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Former DOJ official says Trump defense in classified docs case is ‘absolutely’ making the right moves


Daily Caller News Foundation

Former Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Tom Dupree said on Tuesday that former President Donald Trump’s defense is definitely taking the correct actions by making motions during his classified documents case.

U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon heard arguments Friday to determine whether Trump’s entire classified documents case should be tossed based on the alleged unconstitutionality of special counsel Jack Smith’s appointment. Dupree on “CNN News Central” said that filing this motion, along with others, is the right strategy for Trump’s defense because the judge’s willingness to consider these arguments could delay the case, benefiting Trump.


“Given how Cannon has behaved so far, if you’re the defense, why wouldn’t you make a motion on anything and everything under the sun?” host John Berman asked.

“You absolutely would,” Dupree said. “I mean, look, you make these arguments as a defendant in hopes that maybe you get the Hail Mary pass, you strike gold, she’s going to throw the case out. Why not make it? What’s interesting here is that she does seem to be giving very careful consideration to arguments that have been made before and had been pretty much universally rejected.”

Trump’s lawyers claim Smith, a private citizen neither nominated by the president nor confirmed by the Senate during his November 2022 appointment by Attorney General Merrick Garland, does not possess the authority to indict.

“This is unusual in my experience, that she would hold what looks to be three pretty much full days of hearings, legal arguments, constitutional arguments presented to her by the lawyers to make sure she gets it right,” Dupree said earlier in the segment. “I think part of it is that she wants to make sure that she understands these issues. She’s relatively new to the bench. These are complicated issues, but of course, one consequence of all of this is that it does delay the proceedings substantially.”

More senior judges asked Cannon to step down from the case soon after she received it due to lacking experience and previously ruling in favor of Trump, The New York Times reported on Thursday. CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig said her recusal based on her experience level would be “completely unprecedented” and that the chances of her departing the case are small.

Retired judge George Grasso said on Monday that Cannon’s consideration of Smith’s allegedly unlawful appointment could suggest she is contemplating dismissing the case, adding that could lead to the special counsel’s election interference case against Trump experiencing delays. Grasso said that if Cannon tosses the case, she will likely get overturned, but that Trump’s team will take the issue to the Supreme Court, which might hear it.

“The Trump team is going to go right to the Supreme Court at their first opportunity. And I don’t know that justices like Thomas and Alito, just to name two obvious suspects off the top of my head, might not embrace these theories, at least to the point that this case would go to the U.S. Supreme Court,” Grasso said. “Furthermore, it’s particularly ominous because that kind of a ruling and that kind of a procedure in … the documents case … would undermine Jack Smith’s ability to prosecute the January 6 case.”

Cannon in May indefinitely postponed Trump’s trial where he faces 40 felony counts. Smith secured the indictment against Trump in June 2023 on charges pertaining to his handling of classified documents.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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