Trump’s legal team back in court in Florida classified documents case

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Trump’s legal team back in court in Florida classified documents case

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Former President Trump’s legal team is back in court on Monday after a Friday hearing in which both sides argued the legality of Special Counsel Jack Smith’s appointment in the classified document case against the former president.

The hearing continues Monday when the two sides again discuss matters related to Smith’s appointment as well as a limited gag order that prosecutors have requested to bar Trump from comments they fear could endanger the safety of FBI agents and other law enforcement officials involved in the case.

Trump’s lawyers have said any speech restrictions would infringe on his free speech rights. Cannon initially rejected the prosecution’s request on technical grounds, saying Smith’s team had not sufficiently conferred with defense lawyers before seeking the restrictions. Prosecutors subsequently renewed the request.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon heard hours of arguments Friday from lawyers for both sides, with Trump attorney Emil Bove asserting that the Justice Department risked creating a “shadow government” through the appointment of special counsels to prosecute select criminal cases.

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Former President Trump and Special Counsel Jack Smith (Getty Images)

Bove mentioned the term “shadow government” while describing a situation in which inferior officers, unconfirmed by the Senate, are put in power.

“These are the risks we are running,” he said.

Prosecutors said there was nothing improper or unusual about Smith’s appointment, with James Pearce, a member of Smith’s team, at one point saying, “We are in compliance. We have complied with all of the department’s policies.”

Cannon did not make a decision on Friday and is expected to issue a written order on the matter in the coming days.

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Former President Trump arrives at Trump Tower, May 30, 2024, after being found guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree in New York City. (Felipe Ramales for Fox News Digital)

On Tuesday, Trump’s team is expected to argue in another hearing that the search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida, on Aug. 8, 2022, that turned up the classified documents was illegal and all the evidence found in the search should be thrown out. Trump’s team will also argue that the search could have been done informally with Trump’s consent.

Trump faces charges stemming from Smith’s investigation into his possession of classified materials. He pleaded not guilty to all 37 felony counts from Smith’s probe, including willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice and false statements.

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Attorney General Merrick Garland, shown, appointed Jack Smith as special counsel. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana/File)

Trump was also charged with an additional three counts as part of a superseding indictment from the investigation, an additional count of willful retention of national defense information and two additional obstruction counts.

The Associated Press and Fox News Digital’s Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

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