Jack Smith Unlawfully Appointed, Court Must Dismiss Classified Documents Case

Published February 24, 2024

Attorneys for former President Donald Trump filed several motions to dismiss a federal indictment led by Special Counsel Jack Smith on Thursday surrounding Trump’s handling of classified documents.

The former president is ultimately facing 40 counts in the Southern District of Florida stemming from allegations that he unlawfully retained national defense information and then tried to stall a federal probe into his handling of the documents. Special Counsel Jack Smith was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland in 2022 to handle two investigations into Trump, the other being related to January 6 and the riot at the U.S. Capitol.

One of the motions argues that Jack Smith was unlawfully appointed to his role under the Appointments Clause and the Appropriations Clause, and a second motion argues that Trump’s possession of classified documents at his Mar-A-Lago home was not unauthorized under the Presidential Records Act (PRA).

“The Appointments Clause does not permit the Attorney General to appoint, without Senate confirmation, a private citizen and like-minded political ally to wield the prosecutorial power of the United States. As such, Jack Smith lacks the authority to prosecute this action,” the first motion reads, which was filed in the U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida West Palm Beach Division.

“That is a serious problem for the rule of law—whatever one may think of former President Trump or the conduct Smith challenges in the underlying case,” the brief continues, quoting an amicus brief filed on behalf of former Attorney General Ed Meese and others earlier this week. “This is an issue of first impression in the Eleventh Circuit, and it requires that the Superseding Indictment be dismissed.”

Attorneys further argue that there is no statute establishing the Office of Special Counsel.

“As a result, because neither the Constitution nor Congress have created the office of the “Special Counsel,” Smith’s appointment is invalid and any prosecutorial power he seeks to wield is ultra vires,” the motion reads.

Furthermore, attorneys are arguing that funding of Smith’s investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents is in violation of The Appropriations Clause.

“President Biden’s DOJ is paying for this politically motivated prosecution of Biden’s chief political rival ‘off the books,’ without accountability or authorization,” the motion reads. “Rather than funding the Special Counsel’s Office through the ordinary budget process, Jack Smith is drawing on a permanent indefinite appropriation that, by its terms and under the Reno Regulations, is not  available to Special Counsel. Thus, Smith’s funding violates the Appropriations Clause.”


SOURCE: www.breitbart.com

RELATED: Trump demands judge toss classified documents charges: What to know

Published February 24, 2024

Former President Trump demanded his classified documents charges be dismissed in seven separate motions filed late Thursday that assert presidential immunity and other defenses.

A handful of the motions filed in advance of Trump’s Thursday deadline are publicly available, while others will remain under seal for days until the parties discuss necessary redactions.

Many of Trump’s defenses — such as his immunity argument — mimic motions he has made in special counsel Jack Smith’s separate prosecution of Trump in Washington, D.C., on charges related to allegedly subverting the 2020 election results.

Some of the other defenses are specific to the classified documents case, where Trump faces 40 felony counts that accuse him of mishandling classified records and attempting to obstruct the government’s retrieval of those records. Trump has pleaded not guilty.

Here’s what to know about the arguments from Trump’s legal team:


SOURCE: www.thehill.com

RELATED: Trump moves to dismiss classified documents case, claiming immunity and unlawful appointment of special counsel

Published February 24, 2024

Washington — In a flurry of late-night court filings, former President Donald Trump’s legal team attempted to get the federal indictment related to his alleged mishandling of classified documents dismissed, presenting a Florida judge on Thursday with various motions to toss the case that she must now consider.

The former president has been charged with 40 counts in the Southern District of Florida stemming from allegations that he unlawfully retained national defense information and then worked to impede the federal probe into his handling of the material. Special counsel Jack Smith, appointed in 2022 by Attorney General Merrick Garland to handle two Trump-related investigations, accused Trump of willfully taking sensitive government records with classified markings from the White House to his Mar-a-Lago residence.

The special counsel also charged Trump and two co-defendants, aide Walt Nauta and resort employee Carlos de Oliveira, with crimes that amounted to accusations of moving boxes of government records to avoid detection and unsuccessfully trying to get security camera footage erased.

Trump, Nauta and de Oliveira have all pleaded not guilty, and in Thursday’s filings, the former president’s legal team levied much of the same criticism against the probe that Trump has discussed on the campaign trail.

In four motions to dismiss the indictment submitted to Judge Aileen Cannon, Trump’s attorneys took issue with Jack Smith’s appointment as special counsel and claimed various legal principles — including the Presidential Records Act and the theory of presidential immunity — shield the former president from criminal prosecution in the case.

The attorneys wrote in one memo that the case should be dismissed because, as president, Trump had “unreviewable discretion” over classified records and, under the Presidential Records Act, could designate any official government document as a personal record.

“President Trump was still the President of the United States when, for example, many of the documents at issue were packed (presumably by the GSA), transported, and delivered to Mar-A-Lago,” the filing said.


SOURCE: www.cbsnews.com


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