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Trump Gets Requested Delay In Classified Documents Case

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


Former President Donald Trump got some fantastic news in the classified documents case against him brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith.

On Saturday Judge Aileen Cannon granted the pause in the case that was requested by the former president’s attorneys for further briefing on the issue of presidential immunity which will delay certain deadlines, NBC News reported.

“In the order, Cannon afforded special counsel Jack Smith the right, but not the obligation, to file a submission on the use of classified information at trial. At the same time, she paused two upcoming deadlines for Trump and his co-defendants,” the report said.

“Smith’s brief is now due on July 18, and a reply from Trump’s team is due on July 21.

“Neither Trump’s lawyers nor the Department of Justice immediately responded to a request for comment Saturday afternoon,” it said.

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The former president’s attorneys filed the request for the pause on Friday and have previously filed a motion to dismiss the case based on presidential immunity.

The proposed schedule would set the arguments for September. It would pause the majority of the case until the judge decides on immunity and a constitutional challenge to the appointment of Special Counsel Jack Smith.

“Resolution of these threshold questions is necessary to minimize the adverse consequences to the institution of the Presidency arising from this unconstitutional investigation and prosecution,” the attorneys said.

The request for a delay is the most recent example of the fallout from the Supreme Court’s immunity decision.

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CNN legal analyst Elliot Williams told “CNN This Morning” host Kasie Hunt that some of the evidence introduced in the trial, including the testimony of former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, might now be in question.

“Let’s talk about what the Supreme Court decided,” Williams said. “What they‘d said was that evidence of official acts cannot even be used to help support prosecuting someone for unofficial acts of the presidency. So case in point, let’s use Donald Trump’s New York trial. Obviously, it‘s personal conduct, private behavior, sleeping with porn stars, cooking the books of your corporation, whatever else, right? However, it relied on the testimony of Hope Hicks, a former White House aide, and other evidence that is tied to his time in the White House. Now, Trump’s team can plausibly claim some of these were official acts that can’t even be used as evidence.”

Bragg’s team summoned Hicks to testify about the Trump campaign’s reaction to the 2016 tape of a conversation between Trump and “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush. On May 30, a Manhattan jury comprising seven men and five women found Trump guilty of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

“It‘s no surprise, we talked about it on air yesterday, that Trump‘s team would move to upend the New York case,” Williams said. “Now this whole idea of calling a new trial is sort of silly. I think what they can just do is let the appeal play out and have them raise that issue on appeal, but yes, it‘s going to change some aspect of the New York trial.”

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But President Joe Biden attacked the Supreme Court after its immunity decision.

“This nation was founded on the principle that there are no kings in America,” he said. “Each of us is equal before the law. No one, no one is above the law – not even the president of the United States. But today’s Supreme Court decision on presidential immunity, that fundamentally changed. For all, for all practical purposes, today’s decision almost certainly means that there are virtually no limits on what a president can do.”

“This decision today has continued the court’s attack in recent years on a wide range of long-established legal principles in our nation, from gutting voting rights and civil rights to taking away a woman’s right to choose, to today’s decision that undermines the rule of law of this nation,” he added.

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