Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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Trump Loses Bid to Get Judge to Toss Classified Records Charges

(Bloomberg) — Former President Donald Trump lost his bid to have charges that he mishandled classified documents dropped on grounds that they’re too vague. 

US District Judge Aileen Cannon issued the ruling on Thursday after holding a hearing that Trump attended in person to consider motions by the former president to dismiss all charges against him. 

Cannon only ruled on one of Trump’s motions while multiple others are still pending. Still, the ruling is one of the first substantive actions that Cannon has taken with regard to any of the pre-trial motions and represents a victory for Special Counsel Jack Smith, who is prosecuting the case. 

Trump’s team had sought to have 32 charges tossed related to his mishandling of documents with classification markings found at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida after he left the White House. His legal team argued the charges including phrases such as “unauthorized possession,” “relative to the national defense” and “entitled to receive” are constitutionally vague. 

Cannon denied the motion without prejudice, meaning the issue could still be raised again at a later time.

Keeping Up With Trump and His Trials: A Timeline of Court Dates

The case brought by Smith accuses Trump of willfully retaining national defense documents, concealing records and obstructing justice by evading government efforts to retrieve the records.

Cannon has yet to schedule a new trial date for the case. She originally set the trial for May 20 but indicated during a hearing earlier this month that a new date will be established.

Thursday’s hearing focused on two of Trump’s pre-trial motions to have the case tossed. In the second one, Trump argued that the Presidential Records Act gave him the power to deem any documents he wanted as personal property and take them after he left the White House. She has not issued a ruling on that motion yet.

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

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Published: 15 Mar 2024, 03:47 AM IST

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