Attorneys for Former President Trump Request Delay of Classified Documents Trial Until Post-2024 Election

by Ethan Kim
Trump's classified documents trial

Legal representatives for Donald Trump, the former U.S. President, have formally petitioned a judge to reschedule his trial concerning classified documents to a date after the 2024 presidential election. The defense team states that it has not yet acquired all essential documents needed to sufficiently prepare their case.

The trial, which centers on allegations of unauthorized retention of classified documents, is one of four criminal cases currently pending against the ex-President from the Republican party. As of now, the trial is slated to commence on May 20, 2024, in the state of Florida.

In a legal motion submitted this past Wednesday, Trump’s legal team implored U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon to postpone the trial to no earlier than mid-November 2024. Notably, the 2024 presidential election is scheduled for November 5, and Trump is presently the front-runner among Republican candidates in the lead-up to the primaries.

The attorneys for the defense have cited multiple factors justifying the delay, including scheduling clashes with another federal trial set for March 2024 in Washington, D.C., and an ongoing civil fraud case in New York where Trump is also represented by attorney Christopher Kise. Furthermore, the defense asserts that their preparation has been hindered by delays in receiving and reviewing classified documents referred to in the indictment by Special Counsel Jack Smith.

In their motion, attorneys Kise and Todd Blanche argued, “We cannot understate the harm inflicted upon President Trump due to the absence of these crucial documents, which should have been made available to us months ago.”

The defense further highlighted the inadequacy of their current resources, stating that they have been allocated only a “limited, temporary facility” in Miami to scrutinize classified materials, which they contend has obstructed the preparatory process.

Prosecutors from the Special Counsel’s Office have pushed back against these claims, suggesting that the defense team is attempting to unreasonably delay proceedings. They acknowledge some procedural delays but refute the defense’s claims of withholding evidence intentionally.

The Justice Department notes that it has already released approximately 1.28 million pages of unclassified documents and a significant portion of the anticipated classified evidence. Prosecutors expect to disclose the remaining pertinent classified material by the end of this week.

The indictment alleges that Trump kept volumes of classified documents unlawfully at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida, following his exit from the White House in 2021, while also hindering government attempts to retrieve these records. Trump has entered a plea of not guilty and refutes any allegations of misconduct.

Joining the former President in this legal endeavor are his two co-defendants: Walt Nauta, his valet, and Carlos De Oliveira, the property manager of Mar-a-Lago.

For further information, follow Eric Tucker on Twitter via http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Trump’s classified documents trial

What is the main reason Donald Trump’s lawyers are seeking to postpone the classified documents trial?

The primary reason cited by Donald Trump’s legal team for postponing the classified documents trial is that they have not yet received all of the essential documents needed to adequately prepare their defense.

Who is the judge presiding over this trial?

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon is the presiding judge for the classified documents trial involving former President Donald Trump.

When is the trial currently scheduled?

The trial is currently set to commence on May 20, 2024, in the state of Florida.

What are the other legal proceedings involving Donald Trump that conflict with this trial?

Besides this trial, Donald Trump is facing another federal trial scheduled for March 2024 in Washington, D.C., and an ongoing civil fraud case in New York. One of his attorneys, Christopher Kise, is also representing him in these cases.

What are the specific complaints of the defense concerning access to evidence?

The defense argues that they have not received some of the most basic discovery materials, thereby hindering their preparation. Additionally, they claim to have access to only a limited, temporary facility in Miami for reviewing classified documents, slowing down their process.

What is the prosecution’s response to the defense’s claims about delays?

Prosecutors acknowledge some delays but refute the accusation that they are intentionally withholding evidence. They have already provided a significant volume of unclassified and classified documents and plan to release the remaining pertinent classified material shortly.

Who are the co-defendants in this case?

The co-defendants in this case are Walt Nauta, Donald Trump’s valet, and Carlos De Oliveira, the property manager of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.

What are the allegations in the indictment against Donald Trump?

The indictment accuses Donald Trump of illegally retaining large volumes of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate following his departure from the White House in 2021. It also alleges that he has obstructed government efforts to retrieve these records.

What is the stance of Donald Trump on these allegations?

Donald Trump has pleaded not guilty and denies any wrongdoing related to the charges in the indictment.

More about Trump’s classified documents trial

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Sandra Williams October 5, 2023 - 5:21 pm

christopher Kise is also repping Trump in a fraud case? Man, this guy must be busy.

Emily Thompson October 5, 2023 - 5:48 pm

So they say they didn’t get all the docs yet? seems like a common strategy for delay, no surprise here.

Alan Davis October 5, 2023 - 6:10 pm

so 1.28 million pages of unclassified docs were already given, and yet the defense claims they need more time? What are they lookin for, a needle in a haystack?

Laura Mitchell October 5, 2023 - 6:18 pm

Seems like everyone’s got an agenda here. The prosecutors, the defense, even the co-defendants. But what’s the truth?

Gary Lewis October 5, 2023 - 6:31 pm

Waiting till after the election? Convenient timing, isn’t it?

Mike O'Brien October 6, 2023 - 12:41 am

A trial on May 20, 2024 and the election on Nov 5, 2024. Talk about a tight schedule. Lawyers must be raking in the $$.

John Smith October 6, 2023 - 6:49 am

Wow, I can’t believe Trump’s legal team wants to push the trial after the election. If he’s not guilty, why not clear his name ASAP? Seems fishy.

Rachel Klein October 6, 2023 - 10:15 am

Four criminal cases pending and still leading the GOP field for 2024. Only in America, folks.


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