The judge indefinitely postponed the start of the case

The Washington Post

Trump is charged with 40 counts of taking classified documents and obstructing efforts to get them back.
But now a trial that was supposed to start in two weeks is indefinitely on hold.
Critics blame the judge overseeing this case, Aileen Cannon, who was appointed by Donald Trump, for pushing this case well past the election.
Mary McCord is director of Georgetown University’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection.
I mean, she is also a judge that lacks experience handling a case that involves classified information.
But there is a Speedy Trial Act too.
And, in fact, in making today her order in definitely postponing even scheduling a trial, she had to make findings that this was in the interest of justice under the Speedy Trial Act, because she is, in fact, going well beyond what the Speedy Trial Act would otherwise allow.
But there is also a requirement under law that cases move along, especially criminal cases, because there is a public interest and not just a defendant’s interest in a speedy trial.

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Brangham, William:.

This is thought to be the most solid and convincing evidence against the former president, Amna. Trump faces 40 counts of stealing classified materials and impeding the return of those materials.

The indictments of special counsel Jack Smith reveal that Trump’s private club and residence, Mar-a-Lago, have boxes full of extremely secret materials stored unsecured in ballrooms, bathrooms, and closets. On a recorded audio clip, Trump acknowledges that he still has secret war plans.

Smith claims that in an attempt to elude federal investigators, Trump attempted to destroy video evidence showing how the documents were moved. Unfortunately, a trial that was scheduled to begin in two weeks has been placed on indefinite hold. The judge presiding over this case, Aileen Cannon, was appointed by Donald Trump; critics accuse her of dragging the case far beyond the election.

Mary McCord is the director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown University. She used to work for the Justice Department as well.

It’s great to see you back on the show, Mary.

Do you believe that this is a reasonable charge, that the judge is the main reason this case is probably not going to be tried before this election? If so, can you provide any supporting evidence?

Former Justice Department official Mary McCord:.

I would say that it’s a result of a judge who has allowed the delay tactic used by Mr. Trump and his co-defendants to succeed, as well as a combination of these factors.

In other words, she is an inexperienced judge who has never handled a case including classified material. The addition of complexity to a case arises from the Classified Information Procedures Act, also known as CIPA, which establishes a procedure for determining how to handle classified information in legal cases. This includes determining which information must be provided to the defendants and what they can use as evidence in court.

For all of that, there is a protocol. Yes, that makes things more complicated. She has, however, continuously given in to Mr. Trump’s tactics of delay and has extended deadlines for the CIPA proceedings as well as other hearings.

In fact, the government’s response for the next CIPA hearing has been pushed back until roughly this time in July, mid-July. A crucial CIPA Section 5 hearing deadline that was set for this week has been rescheduled to the middle of June. Judges who have handled these cases more frequently would have handled them more swiftly, but instead we’re talking about just adding a significant delay.

She has scheduled hearings and done so well after the briefing, in my opinion, even though she could have made decisions on a number of motions based solely on the paper record.

McCord, Mary:.

That being said, I would anticipate that a judge with more experience would handle these cases more quickly and would also likely to give less weight and airtime to arguments that are comparatively absurd.

Judges, you are correct, have a great deal of discretion in their courtroom. Additionally, there is the Speedy Trial Act. Additionally, the Speedy Trial Act serves interests beyond those of the accused. Insuring that justice is administered without delay is also for the public’s benefit.

Furthermore, because she is going well beyond what the Speedy Trial Act would otherwise permit, she had to find that it was in the interests of justice to issue her order today, which definitively postpones even the scheduling of a trial. She also realized that and came to those conclusions.

It’s true that there is a great deal of discretion. However, cases—especially criminal cases—must proceed according to the law because the public interest lies beyond the defendant’s desire for a prompt trial.

McCord, Mary:.

As a result, I believe that there hasn’t been the kind of decision that I am confident Jack Smith could challenge in an appeal if she were to reject the motion to recuse himself.

And the reason for that is that she hasn’t made any firm decisions in a lot of areas. Indeed, by refusing Mr. Trump’s motions to dismiss the case on the grounds of the Presidential Records Act and other grounds, she has frequently left open the possibility that these issues will be taken up again in the future. I will address this again later, but for now, she has denied them without bias.

Hence, these aren’t exactly decisions that he could simply bring up and argue that she should be recused because she clearly broke the law in this case, her actions were sort of unquestionably wrong, and it demonstrates bias.

To be honest, I think he’s waiting. This is an incredible move, and you do not want to lose it and find yourself back before that judge, right? Therefore, I do not believe that the moment is quite right for that at this point. The government may file an appeal using the CIPA procedures if a decision is made, especially in these CIPA hearings, that is unfavorable.

Furthermore, a move to recuse may accompany that, depending on the parameters of the decision.

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