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Trump Judge Backstabs Him Big Time

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon declined to dismiss a lawsuit accusing ex-President Donald Trump of mishandling classified documents, refuting his claim that these documents were personal under the Presidential Records Act. Judge Cannon clarified that the accusations against Trump do not invoke the Presidential Records Act for defining the criminal charges.

Judge Cannon highlighted that the act doesn’t serve as a basis for pre-trial dismissal, though it might be considered in future defense arguments. She had previously requested both parties to discuss whether the classified documents could be seen as personal for the jury’s instructions, a point the special counsel Jack Smith’s team criticized as fundamentally incorrect.

In her decision, Cannon defended her request for draft jury instructions as an effort to grasp the nuanced arguments and questions for the jury in this intricate case. The Presidential Records Act mandates the return of official presidential records after a term ends but allows for the retention of personal records, like diaries and medical reports.

Prosecutors in a recent submission contested Trump’s broad interpretation of this law, arguing it would inappropriately bias the jury towards accepting his defense, which they claim lacks factual basis and was devised long after his presidency ended.

The discussion around the Presidential Records Act and jury instructions came as a surprise, following a session where Judge Cannon appeared doubtful of the defense’s arguments. Although the trial is preliminarily set for May 20, the date is expected to be delayed, with both sides having proposed new timelines.

Trump faces several charges related to the retention and handling of classified information, including obstruction of justice and making false statements. He has entered a not guilty plea to all charges.

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