Special Counsel Jack Smith — the man who indicted former President Donald Trump — is swimming in deep waters after the judge presiding over the Trump classified documents case slammed him over his decision to conduct court hearings in Washington, D.C., and then switch last minute to Florida.
Judge Aileen Cannon, who was appointed by Trump in 2020, demanded an explanation from Smith over 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,” Axios reported.
Cannon also struck down two of the prosecution’s sealed filings.
In her filing, Cannon addressed the prosecution’s request to hold a hearing on potential conflicts of interest regarding Trump defendant Waltine Nauta’s lawyer, Stanley Woodward.
According to the prosecution, Woodward has already represented one witness and currently represents two other witnesses that the federal government will soon call to testify.
Smith said such a connection with potential witnesses details a potential conflict of interest.
“A potential conflict exists because Mr. Woodward previously represented one witness and currently represents two other witnesses who the Government may call to testify at the trial of his client Nauta,” prosecutors wrote, adding that such a situation could leave Woodward “in the position of cross-examining past or current clients.”
Cannon wrote that Nauta’s lawyers would have to respond to the motion for the hearing by Aug. 17. She said the special counsel must file its response by Aug. 22.
Trump was indicted in June by a federal grand jury in Miami on charges relating to his alleged hoarding of classified documents and obstruction of justice.
In July, the former president received a superseding indictment, which carried additional charges in the documents case.
These new charges alleged that Trump and Nauta sought to have surveillance footage in Mar-a-Lago deleted.
Trump was recently indicted in Washington, D.C., on charges related to the 2020 election and events of Jan. 6, 2021.
Trump offered remarks on his indictment shortly after leaving the courthouse and boarding his plane.
“This is a very sad day for America,” Trump declared.
“When you look at what is happening this is a persecution of a political opponent. This was never supposed to happen in America,” the former president told reporters at Reagan National Airport.
“This is a persecution of the person that is leading by very, very substantial numbers in the Republican primary and leading Biden a lot. So if you can’t beat him, you persecute him, or you prosecute him. We can’t let this happen in America,” he added.