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Trump Tees Off on Jack Smith as Judge Smacks Down DOJ Demands

“Unjust” requests and First Amendment fails.

Former President Donald Trump suffered two defeats on motions in separate criminal proceedings on Thursday, April 4. Fulton County Georgia Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee denied Trump and his co-defendants relief from the RICO charges brought by Fani Willis on First Amendment claims. Meanwhile, Federal District Court Judge Aileen Cannon denied Trump’s motion to dismiss his indictment based on the Presidential Records Act. Notably, she used the occasion of her ruling to criticize special counsel Jack Smith.

Jack Smith Demands “Unjust.”

In federal court in the documents handling and storage at Mar-a-Lago prosecution, Trump lost a bid to dismiss the charges based on the Presidential Records Act. Trial judge and Trump federal bench appointee Aileen Cannon wrote a three-page order denying the motion, “accepting the allegations of the Superseding Indictment as true, the Presidential Records Act does not provide a pre-trial basis to dismiss…” And then she turned her attention to Mr. Smith, the man the Biden DOJ hand-picked to imprison Trump in advance of the November election. She rebuked the prosecutor, writing:

“Separately, to the extent the Special Counsel demands an anticipatory finalization of jury instructions prior to trial, prior to a charge conference, and prior to the presentation of trial defenses and evidence, the Court declines that demand as unprecedented and unjust.”

Trump posted a tirade against Smith, calling him “deranged,” saying he’s “a lowlife who is nasty, rude, and condescending, and obviously trying to ‘play the ref.’” Trump wrote, “I, unlike Crooked Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and all the rest, come under the Presidential Records Act. I DID NOTHING WRONG, BUT BIDEN DID, AND THEY LET HIM OFF SCOT-FREE. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN, JACK? A TWO TIERED SYSTEM OF JUSTICE. ELECTION INTERFERENCE!”

New banner Legal Affairs with ScottTrump and Judge Cannon were responding to Jack Smith’s criticism of Cannon’s request for multiple jury instructions, either of which might be used depending on future rulings she will make. Smith indicated that he would seek an appeal before the trial if he didn’t like what he had heard from the court. Cannon concluded her order by inviting him to: “As always, any party remains free to avail itself of whatever appellate options it sees fit to invoke, as permitted by law.”

Failed First Amendment Motion

In Georgia, Mr. Trump and 15 co-defendants, including Rudy Giuliani, argued that Fani Willis’ attempts to criminalize their speech violated the First Amendment. The defendants argued that the state law violates the First Amendment, as written. And in the alternative, even if the law was permissible, it was applied to discriminate against their free speech illegally. Judge McAfee denied the motion on both grounds in a 14-page order, writing:

“In other words, the law does not insulate speech allegedly made during fraudulent or criminal conduct from prosecution under the guise of petitioning the government. The right to petition is not absolute, nor does it carry ‘special First Amendment status’ that would render claims asserted under it immune from criminal recourse.”

There’s no sense these court losses represented significant blows to Donald Trump’s criminal defense prospects in either case. If Mr. Smith appeals Judge Cannon’s ruling, Mr. Trump might consider the accordant delays a victory by itself. Any event that pushes the prospect of a trial past November and the presidential elections accrues to Trump’s benefit.

Read More From Scott D. Cosenza, Esq.

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