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Judge Seeks Explanation For ‘Out-Of-District Grand Jury Proceeding’ In Trump Docs Case

  The   federal judge   overseeing special counsel   Jack Smith ‘s documents case against former President   Donald Trump   and his aide dem...

 The federal judge overseeing special counsel Jack Smith‘s documents case against former President Donald Trump and his aide demanded a legal explanation for an “out-of-district grand jury proceeding.”

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, who was nominated to the federal bench by Trump, responded on Monday to the Department of Justice’s request for a hearing to address possible conflicts of interest with Stanley Woodward, a lawyer representing Trump valet Walt Nauta, who has represented people the government may call to testify.

Nauta shall file a response to the request by August 17, Cannon said, adding that the defendant “shall address the legal propriety of using an out-of-district grand jury proceeding to continue to investigate and/or to seek post-indictment hearings on matters pertinent to the instant indicted matter in this district.”

The order said Smith shall reply to the discussion by August 22. Cannon also said the other defendants in the case are welcome but not required to file their own briefs on the grand jury matter. In addition, Cannon told the clerk to strike two sealed filings by prosecutors.

Cannon’s order caused a firestorm on social media; the commentary was a mix of indignation, speculation, and, in some cases, celebration.

“Judge Cannon responds to the govt’s request for a hearing on Nauta’s lawyer’s conflicts & discloses the existence of a grand jury investigation in another district while denying gov’t’s motion to seal. The govt can appeal. This may tee up the issue of her fitness on this case,” Joyce Vance, a former federal prosecutor who is now an MSNBC fixture, said in a post to X.

“Judge Cannon clearly shows her ignorance (bias? both?); the obstruction crimes that were investigated are charges that could have been brought in FLA or in DC and thus could be investigated in either district. And there was conduct that is alleged to have occurred outside FLA,” Andrew Weissmann, a former federal prosecutor from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation who now appears on MSNBC, said in response.


“BREAKING: I told you Judge Cannon is legit. She is not going to tolerate Jack Smith’s bulls***,” author and journalist Julie Kelly said in a post to X. “This is gold — she asks defense to raise possible grand jury abuse by DOJ for conducting nearly all of the investigation in DC then switching to FLA at last minute for indictment.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) echoed Kelly, saying, “No judge should tolerate Jack Smith’s bulls***.”

In a separate post, Kelly took aim at those suggesting that Cannon improperly revealed grand jury information. “Moronic reporters and legal analysts now spinning that Judge Cannon disclosed DC grand jury still at work in Mar a Lago case when it was Jack Smith who did so in a motion filed last week,” she said.

Smith brought the documents case against Trump and Nauta in the Southern District of Florida. Both Trump and Nauta have pleaded not guilty to the charges they face, including counts that relate to concealment and obstruction. An employee at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Carlos De Oliveira, has also been charged but has yet to enter a plea.

Trump is running a 2024 campaign for another term in the White House. He faces multiple indictments, including a 2020 election case brought by Smith in Washington, D.C., and has broadly denied any wrongdoing while claiming he is the target of a “witch hunt.”

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