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Judge denies Trump bid to dismiss classified documents prosecution

US District Judge Aileen Cannon sides with federal government
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Posted at 3:18 PM, Apr 04, 2024

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — A federal judge refused Thursday to throw out the classified documents prosecution against Donald Trump, rejecting a defense argument that the case should be tossed because he was entitled as a former president to retain the records after he left office.

Lawyers for Trump had cited a 1978 statute known as the Presidential Records Act in arguing that he was permitted to designate records from his time in office as personal and take them with him when he left the White House.

Prosecutors on special counsel Jack Smith's team vigorously opposed that argument, saying the statute had no relevance in a case concerning classified documents.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon sided with the government in a three-page order, writing that the indictment makes “no reference to the Presidential Records Act, nor do they rely on that statute for purposes of stating an offense."