Judge Rejects Trump Dismissal Effort in Classified Documents Case

A federal judge rejected former President Donald J. Trump’s attempt to dismiss charges of mishandling classified documents by arguing he converted them into personal property under the Presidential Records Act. Judge Aileen M. Cannon ruled that the act does not provide a pretrial basis to dismiss the case, a victory for special counsel Jack Smith. The judge requested proposed jury instructions on how the act might impact the case. Smith argued against it, emphasizing the act’s irrelevance. Judge Cannon agreed the act wasn’t enough to dismiss the case but hinted discussions on its impact would continue.

Trump’s lawyers claimed the act allowed him to designate sensitive materials as private records, which was legally questioned by Judge Cannon and the appeals court. The ruling may affect another attempt by Trump’s lawyers to have the case dismissed based on presidential immunity from prosecution. The Supreme Court will consider this assertion in another case involving Trump’s alleged election interference. Trump’s lawyers argue that his immunity stems from converting the removed documents into personal property under the act.