The judge presiding over a case alleging Donald Trump mishandled classified documents on Thursday denied the former president’s bid to dismiss the case on the grounds the papers were considered personal under the Presidential Records Act.

The charges Trump was seeking to have dismissed “make no reference to the Presidential Records Act, nor do they rely on that statute for purposes of stating an offense,” U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon wrote.

“For these reasons, accepting the allegations of the Superseding Indictment as true, the Presidential Records Act does not provide a pre-trial basis to dismiss,” the judge wrote, raising the possibility the defense could be used later on.

Cannon had previously asked both sides to address the argument that the national security documents could be considered personal in proposed jury instructions, an argument special counsel Jack Smith’s office argued was “fundamentally flawed.” The judge said in her Thursday ruling that Smith’s demand she decide the issue now is “unprecedented and unjust.”

This is a developing story. 

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