Jack Smith Given Few Options If Trump Charges Dimissed

By Victor Winston, updated on March 16, 2024

The legal landscape of American politics finds itself yet again under the national spotlight. Special Counsel Jack Smith faces a pivotal decision on how to advance should Judge Aileen Cannon dismiss charges against Donald Trump in a case involving classified documents.

According to Newsweek, at the core of this unfolding drama stands Donald Trump, the former president who after his tenure, has pleaded not guilty to 40 felony charges. These charges revolve around the retention of classified documents post-office and the alleged obstruction of their return. Trump's legal defense posits that the charges, rooted in the Presidential Records Act and the Espionage Act, are unfounded due to the latter being "unconstitutionally vague."

A Trio of Legal Titan's Perspicacity

Ex-U.S. attorney Preet Bharara sheds light on the contentious atmosphere surrounding Judge Cannon's anticipated decision, hinting at a possible inclination towards Trump. Bharara articulates, "There's some debate about whether Judge Cannon has a finger on the scale in favor of Donald Trump so we'll see.” This candid comment encapsulates the pervasive uncertainty and tension.

"If she does dismiss the charges, Jack Smith and his team can appeal that decision... But dismissal of charges or any counts by a judge is appealable to the relevant circuit court and here it's the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. I think there's a decent argument in favor strategically of asking for recusal on top of asking for a dismissal to be reversed given the state of the law and given the lack of merit of those motions," said Bharara, underscoring the legal pathways open to the Special Counsel.

George Washington University law Professor Jonathan Turley lends his prognosis to the mix, acknowledging the challenging path Trump's legal team treads in seeking dismissal.

Although Turley concedes that Trump's contentions hold some measure of merit, he remains skeptical of their success.

Legal and Political Crossroads Await

Conversely, Trump's accusations of political motivation behind the charges, especially those concerning his attempts to contest the 2020 election outcomes, add another layer of complexity. His dual not-guilty pleas, in both the classified documents and election-related cases, underline a steadfast refusal to concede to the charges.

Earlier this week, amidst these entangled legal proceedings, Judge Cannon granted Trump a 10-day recess. This temporal reprieve in the classified documents saga came on the heels of another looming criminal case threatening to compound Trump's legal woes.

Should charges be dismissed, Jack Smith confronts a limited array of strategic maneuvers. Among these, appealing to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals emerges as a cardinal option.

Additionally, propelling Judge Cannon towards recusal for purported bias presents an alternative tactical avenue worth consideration.


As the judicial and political narratives converge, 2024 looms large with Trump positioned as the presumptive Republican nominee. The outcomes of these legal challenges not only shape Trump’s destiny but cast long shadows over the American political landscape.

This intricate tableau of legal strategy, political aspirations, and judicial predilections cascades towards an unpredictable horizon. Stakeholders on all sides of the American political divide watch with bated breath as the legal mechanisms slowly grind forward.

Donald Trump finds himself at a legal crossroads, challenging the charges laid before him with fervor. Judge Aileen Cannon's upcoming decisions and Special Counsel Jack Smith's subsequent actions promise to etch profound marks on the canvas of American politics and law. As observers, we remain tethered to unfolding events, each development sculpting the contours of a nation's democratic and judicial integrity.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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