A legal victory was handed to former President Donald Trump this week in a D.C. courtroom. U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon issued an order demanding Special Counsel Jack Smith explain why a grand jury in Washington, D.C., is investigating matters pertaining to the indictment he filed in the Southern District of Florida.
Her order also required that two filings be unsealed by Smith’s office for public viewing.
The motion for leave and supplement were sealed from public view, but Cannon declared that there was not enough legal or factual basis for such secrecy, as “the Special Counsel states in conclusory terms that the supplement should be sealed from public view ‘to comport with grand jury secrecy’.”
She also asked Smith to 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 second grand jury investigation came into light due to Smith’s motion for a Garcia hearing which occurs if there is a potential conflict of interest between the defendant’s attorney and witnesses who may be called upon during trial proceedings.
Assistant Walt Nauta is being represented by Stanley Woodward who has worked with three witnesses who could testify against Nauta or Trump himself.
Judge Aileen Cannon’s decision generated mixed reactions on social media platforms with some expressing indignation or speculation while others celebrated her ruling.
Former federal prosecutor Joyce Alene suggested it “may tee up the issue of her fitness on this case”
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. pic.twitter.com/62fC57MpSc
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) August 7, 2023
Whereas Georgia Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted “No judge should tolerate Jack Smith’s bullsh*t”.
No judge should tolerate Jack Smith’s bullsh*t. https://t.co/axBTjsvomA
— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) August 7, 2023
Andrew Weissmann (former federal prosecutor from Robert Mueller’s team) pondered whether it was ignorance or bias behind Cannon’s decision noting there are charges which could have been brought either in Florida or D.C., along with conduct alleged outside Florida boundaries as well.
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. https://t.co/KIGkUka59J
— Andrew Weissmann (weissmann11 on Threads)🌻 (@AWeissmann_) August 7, 2023
Trump supporters applauded Judge Aileen Cannon’s order forcing the special counsel into further explanation and unsealing documents related to his classified documents case.
Opponents remain skeptical about the rule given certain discrepancies between both sides’ arguments over its legality and fairness – especially since it is a matter involving one of America’s most controversial presidents yet – Donald Trump himself!