Judge Cannon’s Latest Ruling May Have Shot Down One Trump Claim but It’s Likely Giving Jack Smith Ulcers

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We knew Judge Aileen Cannon likely wouldn’t rule right away on the multiple motions heard before her over the past week in the classified documents case against former President Donald Trump. The issues are complicated, and there are a lot of moving parts in the case. 

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So when I first saw the headline: “Cannon rejects Trump claims FBI botched Mar-a-Lago search,” I was a bit surprised at the swiftness of the ruling. And I figured Trump and his legal team were likely disappointed with the ruling. 

Then I took a closer look (always recommended). 

Here’s how The Hill frames it: 

Judge Aileen Cannon rejected claims Thursday from former President Trump that law enforcement misled the court in order to search Mar-a-Lago but kept alive other bids by the former president seeking to limit the use of key evidence, scheduling additional hearings in the dragging case.

Cannon rejected Trump’s request for a “Franks hearing” to review whether prosecutors made any false statements or omissions in crafting the warrant, determining Trump had not met the bar for additional examination.

While the ruling from Cannon denies a Trump effort seeking to toss the bulk of the evidence gathered from his home, she said further hearings would be needed to weigh two other arguments from the former president that likewise seek to toss evidence central to the case.

Ah, so it’s not purely a rejection of Trump’s claims (though the case is “dragging,” you see.) It’s the proverbial split-the-baby sort of ruling. In sum, Cannon, in her 11-page ruling (which may be viewed in full below), denied one of Trump’s requests for relief but reserved ruling on another and ordered an evidentiary hearing on the matter. 


Watch That Tone: Judge Aileen Cannon Scolds Prosecutor
During Hearing in Classified Docs Case

DENIED: Judge Cannon Shoots Down Special Counsel Jack Smith’s
Request for Trump Gag Order

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Well, that doesn’t sound like all that big a deal, right? Except…it sort of is. Why? Shipwreckedcrew lays it out nicely here: 

WOW WOW WOW — the most consequential legal order today might have come out of FL and not SCOTUS (although the SEC and EPA cases are big).

The FL judge has denied the Trump defense request for a Franks hearing, but IS GRANTING the request for an evidentiary hearing on the balance of the motion to suppress.  

This is over the “vigorous opposition” of the Special Counsel as described by the Order.

This means to FBI Agents and MAYBE DOJ officials will likely be questioned under oath about the search warrant and the execution of the search.

The Govt NEVER wants there to be such an evidentiary hearing prior to trial because so much info can be developed by the defense prior to trial that would otherwise not be the case.

ANY time you can get Govt witnesses under oath in a transcript, you have more info to work with in preparing for trial or to otherwise challenge the case.  

HUGE development — known to those of us who understand where they path might lead.

Indeed. 

What does this mean from a practical standpoint (and for non-law nerds)? In a nutshell, a Franks hearing is a chance for the court to determine whether a law enforcement officer lied on the affidavit used to obtain a search warrant. Judge Cannon found that Trump had not made the requisite showing to justify a Franks hearing. 

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However, on the issue of the remainder of Trump’s motion to suppress the evidence obtained in the raid, Cannon found that an evidentiary hearing is needed to make that determination. Which means that agents involved in the raid — and possibly their higher-ups at DOJ — are going to be forced to answer up under oath on a number of items related to it. They’ll be the ones on the hot seat. And that, I guarantee, is not making for a Happy Jack. 

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DJT – FL – 6-27-24 – Order #655 by Susie Moore on Scribd

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