Cannon Doubts Trump’s Claim of FBI Misconduct in Mar-a-Lago Search

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TL/DR –

U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon indicated that Donald Trump’s legal team did not convince her that FBI agents provided false information to justify searching his Mar-a-Lago residence, a development that could impact Trump’s attempts to disqualify key evidence in a case concerning classified documents. Trump’s lawyers requested a Franks hearing to demonstrate that the government intentionally misled a judge when seeking a search warrant for classified material at Mar-a-Lago, more than a year after Trump left office. Trump currently faces 40 counts of willfully retaining classified information and obstructing government efforts to retrieve them, violations that typically result in prison upon conviction.


Trump’s Legal Team Fails to Convince Judge Over FBI Mar-a-Lago Search

U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon expressed Friday that Donald Trump’s legal team had not persuaded her that FBI agents provided false information to justify the search of Mar-a-Lago. This suggests a potential setback to Trump’s attempts to disqualify key evidence in the classified documents case against him.

Trump’s Defense Seeks Franks Hearing

The defense asked Cannon for a Franks hearing, aiming to prove the government deliberately misled a magistrate judge while obtaining a search warrant for classified material at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago. The defense’s claim that sitting presidents are unique because they don’t require security clearances for viewing sensitive government information was met with skepticism by Cannon.

Former President’s Claims Met with Skepticism

Cannon told Trump lawyer Emil Bove that she found it hard to see what additional language was needed, as Trump was no longer the president. If Cannon agreed to hold a Franks hearing and ruled in the defense’s favor, she could dismiss the evidence collected during the warrant’s execution.

Trump Faces 40 Counts in Classified Information Case

Trump faces 40 counts of knowingly retaining classified information and obstructing government efforts to retrieve them. These national security violations could result in prison upon conviction.

Prosecutors Defend Warrant

Prosecutors defended the warrant, stating they only searched rooms that Trump had access to and skipped guest rooms. They claimed boxes with sensitive information had been moved around the property, including into his son’s room.

Motion to Dismiss and Restrictions on Public Statements Heard

Judge Cannon also heard arguments on Trump’s motion to dismiss the entire case and prosecutors’ request for new restrictions on Trump’s public statements. No rulings were issued from the bench.

The defense argued that Mar-a-Lago’s size meant investigators should have conducted a narrower search, instead of inspecting the living quarters of the former first lady and their son. Cannon seemed interested in the government’s rationale for investigating Barron Trump’s room but observed it was unclear what remedies Trump might be pursuing since no materials were seized from the room.

The hearing concluded on a contentious note with prosecutors’ frustration with the defense arguments seeming to boil over. However, Cannon maintained control, stating there was no hijacking of the hearing.

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