Trump presses Judge Aileen Cannon to take up immunity question in classified documents case

Former president's lawyers seek updated schedule in case
Former President Donald Trump speaks during a commit to caucus rally on Saturday in Clinton, Iowa.
Posted at 3:45 PM, Jul 05, 2024

Attorneys for former President Donald Trump are now seeking to use the Supreme Court's presidential immunity decision to help him in his criminal case in Florida over the mishandling of classified documents.

In a new court filing Friday, Trump's team said they want an updated schedule in the federal classified documents case, which is scheduled to take place in Fort Pierce, so they can argue points related to the Supreme Court decision.

The decision "guts the Office's position that President Trump has 'no immunity' and further demonstrates the politically-motivated nature of their contention that the motion is 'frivolous,'" Trump's attorneys wrote.

Read the full motion below:

The Supreme Court’s decision directly applies to the federal case over 2020 election subversion efforts in Washington, D.C., but it could impact all four of the criminal cases against the former president.

In the filing Friday, Trump's attorneys also noted Justice Clarence Thomas concurrence to the decision, questioning the validity of special counsel Jack Smith’s appointment. Trump's attorneys argue the concurrence "adds force" to motions Trump has filed against how Smith was appointed and funded.

CNN previously reported that Trump's legal team planned to use this week's Supreme Court opinion to try to get key evidence in the classified documents case tossed out, and Friday's filing is the first step toward that end.

The move is likely to further elongate an already convoluted and slow road to trial in Judge Aileen Cannon’s courtroom in Fort Pierce. The judge has yet to decide a number of pretrial matters, including some motions that have been languishing on her docket for months.

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Among them is a request from Trump to dismiss most of the charges because Trump's team says he has presidential immunity for his decision to remove the classified records he held on to in Florida from the White House in the final hours of his presidency.

Cannon has not had a hearing on the matter, but she is likely to take into consideration the Supreme Court's new ruling, which says the president's core constitutional powers are immune from prosecution and that courts may need to look more closely at other actions a president takes to see if those may be immune as well.

In the historic opinion released Monday, Thomas wrote about the legality of the special counsel’s office, saying he believed Smith may not be a legitimately appointed prosecutor under the Constitution. That topic hadn't even been raised by Trump's team in the DC case, but Trump's legal team and Smith’s prosecutors argued about the issue at length during a hearing before Cannon last week, with Trump’s team in line with Thomas' position.

Cannon, a Trump appointee, showed some interest in Trump's arguments at the hearing but hasn't yet issued a ruling on that either.

CNN's Holmes Lybrand contributed to this report.

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