A new report alleges that a routine hearing in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s classified documents case against former President Donald Trump on Thursday ended abruptly after the judge admonished the federal prosecution team.
U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon admonished the Justice Department’s David Harbach for “wasting the court’s time” with a last-minute legal argument.
Harbach suggested that attorneys Stanley Woodward and John Irving should be precluded from participating fully in the defense of Trump’s co-defendants, Waltine Nauta and Carlos de Oliveira because a number of the lawyers’ current and former clients may be called to testify against them.
Nauta was a personal aide to Trump during his term in the White House and went to work for him at Mar-a-Lago, his Palm Beach estate, after Trump lost the 2020 presidential election to President Joe Biden. Oliveira was the property manager at Mar-a-Lago when the government raided Trump’s Florida residence in the summer of 2022.
Nauta and Oliveira were supposed to be given an opportunity to “digest and contemplate the risks” associated with their attorneys’ potential conflicts of interest, but the Thursday hearing devolved into debate.
Nauta is charged with six counts, including conspiracy to obstruct justice and making false statements to investigators. Prosecutors say the Trump aide played a key role in concealing classified documents as the investigation into Trump’s possession of them deepened. Oliveira is accused of helping Trump conceal boxes of classified documents from investigators at the Palm Beach property.
The Palm Beach post wrote, “Attorneys at the defense table traded glances as the judge became shorter and shorter with Harbach. He insisted that his position was ‘unremarkable’ and supported by other court decisions, though Cannon took a dim view of the three he offered her.”
Cannon did not confirm when the attorneys would reconvene to address the issue but told attendees to “stay tuned.”
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