The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that Democratic legislators are not permitted to file a lawsuit seeking information on the former hotel owned by former president Donald Trump in Washington, D.C.
“After the high court last month agreed to hear the Biden Justice Department’s appeal in the case, Democrats dismissed the dispute in a lower court. Both sides then wrote to the justices agreeing that the Supreme Court should toss it as moot. In a brief, unsigned order Monday, the justices vacated the lower ruling and sent it back with instructions to dismiss the case. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson dissented from the order, saying she would’ve instead used a different procedural mechanism to toss the case,” The Hill reported.
“The Justice Department had asked the justices to declare that the Democrats could not sue in court to enforce the rule, which allows any seven members of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability or any five members of the Senate Homeland Security Committee to ask for information within their purview from executive agencies. But after Democrats dismissed the case, the Justice Department said the Supreme Court should step away from hearing its appeal,” the outlet added.
“Three weeks after the Court granted review, respondents filed a notice of voluntary dismissal in district court,” the Justice Department wrote to the justices. “Although that notice does not of its own force terminate proceedings in this Court, respondents’ abandonment of their claims does render this case moot.”
Democrats agreed that the Supreme Court should decide the issue.
“Here, respondents do not appear to have formally withdrawn their Section 2954 request or explicitly renounced any attempt to seek the disputed documents in the future,” they wrote. “But under the circumstances, their notice in the district court and letter to this Court should be regarded as a definitive abandonment of their claims.”
In a separate proceeding, a federal magistrate in Florida has set the preliminary trial date for former president Donald Trump’s management of classified documents for August 14.
“U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon bookmarked the last two weeks in August for the historic trial, part of an omnibus order setting some early ground rules and deadlines for the case. That would represent a startlingly rapid pace for a case that is expected to be complicated and require lengthy pretrial wrangling over extraordinarily sensitive classified secrets,” Politico reported.
“But a review of Cannon’s criminal cases, since she took the bench in late 2020, suggests this is standard practice for the Florida-based judge. She typically sets trial dates six to eight weeks from the start of a case, only to allow weeks- or months-long delays as issues arise and the parties demand more time to prepare. While her order on Tuesday starts the clock on a slew of important pretrial matters in the Trump case, it’s not likely to resemble anything close to the timeframe that will ultimately govern the case,” the outlet added.
Monday marked the first victory for Special Counsel Jack Smith in his conflict with President Trump.
A federal judge granted Smith’s request for a protective order prohibiting Trump from disclosing confidential information in his case involving classified documents.
“Smith sought the order to ensure that neither Trump nor codefendant Walt Nauta, Trump’s presidential valet, disclose sensitive information obtained during the discovery process, where prosecutors will show the defense what evidence it has amassed during their investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents since leaving office,” ABC News reported.
In accordance with the terms of the protective order, Trump and Nauta “shall not disclose the Discovery Materials or their contents directly or indirectly to any person or entity other than persons employed to assist in the defense, persons who are interviewed as potential witnesses, counsel for potential witnesses, and other persons to whom the Court may authorize disclosure.”
A former criminal defense attorney for Trump stated last week that the investigation into his improper handling of sensitive information may not even lead to a trial.
Trump will be arraigned in the case brought against him by Smith, who was selected by Biden’s Department of Justice, on Tuesday in Miami, according to Timothy Parlatore, who represented Trump in criminal defense matters until last month.
Trump entered a plea of “not guilty” in federal court. Trump, who will compete against President Joe Biden in the 2016 presidential election, could spend years in prison if he is proven guilty of all charges.
The grand jury procedure and any violations of attorney-client privilege, according to Parlatore, are particularly problematic in this instance. According to Parlatore, this could result in the dismissal of the entire case.
The case “should be dismissed or, at a minimum, the prosecutor should be disqualified,” Parlatore said, adding that Trump’s attorneys should “attack the conduct of the entire investigation and show through death by a thousand cuts why this entire investigation is irreparably tainted by government misconduct.”