A closely-watched issue involving whether Democratic lawmakers could file a lawsuit to seek information on the former Washington, D.C., hotel owned by former president Donald Trump has been dismissed by the U.S. Supreme Court.
“After the high court last month agreed to hear the Biden Justice Department’s appeal in the case, Democrats dismissed the dispute in a lower court. Both sides then wrote to the justices agreeing that the Supreme Court should toss it as moot. In a brief, unsigned order Monday, the justices vacated the lower ruling and sent it back with instructions to dismiss the case. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson dissented from the order, saying she would’ve instead used a different procedural mechanism to toss the case,” The Hill reported.
“The Justice Department had asked the justices to declare that the Democrats could not sue in court to enforce the rule, which allows any seven members of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability or any five members of the Senate Homeland Security Committee to ask for information within their purview from executive agencies. But after Democrats dismissed the case, the Justice Department said the Supreme Court should step away from hearing its appeal,” the outlet added.
“Three weeks after the Court granted review, respondents filed a notice of voluntary dismissal in district court,” the Justice Department wrote to the justices. “Although that notice does not of its own force terminate proceedings in this Court, respondents’ abandonment of their claims does render this case moot.”
Democrats concurred that the matter should be decided by the Supreme Court.
“Here, respondents do not appear to have formally withdrawn their Section 2954 request or explicitly renounced any attempt to seek the disputed documents in the future,” they wrote. “But under the circumstances, their notice in the district court and letter to this Court should be regarded as a definitive abandonment of their claims.”
A federal judge in Florida set a preliminary start date of August 14 for the former president Donald Trump’s trial in the case surrounding his handling of secret documents in a different proceeding.
“U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon bookmarked the last two weeks in August for the historic trial, part of an omnibus order setting some early ground rules and deadlines for the case. That would represent a startlingly rapid pace for a case that is expected to be complicated and require lengthy pretrial wrangling over extraordinarily sensitive classified secrets,” Politico reported.
“But a review of Cannon’s criminal cases, since she took the bench in late 2020, suggests this is standard practice for the Florida-based judge. She typically sets trial dates six to eight weeks from the start of a case, only to allow weeks- or months-long delays as issues arise and the parties demand more time to prepare. While her order on Tuesday starts the clock on a slew of important pretrial matters in the Trump case, it’s not likely to resemble anything close to the timeframe that will ultimately govern the case,” the outlet added.
Monday was Special Counsel Jack Smith’s first victory in his conflict with President Trump.
A protective order Smith requested to prevent Trump from revealing confidential information in his case involving classified documents was granted by a federal judge.
“Smith sought the order to ensure that neither Trump nor codefendant Walt Nauta, Trump’s presidential valet, disclose sensitive information obtained during the discovery process, where prosecutors will show the defense what evidence it has amassed during their investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents since leaving office,” ABC News reported.
The protective order said Trump and Nauta “shall not disclose the Discovery Materials or their contents directly or indirectly to any person or entity other than persons employed to assist in the defense, persons who are interviewed as potential witnesses, counsel for potential witnesses, and other persons to whom the Court may authorize disclosure.”
A former Trump criminal defense lawyer said last week that the probe into his improper handling of sensitive information could not even result in a trial.
Trump will appear in Miami on Tuesday for his arraignment in the case brought against him by Smith, who was chosen by Biden’s Department of Justice, according to Timothy Parlatore, who represented Trump in criminal defense matters until last month.
In federal court, Trump entered a “not guilty” plea. Trump, who will challenge President Joe Biden in the 2016 presidential race, may spend years in prison if he is found guilty on all counts.
Parlatore stated that the case, notably the grand jury procedure and any violations of attorney-client privilege, have serious issues. Parlatore asserted that he thinks this might lead to the dismissal of the entire case.
Parlatore said Trump’s attorneys should “attack the conduct of the entire investigation and show through death by a thousand cuts why this entire investigation is irreparably tainted by government misconduct,” adding: “The case, therefore, should be dismissed or, at a minimum, the prosecutor should be disqualified.”