Jack Smith Asks Judge Cannon to Reconsider Order Allowing Some Redacted Information to be Unsealed, Warns of ‘Significant, Immediate’ Threat to Witnesses – Cannon Responds

Special Counsel Jack Smith late Thursday evening asked Judge Aileen Cannon to reconsider her order allowing some information to be unsealed.

Jack Smith also warned of a ‘significant, immediate’ threat to the government witnesses if their names were unredacted.

Earlier this week Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee, shut down Special Counsel Jack Smith’s attempt to keep names of government witnesses and other discovery under seal in the classified documents case against Trump.

Judge Aileen Cannon

Jack Smith last June indicted Trump on 37 federal counts in Miami.

Trump was charged with 31 counts of willful retention of national defense information and 6 other process crimes stemming from his conversations with his lawyer.

Jack Smith has been fighting to keep the names of government witnesses a secret. He also opposed the unsealing of discovery material because one document confirms the existence of another FBI investigation.

Last month President Trump’s lawyers filed a motion asking Judge Cannon to compel Jack Smith to turn over documents.

The documents produced by the special counsel’s office were heavily redacted.

A press coalition included The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, Fox News, and other outlets have also requested the unsealing of the discovery material.

Last month Jack Smith opposed Trump’s motion to disclose discovery material in a 4-page filing reviewed by The Gateway Pundit.

The special counsel argued the discovery material must be kept under seal because one document confirms the existence of another FBI investigation…presumably into Trump.

It is unclear which FBI investigation Jack Smith referenced, however it has been publicly reported that the FBI opened an investigation into Trump’s ‘possible involvement in January 6’ in April 2022.

Jack Smith requested certain documents to remain sealed in full.

Judge Cannon on Tuesday denied Jack Smith’s request to keep some of the discovery under seal.

“Although substantiated witness safety and intimidation concerns can form a valid basis for overriding the strong presumption in favor of public access, the Special Counsel’s sparse and undifferentiated Response fails to provide the Court with the necessary factual basis to justify sealing,” Cannon wrote on Tuesday.

Jack Smith responded to Cannon late Thursday night and asked her to reconsider her order.

On Friday Cannon temporarily stayed the deadlines in her order pending a response from Trump’s legal team. Trump’s team has until February 23 to respond.

Judge Cannon however denied Jack Smith’s request to keep under seal the names of government witnesses in the Mar-a-Lago case.

“Upon in camera review of the subject attachment, and mindful of the disfavored nature of ex parte proceedings, the Court reaffirms the Special Counsel’s request to seal the attachment referenced in the Special Counsel’s Motion for Leave but finds an insufficient basis provided to deviate from the adversarial process in this instance. The Special Counsel is directed to transmit the exhibit to Defendants on or before February 10, 2024. The exhibit shall remain sealed pending further Court order,” Judge Cannon wrote.

NBC News reported:

In a 24-page filing in federal court in Florida, prosecutors for Smith said the court applied the wrong legal standard when U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, who is overseeing the case, ordered the unsealing of materials. Cannon issued an order in response on Friday that delayed her initial decision.

The filing notes an exhibit that includes “information about uncharged potentially obstructive conduct by a defendant, and speculation about witness tampering by an uncharged individual.” According to the prosecutors, this witness declined to have his interview recorded.

The classified documents trial is currently set for May 20, 2024, however it may get postponed since Jack Smith’s January 6 DC trial, which was set for March 4, 2024 is delayed.


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