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Supreme Court Tosses Trump DC Hotel Records Case

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


The U.S. Supreme Court has tossed a closely-watched case on whether Democratic lawmakers can legally sue to obtain documents related to former President Donald Trump’s former Washington, D.C., hotel.

“After the high court last month agreed to hear the Biden Justice Department’s appeal in the case, Democrats dismissed the dispute in a lower court. Both sides then wrote to the justices agreeing that the Supreme Court should toss it as moot. In a brief, unsigned order Monday, the justices vacated the lower ruling and sent it back with instructions to dismiss the case. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson dissented from the order, saying she would’ve instead used a different procedural mechanism to toss the case,” The Hill reported.

“The Justice Department had asked the justices to declare that the Democrats could not sue in court to enforce the rule, which allows any seven members of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability or any five members of the Senate Homeland Security Committee to ask for information within their purview from executive agencies. But after Democrats dismissed the case, the Justice Department said the Supreme Court should step away from hearing its appeal,” the outlet added.

“Three weeks after the Court granted review, respondents filed a notice of voluntary dismissal in district court,” the Justice Department wrote to the justices. “Although that notice does not of its own force terminate proceedings in this Court, respondents’ abandonment of their claims does render this case moot.”

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Democrats agreed that the Supreme Court should dispose of the case.

“Here, respondents do not appear to have formally withdrawn their Section 2954 request or explicitly renounced any attempt to seek the disputed documents in the future,” they wrote. “But under the circumstances, their notice in the district court and letter to this Court should be regarded as a definitive abandonment of their claims.”

In a separate case, a federal judge in Florida announced a preliminary start date of Aug. 14 for the trial of former President Donald Trump in the case involving his handling of classified documents.

“U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon bookmarked the last two weeks in August for the historic trial, part of an omnibus order setting some early ground rules and deadlines for the case. That would represent a startlingly rapid pace for a case that is expected to be complicated and require lengthy pretrial wrangling over extraordinarily sensitive classified secrets,” Politico reported.

“But a review of Cannon’s criminal cases, since she took the bench in late 2020, suggests this is standard practice for the Florida-based judge. She typically sets trial dates six to eight weeks from the start of a case, only to allow weeks- or months-long delays as issues arise and the parties demand more time to prepare. While her order on Tuesday starts the clock on a slew of important pretrial matters in the Trump case, it’s not likely to resemble anything close to the timeframe that will ultimately govern the case,” the outlet added.

On Monday, Special Counsel Jack Smith picked up an early win in his battle against Trump.

A federal judge approved a protective order sought by Smith to keep Trump from disclosing sensitive information in his classified documents case.

“Smith sought the order to ensure that neither Trump nor codefendant Walt Nauta, Trump’s presidential valet, disclose sensitive information obtained during the discovery process, where prosecutors will show the defense what evidence it has amassed during their investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents since leaving office,” ABC News reported.

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The protective order said Trump and Nauta “shall not disclose the Discovery Materials or their contents directly or indirectly to any person or entity other than persons employed to assist in the defense, persons who are interviewed as potential witnesses, counsel for potential witnesses, and other persons to whom the Court may authorize disclosure.”

Last week, a former Trump criminal defense attorney is arguing that the investigation into Trump over alleged mishandling of classified documents may not even go to trial.

During an interview on Fox News, Timothy Parlatore — who served as a criminal defense attorney for Trump until last month — spoke with host Laura Ingraham about Trump appearing in Miami on Tuesday for his arraignment in the case brought against him by Smith, who Biden’s Department of Justice appointed.

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Trump pleaded “not guilty” in federal court. If he is found guilty on all counts, Trump — who is President Joe Biden’s chief rival in next year’s presidential election — could face decades in prison.

Parlatore argued he believes there are fundamental flaws with the case, particularly over the grand jury process and breaches of attorney-client privilege. Parlatore said he believes this could result in the entire case being thrown out.

Parlatore said Trump’s attorneys should “attack the conduct of the entire investigation and show through death by a thousand cuts why this entire investigation is irreparably tainted by government misconduct,” adding: “The case, therefore, should be dismissed or, at a minimum, the prosecutor should be disqualified.”

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