Donald Trump Handed Boost by Judge Cannon After Jack Smith Fury

Donald Trump and his legal team will receive unredacted FBI witnesses’ reports as part of the classified documents case after Special Counsel Jack Smith failed in his bid to withhold the information.

Judge Aileen Cannon, who is overseeing the trial against the former president, ordered federal prosecutors to hand over unredacted materials sought by Trump’s legal team in discovery, as well as the two other co-defendants in the case, Walt Nauta and Carlos De Oliveira.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 40 federal charges for retaining classified materials and then obstructing federal attempts to retrieve them from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. The frontrunner in the GOP primary continues to deny all wrongdoing, and has repeatedly said that the charges are part of a politically motivated witch hunt to stop him winning the 2024 election.

On Thursday, Smith accused Cannon of making a “clear error” when she allowed that the documents be handed over. He said in filings that the move would reveal the identities of numerous potential witnesses, as well as potentially exposing them to “significant and immediate risks of threats, intimidation, and harassment.” Newsweek contacted the Department of Justice on Saturday via email.

Cannon had originally paused deadlines for Smith’s team to hand over the documents while she considered the special counsel’s motion. However, the stay lasted only a few hours, and later she ruled on Friday that the information must be delivered to Trump and the other defendants by Saturday, February 10.

Donald Trump in Pennsylvania
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives at the National Rifle Association presidential forum at the Great American Outdoor Show on February 9, 2024 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The judge overseeing the former president’s classified documents…

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The judge ruled that the information, including the names of potential witnesses, will be sealed from the public until a later court order.

Cannon, who was nominated to the bench by Trump, has long faced calls to recuse herself from the case after she made a number of decisions that favored the former president; these include ones that could potentially delay the start of the trial, scheduled for May.

After the judge’s original ruling rejected Smith’s request to keep the witness reports redacted, former federal prosecutor and legal analyst Joyce Vance accused Cannon of continuing to make disturbing decisions in the classified documents case. which show potential bias towards Trump.

“Judges should not put their fingers on the scales of justice either for or against a defendant or any other party,” Vance wrote in her Civil Discourse blog. “Here, it’s impossible to avoid the conclusion that the scales are being tipped.”

Vance added that it is time for Smith to decide whether to actively seek Cannon’s recusal because of her frequent rulings in Trump’s favor, or suggest to the courts that such a move is merited.