Judge in Trump's classified documents case agrees to hear challenge to special counsel Jack Smith's appointment

 June 6, 2024

Jack Smith's appointment as special counsel could be withdrawn pending the outcome of a June 21 hearing, Breitbart reported.

U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon ruled Tuesday to allow the question of whether Smith's appointment was valid in the classified documents case against former President Donald Trump.

In her ruling this week, Cannon opened the door to challenges by several lawyers beyond Trump's team. Some of those included amicus briefs by Citizens United and attorneys representing Attorney General Ed Meese, who are challenging Smith's appointment.

They argue that it was unconstitutional because Attorney General Merrick Garland did not have the authority to do so. The brief points out that under the Appointments Clause of the Constitution, Smith would have needed a formal confirmation in the Senate to proceed.

If Smith's appointment is indeed deemed unconstitutional, it could undermine the classified documents case against Trump. Coupled with challenges over presidential immunity, Smith's other cases could follow suit.

The Process

Smith was only able to fulfill his role in digging up dirt on the former president because Garland appointed him to it. Unfortunately for Trump's enemies, the process by which he did this is now under scrutiny by a judge who is not in their pockets.

Under the rules of the Department of Justice, only the president can appoint an "officer" such as the special counsel with the confirmation of the Senate. Even with Garland as the head of the DOJ, the process would still require top-down approval.

Although there is precedent for Congress to name an "independent counsel," that statute sunseted in 1999. Meese and the other challengers contend that the failure to follow the process negates the validity of Smith's appointment.

"Not clothed in the authority of the federal government, Smith is a modern example of the naked emperor. Improperly appointed, he has no more authority to represent the United States in this Court than Bryce Harper, Taylor Swift, or Jeff Bezos," the brief said, according to Fox News.

It is unusual for a judge to allow these amicus briefs filed by so many into the courtroom. However, it seems Cannon, a Trump appointee, did this precisely because this important legal question will not be answered during the trial.

The Domino Effect

If Smith was not properly authorized to launch his probe, it could send the classified documents case crashing down. Justice Clarence even mentioned the brief in Trump's presidential immunity issue in Smith's election interference case, which is in oral arguments and should be decided this month.

It would be difficult to prosecute Smith's other Washington, D.C. case against Trump for his supposed role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol. Trump has pleaded not guilty to those charges, but Smith may have to prove he was eligible to bring them in the first place.

If the dominoes fall, it will further support the notion that these charges and trials were not about justice. Instead, they meant to derail Trump's 2024 presidential election.

Still, Trump won't fully be out of the woods if Smith's cases fall apart. The former president was found guilty in another politically motivated Manhattan trial earlier this month and will be sentenced on July 11.

The left has been on a crusade to knock Trump out of the running in 2024. It seems they may have gotten sloppy in their zeal to act fast enough to influence the election.

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