Jack Smith May Consider Emergency Injunction in Donald Trump Case

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Jack Smith May Consider Emergency Injunction in Donald Trump Case

The chief prosecutor in Donald Trump‘s classified documents case may seek an emergency injunction to prevent the public release of top secret government files, a law professor has said.

The case concerns a huge stash of classified papers found at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. Trump is currently awaiting trial on charges that he was illegally hoarding the documents after he left the White House.

The chief prosecutor in the case, special counsel Jack Smith, has strongly opposed the release of the documents.

On Tuesday, Judge Aileen Cannon ruled in favor of Trump, stating the filing from the special counsel “fails to identify the information at issue, provide any explanation about the nature of the investigation, or explain how disclosure of the code name would prejudice or jeopardize the integrity of the separate investigation (assuming it remains ongoing).”

donald trump vegas rally
Donald Trump points from the stage as he arrives to speak at a Commit to Caucus Rally in Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 27, 2024. The judge in Trump’s classified documents case has granted his…

Patrick T Fallon/Getty Images

Jeremy Foley, a law professor at Berkeley College in California who specializes in judicial ethics, told Newsweek that the public will likely find out soon if Smith will seek an emergency injunction.

“If the government is concerned that the judge’s order will cause harm, it can seek emergency relief from the 11th Circuit, which could stay the order pending review. We should know very soon if that happens,” he said.

The federal 11th Circuit Court of Appeal covers Florida, where the Trump classified documents case is taking place, as well as Georgia and Alabama.

Fogel said that it is “unusual for a judge to make classified documents public.”

“Before doing so, Judge Cannon was required to weigh the factors favoring disclosure: potential aid to the defense and the public interest argument asserted by the media groups against those identified by the government: release of the documents could harm national security, impair an ongoing investigation, or compromise potential witnesses in the case,” he said.

Newsweek sought email comment from Trump’s attorney on Thursday.

Trump is facing 40 federal charges over allegations he retained classified papers after leaving the White House in January 2021 and then obstructed efforts by the relevant authorities to have them returned.

In August 2022, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago private members club was raided by federal agents who recovered several classified papers. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges and strongly denies any wrongdoing. He remains the frontrunner for the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential race.

Cannon, a Republican, was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida by Trump and assumed office in November 2020. She had already sparked anger, and talk of removal, by delaying the case’s pre-trial schedule in a move that could significantly slow down the case.

Update 2/8/2024 07:48 a.m. ET: This article was updated to clarify the nature of the documents being released.

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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