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“Shouldn’t we refer to her as Trump defense counsel?”: Experts slam Cannon order scolding Jack Smith

U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon, who is presiding over former President Donald Trump’s classified documents case in Florida, issued an order to special counsel Jack Smith’s office Tuesday scolding the prosecutors for not providing access to classified materials to the defense in an “accredited facility” within the Southern District of Florida, MSNBC’s Katie Phang reports. The order follows the prosecution and defense’s squabble this week over the case’s discovery process, during which both parties exchange records about witnesses and evidence they may present at trial, according to The Messenger.

In a Sunday night filing, Trump’s attorneys said Smith’s office had not yet made around 2,400 pages of classified discovery available for review in the district and asked for an extension to file additional motions. Prosecutors, who have provided over 1.3 million pages of unclassified records in the case, partially objected to the extension request Tuesday. While they did not reject a 10-day extension regarding classified records, of which the case involves thousands of pages, they did oppose any motion to extend deadlines for unclassified discovery motions.

Experts criticized Cannon’s order online. “Shouldn’t we just refer to her as Trump defense counsel Cannon?” Norman Ornstein, an emeritus scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, said on X, formerly Twitter. “I’m trying to think of a single time in a case involving classified information that my convenience or proximity to access to the relevant [sensitive compartmented information facility] was a consideration,” national security lawyer Bradley Moss added. Phang pointed out that Cannon also recently scolded a prosecutor on Smith’s team in Trump co-defendant Walt Nauta’s contentious conflict-of-interest hearing that was rescheduled for Friday. “I am interested to see how Judge Cannon reacts to the DOJ at this hearing on Friday.” Phang tweeted. “Her very visible irritation and dressing-down of the Special Counsel’s team last week was remarkable, to say the least.”

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