Judge in Trump classified documents case to hear validity of special counsels appointment, gag order request


(WASHINGTON) — The judge overseeing former President Donald Trump’s classified documents case will kick off a series of hearings this week on motions to dismiss the case. One of the hearings is expected to focus on a legal theory pushed by conservative legal critics of special counsel Jack Smith that seeks to invalidate his appointment.

Judge Aileen Cannon’s court calendar related to this case has become increasingly logjammed in recent months – as she has scheduled hearings on legal maneuvers by Trump and his co-defendants that other judges would not typically entertain.

Legal experts have raised questions over whether her decisions are simply a product of inexperience or in some instances show outright favoritism towards Trump — who appointed Cannon to the bench in 2020.

Judge Cannon, for example, has set aside all of Friday for a hearing on Trump’s motion arguing that Smith’s appointment was unlawful – an issue other courts have largely rejected.

On Monday, Cannon will kick off her court schedule with another hearing related to Smith’s appointment – a motion brought by Trump challenging the funding of the special counsel’s office. The same day, Cannon will hear arguments over Smith’s request for a gag order limiting Trump’s rhetoric about law enforcement involved in the search of Mar-a-Lago in August 2022.

Next Tuesday, she is scheduled to consider Trump’s request to throw out evidence gathered during that search as well as testimony provided by Evan Corcoran, his former lead attorney who Smith has alleged Trump misled as part of his efforts to obstruct the government’s investigation.

Trump pleaded not guilty last June to a 37-count indictment related to his handling of classified materials, after prosecutors said he repeatedly refused to return hundreds of documents containing classified information ranging from U.S. nuclear secrets to the nation’s defense capabilities, and took steps to thwart the government’s efforts to get the documents back.

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