Prosecutors have requested a December trial for Donald Trump on the classified Mar-a-Lago documents, saying the new date would give the former president’s legal team time to obtain the necessary security clearance to consult the documents.
The judge handling the case, Aileen Cannon, tentatively set an August date for the trial on Tuesday.
She said at the time that she was open to requests for change.
On Friday, the office of Jack Smith, the special counsel leading the investigation, requested a Dec. 11 start.
They said that would give Trump’s legal team enough time to obtain the necessary security clearances to view the classified documents.
Jack Smith, the special counsel in charge of the prosecution of Donald Trump for mishandling classified documents, on Friday requested a trial on December 11
Donald Trump was advised for more than two years by his lawyers to return the documents, but refused. His trial is now due to start on December 11
Documents were stored all over Mar-a-Lago, including this bathroom, where they were stacked in the bathtub
Smith, in the filing, said the Aug. 14 date set by Cannon was too early and “would deny counsel for the defendant or government counsel reasonable time necessary for effective preparation.”
He added: “This case is not all that unusual or complex…because it has only two defendants, involves straightforward theories of liability and presents no new issues of fact or law. However, the case involves classified information and will require the defense attorney to obtain the required security clearances,’ prosecutors wrote in the filing.
“In addition, the associated legal process under the Classified Information Proceedings Act will inject additional time into trial preparation that otherwise would not be involved.”
Trump’s team has yet to respond to the request.
Smith’s office also gave Trump and his co-defendant, Walt Nauta, a list of the names of 84 people with whom they cannot discuss the case on Friday.
If they do, they could be held in contempt of court or even detained.
Trump, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination for the 2024 election, was arraigned in federal court in Miami last week, in which he pleaded not guilty to 37 counts of having illegally kept national security documents when he left office and lied to officials who asked to get them back.
The case will have to proceed under a strict and meticulous set of rules laid out in a law known as the Classified Information Procedures Act, which aims to protect classified evidence and manage how such documents may be disclosed. .
Smith set out a timeline ahead of the proposed Dec. 11 start of jury selection, including a Sept. 5 deadline for all defense discovery requests.
He said Trump’s attorneys don’t object to dropping the Aug. 14 trial start date, but he anticipates they will file a motion against the prosecution’s proposed timeline.
Friday’s filing is part of routine trial preparation.
Earlier this week, the government handed over copies of taped interviews Trump gave.
The government shared the information as part of the discovery process.
The government’s 37-count indictment quotes directly from an interview Trump — conducted at his club in Bedminister, New Jersey, with a writer and editor of former chief of staff Mark Meadows’ book.
This conversation includes key information where Trump brandishes what he says is classified information while discussing a plan to attack Iran.
According to the government’s response to the court’s discovery order, prosecutors produced ‘interviews of defendant Trump conducted by non-governmental entities, which were recorded with his consent and obtained by the Office of Special Counsel during the trial. investigation into this matter, including the July 21, 2021 taped interview that Defendant Trump provided to an editor and writer named in part in the indictment.
Prosecutors provided lawyers for former President Donald Trump with ‘interviews’ the former president conducted with ‘non-governmental entities’
It does not provide further information about the substance of the interview, or whether or not it came from a traditional media entity.
Prosecutors also turned over “public statements made by the accused Trump, including public statements cited in the indictment.”
This follows claims by legal experts that Trump may have admitted key facts in the case during a Fox Newthe interview interview where he defended his conduct even stating that he had documents at home, during a media tour where he repeatedly called government investigations a “witch hunt”.
When asked in the interview why he hadn’t handed over the documents requested by the government, Trump replied that he was too busy.
“I had boxes,” he said.
“I want to go through the boxes and take out my personal things. I don’t want to put it back to [the Archives] Again. And I was very busy, as you kind of saw.
The filing also lists government witnesses who will testify at trial.
And it says Trump’s attorneys can contact prosecutors ‘to arrange for inspection of unclassified items seized at Mar-a-Lago on August 8, 2022’ during an FBI search of the president’s home and golf club. private.
Both parties are engaged in the discovery process, where prosecutors must share the evidence they have collected about the accused. Information about indicted co-conspirator Walt Nauta has yet to be shared.
Authorities also plan to use Trump’s own public statements as evidence.
Trump did not speak to the federal grand jury which handed over the 37-count indictment.
His longtime man and assistant Walt Nauta, however, did. Some of his statements are included in the indictment, which accuses Trump of willfully withholding national security information and accuses the couple of conspiring to conceal information from the grand jury and the FBI.
Prosecutors also released Nauta’s May 26 interview with the FBI and his June 21 grand jury testimony.
Nauta has an arraignment scheduled for next week.
Trump pleaded not guilty at his own arraignment in Miami, then flew to Bedminster and lambasted prosecutors in a speech.
Prosecutors also said they would disclose any promises of immunity or leniency – following a report in dailymail.com that it may be too late for Nauta to try to ‘turn around’ Trump and to reach a cooperation agreement with the government.