(NationRise.com) – The federal judge overseeing the top-secret documents case against former President Donald Trump slammed Special Counsel Jack Smith’s efforts on August 7. Southern District of Florida’s Judge Alieen Cannon denied the Justice Department’s request for sealed filings, removing two from the official court record. She also asked the prosecutors to provide further details regarding their ongoing use of an out-of-state grand jury for investigating the case.
In a brief, Cannon wrote that Smith stated in vague terms that the supplement should be kept confidential to uphold “grand jury secrecy.” However, the judge claimed that the notion for leave, and the supplement itself, failed to demonstrate a solid legal or “factual basis” to justify the sealing.
The August 7 filing came in response to Smith’s request for a hearing to determine potential conflicts of interest from defense attorney Stanley Woodward. He represents Trump’s aide Waltine Nauta and three other individuals Smith says could be called to testify in this case. The judge gave counsel for Nauta until August 17 to formally file a response to the hearing motion and gave prosecutors until August 22 to submit a supporting brief for the hearing.
This latest action in the case against the former president occurs nine months before the scheduled trial. The judge previously scheduled the case’s trial on May 20, 2024, the same day as the GOP presidential primaries. Many Republican figures claimed this was “unfair.”
Trump is currently facing dozens of criminal counts, including conspiracy to obstruct justice, making false statements, and the willful retention of national defense classified documents. The former commander-in-chief pleaded not guilty to all the charges on August 4.
Nauta, who was charged with six different criminal counts, including conspiracy to obstruct justice, also pleaded not guilty. A third defendant named Carlos De Oliveira, one of the property managers at Trump’s Florida mansion Mar-a-Lago, was accused by Smith of working with the former president to hide security videos.
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