Judge Cannon Questions Merrick Garland’s Oversight During Hearing on Validity of Jack Smith’s Special Counsel Appointment – Here Are the Details

From left: Special Counsel Jack Smith, U.S. District Court Judge Aileen M. Cannon and former President Donald Trump.
From left: Special Counsel Jack Smith, U.S. District Court Judge Aileen M. Cannon and former President Donald Trump. (@axios / X screen shot)

Judge Aileen Cannon on Friday heard challenges to Jack Smith’s special counsel appointment.

Cannon did not issue a ruling after the hearing concluded.

President Trump previously filed a motion to dismiss Jack Smith’s classified documents charges based on the “unlawful appointment and funding of Special Counsel.”

Day one of the expanded evidentiary hearing was held on Friday.

According to NBC News, President Trump’s lawyers “argued that an officer like the special counsel must be appointed “by law” and that the special counsel should be categorized as a “principal officer” and subject to Senate confirmation. The statutory text cited by the special counsel’s office “does not authorize” the U.S. attorney general’s appointment of the special counsel, his lawyer, Emil Bove, argued.”

Cannon appeared skeptical of Trump’s legal team’s argument that a special counsel is a “principal officer.” The defense argued that giving an attorney general power to appoint a special counsel with the authority of a US Attorney is akin to a shadow government (since only a US president can appoint a US Attorney and the Senate must confirm).

“That sounds very ominous, a shadow government. But what does that mean?” Cannon asked, according to NBC News.

However, Cannon did question whether Attorney General Merrick had any oversight role in seeking the indictment against Trump.

Jack Smith’s prosecutor James Pearce refused to answer and claimed it would be against policy to answer the question.

“Why would there be any heartburn to answer whether the attorney general signed off on the indictment?” Cannon asked.

Top DOJ official Jeff Clark called Cannon’s questions about Merrick Garland’s oversight “critical.”

“Before court adjourned, Cannon asked prosecutors and the defense to file any supplemental materials, including statutory citations and case law, in filings with a maximum of five pages.” NBC News reported.

Judge Cannon last month indefinitely postponed the classified documents case after Special Counsel Jack Smith admitted to tampering with evidence.

The Judge vacated the May 20, 2024 trial date. It may be several months until Judge Cannon sets a new trial date.

Jack Smith admitted the FBI messed with the boxes containing “classified” documents they seized from Trump and can’t be sure the order or the placement of the documents.

The DOJ previously assured the Court that the placement of classified documents as originally found had been maintained – THEY LIED!

The DOJ in August 2022 lied to the Court when they claimed the red, blue and yellow sheets shown in the viral photo of the classified documents indicated their classification status.

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Cristina began writing for The Gateway Pundit in 2016 and she is now the Associate Editor.

You can email Cristina Laila here, and read more of Cristina Laila's articles here.


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