(LibertySociety.com) – Special Counsel Jack Smith’s case against former President Donald Trump was dealt a blow from Judge Aileen Cannon on June 26 after he attempted to keep the witness list under seal, preventing its release to the public. The case was dismissed without prejudice, which will allow Smith to answer the concerns Cannon raised by filing another request if he chooses.
Besides wanting a specific reason for keeping the 84 witness names private, Judge Cannon wants to know why “partial sealing, redaction, or other means” is insufficient. She also requested as a time frame for how long he would like the names to remain under seal. She also included the names of various media outlets that filed a motion “opposing the government’s request,” as they believe the American public should be provided with complete transparency.
Although the Trump’s legal team knows the names on the list, he was allowed to be released from custody on the condition that he have no communication with them. He has spoken at length about the 37 felony charges against him since he was arraigned on June 13, maintaining his innocence and blasting President Biden, the Department of Justice, the FBI, the DOJ, and Special Counsel Smith for politically prosecuting him and attempting to interfere with the 2024 presidential election. Trump believes that his retention of records is allowed under the Presidential Records Act, bolstering his defense by referencing former President Bill Clinton’s victory in the Supreme Court that cleared him of any wrongdoing for retaining documents he chose to keep for personal records.
On June 26, CNN published an audio recording that is referenced in Smith’s indictment, which he claims was evidence of the former President discussing classified materials with people who did not have a security clearance. Critics of the investigation believe that the DOJ is intentionally leaking information to cause a media firestorm, while a Fox News host speculated that the 45th President leaked the recording himself. The former President responded to the leak, proclaiming that it exonerated him of what Smith is accusing him of, doubling down on his claim that he was thumbing through media and newspaper articles during the discussion.
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