Judge Aileen Cannon Denies Special Counsel’s Request For Sealed Witnesses List In Documents Case

Judge Aileen Cannon, who was randomly selected to preside over Donald Trump’s trials for his alleged retention of national defense information, denied a request from special counsel Jack Smith to file a sealed list of 84 witnesses provided to Trump’s lawyers.

Smith indicted Trump earlier this month on 37 counts that accuse him of mishandling classified documents after his time in the White House and attempting to obstruct justice by keeping them from the government. Trump was arrested and arraigned at the Miami federal courthouse and pleaded not guilty to all charges. Cannon recently announced that the trial for the case could start as early as August 14.

Along with the motion to file a sealed list of witnesses, Smith’s office also requested to delay the trial and set a pretrial hearing for issues regarding the Classified Information Procedures Act, which dictates precautions that must be taken when entering classified documents as evidence in a court case.

Cannon, a Trump-appointed judge, denied Smith’s request to keep the witnesses from the public.

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter!

A week of political news in your in-box.
We find the news you need to know, so you don't have to.

“The Government’s Motion does not explain why filing the list with the court is necessary,” Cannon wrote in the order. “It does not offer a particularized basis to justify sealing the list from public view; it does not explain why partial sealing, redaction, or means other than sealing are unavailable or unsatisfactory.”

Cannon also disclosed that news organizations such as The New York Times, CNN and The Washington Post filed a motion in opposition of Smith’s request, claiming that it violated the First Amendment.

“This case—the first prosecution of a former President of the United States—is one of the most consequential criminal cases in the Nation’s history. The American public’s interest in this matter, and the need to monitor its progress every step of the way, cannot be overstated,” the coalition stated in its filing.

Cannon has not addressed Smith’s motion to postpone the start of the trial until December 11.

Ava Lombardi

Recent Posts

Biden Administration Proposes New Student Debt Relief Plan

President Joe Biden's administration announced new student loan plans that could provide aid to millions…

1 day ago

Special Counsel Jack Smith Asks Supreme Court To Deny Trump’s Immunity Claim

In a new court filing, Special Counsel Jack Smith urged the Supreme Court to deny…

2 days ago

Biden Faces Challenges Getting On The Ohio & Alabama Ballots

According to a letter from Ohio's secretary of state, Frank LaRose, President Joe Biden may…

2 days ago

After Trump Says States Should Determine Abortion Laws, Democrats Try To Make Him Own The Issue

On Monday, Donald Trump said abortion laws should be determined by U.S. states, seemingly taking a more…

2 days ago

After Alabama Democrat Flips House Seat Amid IVF Controversy, Democrats Wonder If They Can Make A Comeback In The Reddest Of States

Last week, Democrat Marilyn Lands defeated Republican Teddy Powell in a special election for a state House seat in…

3 days ago

Who Is Nicole Shanahan, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s New V.P. Running Mate

Last week, independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced that San Francisco attorney and entrepreneur Nicole Shanahan would…

5 days ago