Special Counsel Jack Smith, who indicted former President Donald Trump, is in hot water after the judge presiding over the Trump classified documents case criticized his decision to conduct court hearings in Washington, D.C., and then transfer to Florida at the last minute.
The 2020 Trump appointee Judge Aileen Cannon demanded an explanation from Smith regarding the “legal propriety of using an out-of-district grand jury proceeding to continue to investigate and/or to seek post-indictment hearings on matters pertinent to the instant indicted matter in this district,” according to Axios.
Additionally, Cannon invalidated two of the prosecution’s confidential filings.
In her filing, Cannon addressed the prosecution’s request to conduct a hearing on potential conflicts of interest involving Stanley Woodward, the attorney for Trump defendant Waltine Nauta.
According to the prosecution, Woodward has already represented one witness and is presently representing two other witnesses whom the federal government will summon to testify shortly.
Smith stated that such a relationship with potential witnesses indicates a possible conflict of interest.
“A potential conflict exists because Mr. Woodward previously represented one witness and currently represents two other witnesses who the Government may call to testify at the trial of his client Nauta,” prosecutors wrote, adding that such a situation could leave Woodward “in the position of cross-examining past or current clients.”
Cannon wrote that Nauta’s attorneys had until August 17 to respond to the hearing motion. She stated that the special counsel’s response is due by August 22.
A federal grand jury in Miami indicted Trump in June on charges related to his alleged stockpiling of classified documents and obstruction of justice.
In July, the former president was served with a superseding indictment that included new allegations in the documents case.
According to these new allegations, Trump and Nauta attempted to have surveillance footage from Mar-a-Lago deleted.
Recently, Trump was indicted in Washington, D.C., on accusations relating to the 2020 election and the events of January 6, 2021.
Shortly after exiting the courthouse and loading his aircraft, Trump made remarks about his indictment.
“This is a very sad day for America,” Trump declared.
“When you look at what is happening this is a persecution of a political opponent. This was never supposed to happen in America,” the former president told reporters at Reagan National Airport.
“This is a persecution of the person that is leading by very, very substantial numbers in the Republican primary and leading Biden a lot. So if you can’t beat him, you persecute him, or you prosecute him. We can’t let this happen in America,” he added.