Federal judge rejects Trump’s bid to dismiss criminal charges in classified documents case

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN - APRIL 02: Former U.S. President Donald Trump attends a campaign event on April 02, 2024 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Trump delivered a speech which his campaign has called "Biden's Border Bloodbath", as recent polls have shown that immigration and the situation at the U.S. Southern border continue to be top issues on voters' minds going into the November election. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Thursday rejected a bid to dismiss the criminal charges against former President Donald Trump in the classified documents case.

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Trump’s legal team argued that the case should be thrown out based on the Presidential Records Act, according to The Associated Press. His legal team argued that the 1978 statute allowed him to “designate records from his time in office as personal” so he could take them with him once he left office.

The Presidential Records Act requires that presidential records be returned when the president’s term in office is over, NBC News reported. It does say that they can keep personal records like “highly personal information, such as diaries, journals, and medical records.”

His legal team claimed that the Presidential Records Act had more of a priority in the case than the Espionage Act, The Washington Post reported.

Special Counsel Jack Smith’s prosecutors said that the Presidential Records Act was irrelevant in the case, the AP reported. Smith’s prosecutors also said that there was no legal reason for the former president to keep information that was top-secret.

U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon rejected Trump’s bid saying the Presidential Records Act “does not provide a pre-trial basis to dismiss” charges regarding the mishandling of classified documents or other obstruction charges, according to the Post.

However, Trump can possibly still use the argument when defending himself at trial, according to CNN.

Thursday’s ruling by Cannon was the second time over the last few months that Trump’s motion to drop the case was denied, the AP reported.

Cannon still has other motions that are outstanding including ones from Trump’s legal team to dismiss the case, CNN reported.