risks that can come from a prosecutor’s decision to include in a charging document an extensive narrative account of his or her view of the facts, especially in cases of great public interest.”

There were some technical problems that Trump and his co-defendants brought up with the charges in the indictment, such as issues with duplicity. However, the judge decided that those “identified deficiencies, even if generating some arguable confusion, are either permitted by law, raise evidentiary challenges not appropriate for disposition at this juncture

Cannon also said that there wasn’t a problem as long as the jury was “given the right information and given the right verdict forms regarding each Defendants’ alleged conduct.”

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