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Judge hears two arguments to toss out charges in Trump classified documents case

First classified docs hearing since trial's indefinite postponement.

By Chris Benson
Walt Nauta, personal aide and co-defendant in the federal documents case to former President Donald Trump, seen in Aug. 2023 at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. It was revealed days ago that Trump lawyers had found classified documents in the former president's Florida bedroom months after the FBI searched his Mar-a-Lago estate, according to court documents unsealed Tuesday. File Photo by Peter Foley/UPI
1 of 3 | Walt Nauta, personal aide and co-defendant in the federal documents case to former President Donald Trump, seen in Aug. 2023 at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. It was revealed days ago that Trump lawyers had found classified documents in the former president's Florida bedroom months after the FBI searched his Mar-a-Lago estate, according to court documents unsealed Tuesday. File Photo by Peter Foley/UPI | License Photo

May 22 (UPI) -- The Florida judge in former President Donald Trump's classified documents case on Wednesday held two separate hearings with the defense teams hoping to get the charges tossed out.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee, fielded arguments by lawyers representing Trump's valet and co-defendant, Walt Nauta, who claims the charges against him by prosecutors are vindictive. And another claiming the Trump indictment is flawed enough to be dismissed.

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It was revealed that Trump lawyers found classified documents in the former president's Florida bedroom months after the FBI searched his Mar-a-Lago estate, according to court documents unsealed Tuesday.

The government alleges that Nauta helped move the classified documents, and allegedly conspired along with Mar-a-Lago maintenance worker Carlos De Oliveira to try to delete video surveillance footage.

Nauta has pleaded not guilty to eight charges against him.

Trump pleaded not guilty to 37 criminal counts last June related to his handling of classified documents after he left the White House.

Jury selection was to begin this week in the classified documents case until Cannon recently put the brakes on it.

Earlier this month, Cannon postponed indefinitely Trump's classified documents trial, making it less likely the case will go to trial before Election Day, due to "the myriad and interconnected pre-trial and [Classified Information Procedures Act] issues remaining and forthcoming" in Trump's several legal battles in front of him.

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Cannon in April had rejected Donald Trump's attempt to dismiss the classified documents case against him, one of multiple among other legal maneuvers, his argument being that he was authorized to keep classified documents when he left the White House. In rejecting Trump's request, Cannon said the Presidential Records Act did not apply pretrial.

"It's inexcusable that the system allows Aileen Cannon to get away with delaying the documents case," the ex-president's estranged niece, Mary Trump, posted Monday on X.

"A clearly partisan judge shouldn't have this much power," Trump, a psychologist, said.

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