File this under Zero Surprise. Donald Trump responded on Truth Social and X to the ABC News story that he divulged national security secrets to billionaire Anthony Pratt at Mar-a-Lago. As usual, he’s innocent, it’s all part of a plot.
There you have it, Trump’s fantasy vision. Everything you’re going to see from now until November, 2024, will be nothing more than a rinse and repeat of this basic mantra.
Trump spoke with Pratt at Mar-a-Lago in April, 2021. So here was the scene: Trump was in exile at his winter palace, or so he saw it. He was talking about sensitive national security matters and stacking up boxes of classified documents that should not have been at his residence in the first place.
Then, NARA asked for everything back, Trump ignored them and the FBI executed a search warrant on August 8, 2022. There is no way for us to know, although hopefully Jack Smith has been able to piece together, who Trump talked to about top secret matters and what, if any, documents that he left Washington, D.C. with, got photocopied, read, or otherwise transmitted into the wrong hands.
So as usual, we have the blanket disclaimer. The only problem is that there are all those witnesses who can corroborate that Pratt is telling the truth and Trump is lying. Isn’t that always the case?
Forty of the 91 counts he faces are in the classified documents handling case that Aileen Cannon is assigned to. Maybe Jack Smith is giving Cannon enough rope to hang herself. She certainly seems to be doing Trump’s bidding.
Several legal analysts told Newsweek that Cannon is not experienced enough to handle such a major case. However, one said that it would be very difficult for prosecutors to have her removed from the case.
In a motion filed late on Wednesday, Trump’s lawyers urged Cannon to delay the trial until at least mid-November 2024. The judge is now under pressure from both sides of the political fence, having been attacked for her alleged pro-Trump rulings.
Legal submissions by Trump’s lawyers this week claim there have been delays in obtaining the classified records cited in Special Counsel Jack Smith‘s indictment.
“Given the current schedule, we cannot understate the prejudice to President Trump arising from his lack of access to these critical materials months after they should have been produced,” this week’s defense motion stated.
“The Special Counsel’s Office has not provided some of the most basic discovery in the case,” it added.
Prosecutors last week accepted that there had been a “slightly longer than anticipated timeframe” in the case, but said that was no reason for an adjournment. They added that, by today, Friday, they will provide much of the remaining outstanding classified evidence. […]
In a decision last year, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals criticized Cannon for granting Trump’s request that the government be blocked from using the evidence it obtained from the Republican’s Mar-a-Lago residence to advance its investigation.
The appeal court said Trump had failed to provide adequate information upon which she could base a decision, yet “the district court [Cannon] was undeterred by this lack of information.”
And yes, it is difficult to remove a judge but not impossible.
“Smith might well want to wait and see how Cannon handles some of the sensitive issues regarding the handling of classified documents. If her resolution of those questions looks like deliberate slow-walking or obstructionism, that might be the time to raise the question whether her ‘impartiality might reasonably be questioned.'”
If I had to bet, it would be that Cannon will continue to tip her hand and show that she’s biased. Plus, one thing we know about Jack Smith: he doesn’t rush anything. He won’t move until he’s certain he can be effective. As they say, “when you shoot at the King, you can’t miss.”