USA News

Judge Strikes One Element From Trump Indictment in Documents Case

The federal judge overseeing former President Donald J. Trump’s classified documents case threw out a small but significant part of the indictment on Monday, ruling that the government must remove from its charges an episode in which Mr. Trump would have shown very sensitive sensitivity. military card to one of his close collaborators after leaving office.

The decision by the judge, Aileen M. Cannon, was more of a blow to the prosecutors working for the special prosecutor, Jack Smith, who brought the charges against Mr. Trump, than a blow to the allegations in the case. Even though Judge Cannon technically removed the incident from charges, prosecutors may still be able to present evidence of it to the jury if and when the case ultimately goes to trial.

The incident that Judge Cannon hit on took place in August or September 2021 during a meeting at Mr. Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey. During the meeting, prosecutors say, Mr. Trump showed a classified map related to an ongoing military operation to a representative of his political action committee, widely believed to be Susie Wiles, who is now one of senior advisors to Mr. Trump’s campaign.

As he showed the map, prosecutors say, Mr. Trump told Ms. Wiles that the military campaign was not going well.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers had challenged the inclusion of this episode, among others, in the indictment as part of a broader attack on the charges, saying it was extraneous and irrelevant. They argued that this should never have been in the charges, because Mr. Trump was not formally accused of improperly transmitting classified documents to others, only of illegally retaining them. after leaving the White House.

In his ruling, Judge Cannon rejected the lawyers’ request to dismiss the charges altogether, but noted that prosecutors had chosen to charge Mr. Trump in this case with what is called a “talking indictment.” – an act that describes events in rather evocative language. than simply listing dry violations of the law.

She said she agreed with Mr Trump’s lawyers, who had argued that much of the language used in the indictment – including the card episode – was “legally unnecessary”. and that risks “may arise from a prosecutor’s decision to include in a documented charge a detailed account of his or her view of the facts.”

Judge Cannon added that it was “not appropriate” to include the card story in the indictment given that one of Mr. Smith’s top deputies had admitted during a hearing last month that it was not directly related to the accusations against Mr. Trump. .

During the hearing, in federal court in Fort Pierce, Fla., Deputy Jay I. Bratt told Judge Cannon that prosecutors included the incident not as accused behavior, but rather as an indication of the former president’s propensity to manage recklessly. classified material.

Mr. Bratt said the evidence was admissible under what is known as Rule 404(b) of federal criminal procedure, which allows prosecutors to tell the jury about “wrongdoing” committed by a defendant who does not are not directly part of the charges in a trial. case.

Judge Cannon appeared skeptical during the hearing of Mr. Bratt’s argument.

“Do you normally include Section 404(b) in indictments?” she asked.

When Mr. Bratt said he had included similar evidence in other indictments, Judge Cannon retorted: “Is that correct?

News Source :
Gn usa

jack colman

With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class. After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim. Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
Back to top button