Judge Eileen Cannon is overseeing the Trump classified documents case with an order on security clearances

American Courts

Eileen Cannon serves as a U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Florida.


U.S. District Judge Eileen Cannon issued her first order since former President Donald Trump Innocent Special counsel Jack Smith advised the parties to get the ball rolling to obtain defense clearances for lawyers who are required to file charges of mishandling confidential information.

In a Thursday order, Cannon gave a Friday deadline for “all attorneys of record and prospective attorneys of record” to contact the Justice Department’s litigation defense team so they can expedite the “necessary clearance process.”

By June 20, he wants the lawyers to file a declaration confirming compliance with his instructions.

The order reflects how the case involves highly sensitive, classified material — adding another layer of complexity to the first-of-its-kind federal prosecution of a former president.

How long the proceedings last, and whether the trial takes place before or after the 2024 election, will depend on how well Cannon manages his docket. Cannon’s Jupiter move suggests an interest in moving things along without delay, at least for now.

The new order puts additional pressure on Trump’s efforts to expand the legal team representing him in the case. Local rules for the Florida court where the suit was filed require Trump to disbar counsel in the state.

At Tuesday’s preliminary hearing, Trump was joined at the defense table by former Florida Solicitor General Chris Kiss, who was able to waive the appearance of Todd Blanche, who is not disbarred in Florida but was the second attorney representing Trump in the trial. .

Walt Nauta, Trump’s bodyguard and co-defendant in the case, did not get a local attorney to sponsor his DC-based lawyer’s appearance through Tuesday’s hearing, and thus was unable to enter his plea.

Proceedings for Nauta to file his petition are scheduled for June 27.

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