Judge Cannon rejects Trump’s effort to dismiss charges against him in classified documents case

Judge Alieen Cannon, who is presiding over Donald Trump’s classified documents case in Florida, rejected the former president’s request to dismiss some of the charges in the indictment.

Trump and his co-defendants sought to have several of the 41 indictments dismissed, but Cannon refused. However, she ruled that a paragraph from the indictments should be deleted, highlighting its “prejudicial” nature. The paragraph details an event in which Trump allegedly showed a highly sensitive military card to one of his close aides after leaving the presidency.

“The deficiencies identified, while generating some defensible confusion, are either permitted by law or raise evidentiary issues that are not appropriate to adjudicate at this stage, and/or do not require rejection even if technically deficient, provided that the jury is properly instructed and presented with adequate verdict forms as to the alleged conduct of each defendant,” Cannon wrote in his decision.

She said paragraph 36 was not appropriate for the prosecution because it is not directly related to any of the crimes Trump is accused of, as Trump is not accused of leaking classified documents to anyone or after leaving office. The paragraph details Trump’s alleged presentation of a classified document to an individual without a security clearance in 2021.

Trump’s lawyers said the inclusion of that paragraph was irrelevant because Trump was not accused of retaining documents until after he left office. Cannon rejected Trump’s lawyers’ request to drop the charges altogether, although she agreed with Trump’s legal team that much of the language used in the indictment was “legally unnecessary.”

Jay Bratt, for the prosecution, argued that the paragraph was included not as the conduct charged but in an attempt to highlight the former president’s tendency to mishandle classified documents. He said the paragraph was authorized under Federal Criminal Procedure Rule 404(b), which allows prosecutors to inform the jury of the defendant’s “bad acts.”


Prosecutors may still be able to introduce Trump’s story and the classified document as evidence at trial, but not in the charging document. So far, Cannon has moved slowly through most of the proceedings in the case.

Walt Nauta, Trump’s personal assistant, and Mar-a-Lago property manager Carlos De Oliveira are Trump’s co-defendants in the lawsuit.