FORT PIERCE, Fla. (NEWSnet/AP) — A federal judge on Thursday rejected a bid by Donald Trump to throw out out his classified documents criminal case.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon issued a two-page order saying that though the Trump team had raised “various arguments warranting serious consideration,” a dismissal of charges was not merited.

Cannon, who was nominated to the bench by Trump, had made clear during more than three-and-a-half hours of arguments that she was reluctant to dismiss one of the four criminal cases against the 2024 presumptive Republican presidential nominee. She said at one point that it would be “quite an extraordinary” step to strike down an Espionage Act statute that underpins the bulk of the felony counts against Trump but that his lawyers contend is unconstitutionally vague.

As Trump looked on in the courtroom, his attorneys pressed Cannon to throw out the case, arguing he was legally entitled to keep the sensitive records he is charged with illegally retaining after he left the White House.

His lawyers say the Presidential Records Act gave him the authority to designate as personal property the records he took with him to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. Prosecutors countered that those records were clearly presidential, not personal, and included top-secret information and documents related to nuclear programs and the military capabilities of the U.S. and foreign countries.

Cannon’s ruling covered only the Espionage Act arguments. A separate motion argued Thursday about whether Trump was entitled under the Presidential Records Act to retain the documents remains pending, but the judge also seemed disinclined to throw out the case on those grounds too.

“It’s difficult to see how this gets you to the dismissal of an indictment,” she told a Trump lawyer at one point.

The hearing is the second this month in the case in Florida. Cannon heard arguments on March 1 on when to schedule a trial date, but has yet to announce one and gave no indication Thursday on when she might do so. Prosecutors have pressed the judge to set a date for this summer, while Trump’s lawyers are seeking to put it off until after the election.

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