CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS/LEGAL: “In an unusual order, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon had asked prosecutors and defense lawyers to formulate proposed jury instructions for most of the charges even though it remains unclear when the case might reach trial. She asked the lawyers to respond to two different scenarios in which she appeared to accept the Republican ex-president’s argument that he was entitled under a statute known as the Presidential Records Act to retain the sensitive documents he is now charged with possessing.

The order surprised legal experts and alarmed special counsel Jack Smith’s team, which said in a filing late Tuesday that the 1978 law — which requires presidents to return presidential records to the government upon leaving office but permits them to retain purely personal ones — has no relevance in a case concerning highly classified documents like the ones Trump is alleged to have stored at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.”

-Eric Tucker, “Prosecutors in Trump’s classified documents case sharply rebuke judge’s unusual and ‘flawed’ order,” apnews.com, April 3, 2024