Jack Smith Alerts Cannon: Time Running Out for Trump

New developments emerge in the high-stakes Trump documents case.

by Nouman Rasool
Jack Smith Alerts Cannon: Time Running Out for Trump
© Alex Wong/Getty Images

In the ongoing saga of former President Donald Trump's classified documents case, Special Counsel Jack Smith has reiterated his call for an expedited trial. This Tuesday marked the ninth occasion Smith has pressed U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon for a swift resolution, as the case, accusing Trump of improperly handling classified materials, inches closer to its scheduled May court date.

Trump's legal team has been pushing for a delay, arguing that the current timeline doesn't allow adequate preparation due to the extensive evidence presented in this Florida-based case. The defense's stance is further complicated by Trump's assertion of innocence and claims of a politically motivated probe, potentially impacting his 2024 reelection ambitions.

On the other side of the courtroom, prosecutors steadfastly oppose any postponement. They assert that a rapid trial aligns with public interest, a view not wholly shared by Judge Cannon—a Trump appointee—who has shown openness to revising the trial schedule, potentially even post-2024 election.

Speedy Trial Act Urgency

Smith's recent filing, mandated by the Speedy Trial Act, emphasizes the urgency of adhering to the planned timeline. This act stipulates that trials should commence within 70 days of the indictment or the defendant's first court appearance.

The document highlighted that this timeline also binds Trump's co-defendants, Walt Nauta and Carlos de Oliveira. Interestingly, Trump, Nauta, and de Oliveira have reportedly reviewed and concurred with Smith's filing, an indication of a complex legal dance underway.

As the legal proceedings evolve, accusations of bias have surfaced against Judge Cannon, noted for her hesitancy in adhering to the set trial schedule and for postponing several pre-trial hearings last November. Despite this, she has acknowledged the legal principle favoring "the public's right to a speedy trial." Adding another layer to the case, Cannon recently ordered the unsealing of documents filed by Smith's team, countering prosecutors' concerns that such a move might expose their courtroom tactics.

Former DOJ prosecutor Andrew Weissmann has even suggested that Smith should consider seeking Cannon's removal from the case. This came after Cannon denied Smith's request to set a deadline under the Classified Information Procedures Act.

As the legal and political narratives intertwine, Newsweek's attempt to garner a response from Trump's campaign team remains unanswered. The case, balancing legal complexities and political undercurrents, continues to draw national attention, underscoring the contentious nature of this high-profile legal battle.