IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Jack Smith warns Judge Cannon not to be ‘manipulated’ by Trump

The Trump-appointed judge in the former president’s Florida case could be on the verge of further delaying the classified docs trial.

By

While we await word from Florida on how much U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon might further delay Donald Trump’s federal trial there, special counsel Jack Smith is warning her not to be “manipulated” by the former president, who appointed her to the bench.

What manipulation is Smith worried about?

On Wednesday, Cannon held a hearing at which she reportedly suggested she might push back the classified documents trial she previously set for May, with Trump’s counsel complaining that the scheduled March trial in the former president’s federal case in Washington poses a conflict.

Yet, Smith’s team pointed out to Cannon in a Thursday filing that, after the Wednesday hearing in Florida, Trump’s lawyers asked U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan to pause his case in D.C., pending resolution of his claim of presidential immunity there. (He has pleaded not guilty to the two federal indictments, as well as his two state indictments.)

“As the Government argued to the Court yesterday, the trial date in the District of Columbia case should not be a determinative factor in the Court’s decision whether to modify the dates in this matter,” the special counsel’s office wrote in its Thursday filing to Cannon.

“Defendant Trump’s actions in the hours following the hearing in this case illustrate the point and confirm his overriding interest in delaying both trials at any cost,” Smith’s team added, concluding that Cannon shouldn’t let herself “be manipulated in this fashion.” (The government filing actually had a rough typo in that concluding sentence, apparently omitting “not” in writing: “This Court should allow itself to be manipulated in this fashion.” We’ve all been there, though probably not with things this important. Of course, the meaning is clear.)

Substantively, one could quibble with whether Trump’s litigation strategy is manipulative, or at least with how successful it will be, partly because Chutkan probably won’t pause the Washington case (though the Supreme Court may need to decide the immunity issue before he’s tried there, which could effectively delay the March trial date, but it’s too soon to know how that plays out). To be sure, Trump would obviously like to delay both trials, because his best legal defense is becoming president again.

At any rate, it’s unclear whether Cannon would consider herself as being manipulated by Trump if she pushes the case, especially since she has been skeptical about some of the prosecution’s moves to date. We should learn soon from the judge herself how she sees it.

Subscribe to the?Deadline: Legal Blog newsletter?for weekly updates on the top legal stories, including news from the Supreme Court, the Donald Trump cases and more.

news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news