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Federal Judge Indefinitely Postpones Trump’s Classified Document Trial

In a surprise move Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon indefinitely postponed Special Counsel Jack Smith’s classified document case against former President Donald Trump.

In her order, Cannon cancelled the May 20 trial date and did not set a new date, saying various issues needed to be worked out before the Biden regime’s unprecedented lawfare case could proceed to a jury.

“The Court also determines that finalization of a trial date at this juncture — before resolution of the myriad and interconnected pre-trial and CIPA [Classified Information Procedures Act] issues remaining and forthcoming — would be imprudent and inconsistent with the Court’s duty to fully and fairly consider the various pending pre-trial motions before the Court, critical CIPA issues, and additional pretrial and trial preparations necessary to present this case to a jury,” Cannon wrote in the order.

The judge cited eight pending motions she needs to consider before a trial date can be set and said the process could take until at least late July.

Trump is facing 40 criminal counts over his alleged mishandling of classified documents and for allegedly working with co-defendants, Walt Nauta and Carlos De Oliveira, to obstruct the Justice Department’s investigation. The three have pleaded not guilty to the charges. The Florida case is atypically being run out the Washington FBI field office.

The delay comes days after Smith’s senior prosecutor Jay Bratt admitted in a court filing that the FBI tampered with evidence to stage a crime scene photo— “a stunt with potentially case-killing consequences for DOJ,” according to independent journalist Julie Kelly.

In an August 30, 2022 response to Trump’s special master lawsuit, Bratt, then the lead DOJ prosecutor on the case, appeared to use deception in describing the alleged crime scene at Mar-a-Lago.

“[Thirteen] boxes or containers contained documents with classification markings, and in all, over one hundred unique documents with classification markings…were seized. Certain of the documents had colored cover sheets indicating their classification status,” Bratt said in the filing.

As Kelly noted on her Substack, the DOJ’s description of the scene “did not accurately describe the origin of the cover sheets.”

In what must be considered not only an act of doctoring evidence but willfully misleading the American people into believing the former president is a criminal and threat to national security, agents involved in the raid attached the cover sheets to at least seven files to stage the photo.

Classified cover sheets were not “recovered” in the container, contrary to Bratt’s declaration to the court. In fact, after being busted recently by defense attorneys for mishandling evidence in the case, Bratt had to fess up about how the cover sheets actually ended up on the documents.

In the new filing, according to Kelly, Bratt includes “a critical detail that he failed to disclose in his August 2022 filing,” Kelly noted.

“[If] the investigative team found a document with classification markings, it removed the document, segregated it, and replaced it with a placeholder sheet. The investigative team used classified cover sheets for that purpose,” Bratt stated.

But before the official cover sheets were used as placeholder, agents apparently used them as props. FBI agents took it upon themselves to paperclip the sheets to documents—something evident given the uniform nature of how each cover sheet is clipped to each file in the photo—laid them on the floor, and snapped a picture for political posterity.

Online critics at the time immediately pointed out that the photo of alleged classified material looked staged. Lawyer and legal scholar Jonathan Turley warned on August 31, 2022 that the photo was leaving “an obviously misleading impression” on the public.

On Monday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan fired off a letter to the DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) requesting documents related to any steps the OPR is taking to investigate the Special Counsel Office’s conduct to determine whether disciplinary action is appropriate.

Another issue, according to Kelly, is that some of the “placeholder” coversheets do not match the relevant documents.

In what is seen as a significant win for Trump, Cannon said in her scheduling order that she will hold a hearing in June on the presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee’s request for records from the Biden administration, giving Team Trump a platform to air their concerns about the political prosecution.

Cannon also scheduled a hearing on June 21 to hear Team Trump’s arguments that Smith was unlawfully appointed.

The classified documents trial may still begin before the 2024 election, but the judge’s move will more likely push proceedings back until after the election, according to reports.

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About Debra Heine

Debra Heine is a conservative Catholic mom of six and longtime political pundit. She has written for several conservative news websites over the years, including Breitbart and PJ Media.

Photo: (COMBO) This combination of pictures created on August 5, 2023 shows special counsel Jack Smith in Washington, DC, on August 1, 2023 and former US President Donald Trump in Palm Beach, Florida, on November 8, 2022. Donald Trump pushed back on August 7 against a bid by government lawyers to restrict what he can share publicly about his historic prosecution for allegedly conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 election. "I shouldn't have a protective order placed on me because it would impinge upon my right to FREE SPEECH," the former president said in a post on his Truth Social platform. (Photo by SAUL LOEB and Eva Marie UZCATEGUI / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEBEVA MARIE UZCATEGUI/AFP via Getty Images)