Published February 10, 2024
Special counsel Jack Smith is warning the judge in Donald Trump’s classified documents case about her recent decision.
Special Counsel Jack Smith on Thursday night warned that the judge in Donald Trump’s classified documents case has made a “clear error” that could put witnesses at risk.
Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee, ruled that some unredacted discovery documents should be made available to Trump’s legal team. Those documents could expose sensitive information, including the names of potential witnesses.
It’s hardly surprising that Smith has spoken out about the ways in which Cannon’s decision could end very badly. In a court filing on Thursday, the special counsel urged the judge to reconsider.
“That discovery material, if publicly docketed in unredacted form as the Court has ordered, would disclose the identities of numerous potential witnesses, along with the substance of the statements they made to the FBI or the grand jury, exposing them to significant and immediate risks of threats, intimidation, and harassment, as has already happened to witnesses, law enforcement agents, judicial officers, and Department of Justice employees whose identities have been disclosed in cases in which defendant Trump is involved,” he wrote.
Smith also reminded Cannon of an Eleventh Circuit decision that goes against her recent decision.
“The Eleventh Circuit has held that the compelling-interest standard applied by the Court does not apply to ‘documents filed in connection with motions to compel discovery,’ which instead may be sealed or redacted simply upon a showing of ‘good cause,’” he wrote.
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RELATED: Jack Smith Asks Judge Cannon to Reconsider Order Allowing Some Redacted Information to be Unsealed, Warns of ‘Significant, Immediate’ Threat to Witnesses – Cannon Responds
Published February 9, 2024
Special Counsel Jack Smith late Thursday evening asked Judge Aileen Cannon to reconsider her order allowing some information to be unsealed.
Jack Smith also warned of a ‘significant, immediate’ threat to the government witnesses if their names were unredacted.
Earlier this week Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee, shut down Special Counsel Jack Smith’s attempt to keep names of government witnesses and other discovery under seal in the classified documents case against Trump.
Jack Smith last June indicted Trump on 37 federal counts in Miami.
Trump was charged with 31 counts of willful retention of national defense information and 6 other process crimes stemming from his conversations with his lawyer.
Jack Smith has been fighting to keep the names of government witnesses a secret. He also opposed the unsealing of discovery material because one document confirms the existence of another FBI investigation.
Last month President Trump’s lawyers filed a motion asking Judge Cannon to compel Jack Smith to turn over documents.
The documents produced by the special counsel’s office were heavily redacted.
A press coalition included The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, Fox News, and other outlets have also requested the unsealing of the discovery material.
Last month Jack Smith opposed Trump’s motion to disclose discovery material in a 4-page filing reviewed by The Gateway Pundit.
The special counsel argued the discovery material must be kept under seal because one document confirms the existence of another FBI investigation…presumably into Trump.
It is unclear which FBI investigation Jack Smith referenced, however it has been publicly reported that the FBI opened an investigation into Trump’s ‘possible involvement in January 6’ in April 2022.
Jack Smith requested certain documents to remain sealed in full.
Judge Cannon on Tuesday denied Jack Smith’s request to keep some of the discovery under seal.
“Although substantiated witness safety and intimidation concerns can form a valid basis for overriding the strong presumption in favor of public access, the Special Counsel’s sparse and undifferentiated Response fails to provide the Court with the necessary factual basis to justify sealing,” Cannon wrote on Tuesday.
Jack Smith responded to Cannon late Thursday night and asked her to reconsider her order.
On Friday Cannon temporarily stayed the deadlines in her order pending a response from Trump’s legal team. Trump’s team has until February 23 to respond.
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RELATED: Jack Smith Claps Back at Judge Cannon’s ‘Clear Error’ in Ruling
Published February 9, 2024
he judge in Donald Trump‘s classified documents case made a “clear error” that could expose many witnesses to threats from Trump supporters, special prosecutor Jack Smith has written in a court filing.
He was reacting to Judge Aileen Cannon‘s decision to release unredacted discovery documents in the case at the request of Trump and media groups.
“That discovery material, if publicly docketed in unredacted form as the Court has ordered, would disclose the identities of numerous potential witnesses, along with the substance of the statements they made to the FBI or the grand jury, exposing them to significant and immediate risks of threats, intimidation, and harassment, as has already happened to witnesses, law enforcement agents, judicial officers, and Department of Justice employees whose identities have been disclosed in cases in which defendant Trump is involved,” Smith wrote in a filing to Cannon.
There have been significant threats to court officials in both Trump’s election inference cases in Washington and Atlanta, and in his civil fraud trial in New York, all of which were discussed in open court in those cases.
Smith filed a written request to Judge Cannon on February 8, asking her to reconsider her position.
He said her decision to release the documents to the public was wrong and that Cannon wrongly stated that the government must show a compelling interest in keeping documents private.
Smith wrote that this standard does not apply to discovery documents.
“The Eleventh Circuit has held that the compelling-interest standard applied by the Court does not apply to “documents filed in connection with motions to compel discovery,” which instead may be sealed or redacted simply upon a showing of “good cause,” he wrote, citing the 2020 case of United States v. Nickens.
“Because the Court applied the wrong legal standard… reconsideration is warranted to “correct clear error” he wrote, citing the 2021 case of United States v. Grobman.