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Judge Halts Trump’s Classified Docs Trial After DOJ Admits To Evidence Tampering


U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon postponed Special Counsel Jack Smith’s classified document lawfare case against former President Donald Trump indefinitely, days after the Department of Justice admitted it tampered with evidence.

Cannon issued an order Tuesday that announced the schedule for the “second set of pre-trial deadlines” to address evidentiary issues and arguments from the Trump team for dismissing the case. Missing from the schedule, however, was a new date for the trial, which was previously set to begin May 20.

[READ NEXT: Jack Smith’s Rush To Try Trump Before November Is ‘Obvious’ Election Meddling, Stefanik Complaint Says]

“The Court also determines that finalization of a trial date at this juncture — before resolution of the myriad and interconnected pre-trial and CIPA [Classified Information Procedures Act] issues remaining and forthcoming — would be imprudent and inconsistent with the Court’s duty to fully and fairly consider the various pending pre-trial motions before the Court, critical CIPA issues, and additional pretrial and trial preparations necessary to present this case to a jury,” Cannon wrote in the order.

Cannon’s order comes days after Smith admitted that federal prosecutors tampered with evidence in his case against Trump, which argues the former president mishandled classified documents. As independent journalist Julie Kelly pointed out on X, prosecutors admitted in a court filing Friday that some of the documents seized during the FBI’s unprecedented raid on Mar-a-Lago are not in the same order in which they were found. Others may have been mislabeled or possibly misplaced entirely, as my colleague Tristan Justice noted.

The special counsel’s office wrote in the Friday filing that a government “filter team” in charge of handling the boxes once they were in FBI possession “was not focused on maintaining the sequence of documents within each box.”

The filing also states that items taken during the raid were scanned into records, but “there are some boxes where the order of items within that box is not the same as in the associated scans.” A footnote for that sentence states: “The Government acknowledges that this is inconsistent with what Government counsel previously understood and represented to the Court.”

Smith indicted Trump in June 2023 for allegedly mishandling classified documents just one year after armed federal agents raided Trump’s private Florida residence in search of said documents.

The DOJ, under President Joe Biden’s leadership, declined to charge Biden for his own classified documents scandal after a special counsel decided it would be too hard to convince a jury that the aging president committed a “serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness” because he is an “elderly man with a poor memory.”

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