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Three-day hearing in Trump’s Mar-a-Lago classified documents case underway

The Alto Lee Adams Sr. U.S. Courthouse in Fort Pierce, Fla. Associated Press/Photo by Rebecca Blackwell, file

Three-day hearing in Trump’s Mar-a-Lago classified documents case underway

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon on Friday began hearing arguments questioning whether U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s appointment of Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith was lawful. The hearings are expected to continue, covering various other pretrial motions and filings that have stacked up in the case in recent weeks.

Wait, what’s going on? Former President Donald Trump’s attorneys argue that the Justice Department did not properly appoint the special counsel or apportion funds for his investigation. They maintain that Congress needed to approve the special counsel’s appointment and his office’s funding. Prosecutors argue that the Justice Department did not need congressional approval and has appropriately allocated funds for Smith’s investigation into Trump.

What other arguments will Cannon hear? She reportedly is scheduled to hear arguments this week on whether to grant a Justice Department request to impose a limited gag order on Trump that would prohibit him from making statements that prosecutors say could endanger law enforcement officials. Trump says the gag order would abridge his First Amendment right to speak freely.

Dig deeper: Read Lynn Vincent’s report in the WORLD archives about whether the FBI’s search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in 2022 constituted a crossing of the Rubicon in American politics.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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