Trump Attorneys Attempt to Persuade Judge in Documents Case

( – A Florida judge has denied one of two motions to dismiss Trump’s classified documents case. Judge Aileen Cannon disagreed with Trump’s attorneys that the Espionage Act was too vague to be constitutional, but granted that the attorneys were welcome to make that argument at trial. She also suggested that the question could be included in jury instructions.

Cannon wrote that definitions of terms like “unauthorized” are still in motion and have yet to be resolved which would make dismissal premature.

Trump’s team argued that the Espionage Act has a lot of unsettled legal questions surrounding it which makes the charges against Trump unconstitutionally vague. Government prosecutor Jack Smith rebuffed the claims, suggesting that the rule prohibits “unauthorized possession” and intentionally keeping classified information. Trump’s lawyers suggested he was authorized to take the documents when he did so as president.

Cannon suggested that she couldn’t declare the act unconstitutionally vague, as that would be “an extraordinary step.” She also suggested that factual disputes need to be resolved before constitutional questions can be addressed.

Trump’s attorney Emil Bove suggested that Statute 793-related charges need to be dismissed since the prosecution cannot prove Trump taking the documents as president was “unauthorized.” Trump’s lawyers then argued with the prosecution over the meaning of the term.

The hearing marked the second time lawyers were in Cannon’s courtroom recently. She’s also heard arguments that the case should be dismissed due to Trump having full authority to take documents due to the Presidential Records Act (PRA). They suggested that the PRA should have abrogated any charges in the first place, which would have also prevented other subsequent charges like obstruction.

Prosecutors argued that the PRA only includes personal, not presidential records, and therefore Trump taking the documents was unauthorized. Prosecutors argued that Trump knew he was illegally taking the documents due to previous comments he made about Hillary Clinton and a recorded conversation with a staffer wherein he suggested the documents were still classified when he took them.

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