Judge Aileen Cannon denies effort by Trump, co-defendants to dismiss some charges in classified documents case

Cannon however agreed with defendants that some of language in indictment was 'legally unnecessary'
Judge Aileen Cannon
Posted at 10:45 AM, Jun 11, 2024

The federal judge overseeing the federal criminal classified documents case against Donald Trump and his two co-defendants in Florida has denied efforts to dismiss nearly 10 of the 41 charges in the indictment against them on several technical issues.

District Judge Aileen Cannon did, however, agree with the defendants that some of the language in the indictment was "legally unnecessary" and ruled that one of the paragraphs would be removed from the indictment.

In the small win for the defense, Cannon rejected prosecutors' rationale for including a paragraph in the charges that laid out an episode in which Trump allegedly showed an unnamed representative of his political organization a classified map and commented that he should not be showing the map to the individual.

TIMELINE: What led to Trump's federal indictment in documents case


TIMELINE: What led to Trump's federal indictment in documents case

Justin Boggs
8:25 PM, Jun 08, 2023

Prosecutors had pointed to a procedural rule that allows the admission of evidence that relates to uncharged conduct. However, Cannon said Monday that such evidence should be subjected to certain pretrial litigation before it is allowed to come into a case.

In explaining that narrow ruling, she took swipes at the prosecutors for their use of a so-called speaking indictment, meaning an indictment that goes beyond the sparse legal requirements for charging someone and gives a fuller narrative of the allegations.

Cannon noted in her order that "the risks that can flow from a prosecutor's decision to include in a charging document an extensive narrative account of his or her view of the facts, especially in cases of significant public interest."


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Kate Hussey
12:20 AM, Jun 01, 2024

While Trump and his co-defendants raised several other technical issues they saw with charges in the indictment, including duplicity issues, the judge ultimately found those "identified deficiencies, even if generating some arguable confusion, are either permitted by law, raise evidentiary challenges not appropriate for disposition at this juncture."

Cannon also said that as long as the jury was "instructed appropriately and presented with adequate verdict forms as to each Defendants' alleged conduct" there wasn't an issue.

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