Judge Cannon Questions Merrick Garland’s Oversight During Hearing on Validity of Jack Smith’s Special Counsel Appointment – Here Are the Details

From left: Special Counsel Jack Smith, U.S. District Court Judge Aileen M. Cannon and former President Donald Trump. (@axios / X screen shot)
Published June 22, 2024

Judge Aileen Cannon on Friday heard challenges to Jack Smith’s special counsel appointment.

Cannon did not issue a ruling after the hearing concluded.

President Trump previously filed a motion to dismiss Jack Smith’s classified documents charges based on the “unlawful appointment and funding of Special Counsel.”

Day one of the expanded evidentiary hearing was held on Friday.

According to NBC News, President Trump’s lawyers “argued that an officer like the special counsel must be appointed “by law” and that the special counsel should be categorized as a “principal officer” and subject to Senate confirmation. The statutory text cited by the special counsel’s office “does not authorize” the U.S. attorney general’s appointment of the special counsel, his lawyer, Emil Bove, argued.”

Cannon appeared skeptical of Trump’s legal team’s argument that a special counsel is a “principal officer.” The defense argued that giving an attorney general power to appoint a special counsel with the authority of a US Attorney is akin to a shadow government (since only a US president can appoint a US Attorney and the Senate must confirm).

“That sounds very ominous, a shadow government. But what does that mean?” Cannon asked, according to NBC News.


SOURCE: www.thegatewaypundit.com

RELATED: Judge Cannon wants to know whether Merrick Garland is supervising Jack Smith

The judge in Donald Trump’s classified documents case asked lawyers how much independence the special counsel has.

Judge Aileen Cannon held a hearing on a bid by Trump to have Jack Smith’s appointment declared unconstitutional. | J. Scott Applewhite/AP; Southern District of Florida
Published June 22, 2024

FORT PIERCE, Florida — The federal judge overseeing Donald Trump’s classified documents case grilled special counsel Jack Smith’s prosecutors Friday on how closely Attorney General Merrick Garland oversees their work.

Under persistent questioning from U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, the prosecutors declined to divulge details and seemed caught off-guard by the inquiries. At one point, Smith deputy James Pearce said he was “not authorized” to discuss the level of communication that occurred between the attorney general and the special counsel.

“I don’t want to make it seem like I’m hiding something,” Pearce then said.

The questioning came at the end of a five-hour hearing focused on a long-shot effort by Trump to have the charges against him thrown out. Smith has accused Trump of hoarding national secrets at his Mar-a-Lago estate after his presidency and obstructing the government’s efforts to retrieve them.

Trump contends that Smith’s appointment by Garland as special counsel in November 2022 is unconstitutional and that Smith lacked the legal authority to bring the case against the former president.

Though other courts have uniformly swept aside similar challenges to the validity of special counsel appointments, Cannon — a 2020 Trump appointee to the bench — scheduled lengthy oral arguments on the matter, a sign that she was taking it seriously. During Friday’s proceedings, she gave little indication of how she intends to rule.


SOURCE: www.politico.com

RELATED: Judge Cannon appears skeptical of Trump’s argument special counsel was illegally appointed: Live updates

Trump legal team argues Attorney General Merrick Garland did not have the legal authority to appoint Jack Smith as special counsel

Published June 22, 2024

A hearing in former President Donald Trump’s classified documents case ended with no ruling on Friday as Judge Aileen Cannon entertained a motion from the ex-commander-in-chief’s legal team that Jack Smith was unlawfully appointed as special counsel.

Smith has brought charges for allegedly mishandling classified information in Florida and for his attempts to overturn the 2020 election in Washington DC.

The Trump argument that Smith’s appointment was illegal stems from the claim that Attorney General Merrick Garland doesn’t have the legal authority to appoint a special counsel who hasn’t been confirmed by the Senate.

The Department of Justice has argued that the attorney general has the power to appoint “inferior officers” – including special counsels. However, the Trump legal team argued that Smith is a “principal officer” and therefore needs confirmation.


SOURCE: www.independent.co.uk


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Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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