Trump attorneys are asking for a postponement of his federal case, citing the 2024 election

Attorneys for former President Donald Trump and longtime Trump adviser Walt Nauta late Monday night asked Judge Aileen Cannon to delay setting a hearing date for their federal case in Florida.

In a court filing, Trump’s attorneys argued that his trial should not go ahead as planned and possibly only after the 2024 presidential election. Trump and Nauta face federal charges in connection with her handling of sensitive government records after Trump left the White House.

The request came after Cannon set a trial date for August 14, but prosecutors wanted to postpone it until December. Trump’s legal team argued Monday night that neither schedule was acceptable, but did not propose a start date.

The indictment, filed in Florida, alleges that Trump “attempted to obstruct FBI and grand jury investigations and to obscure the custody of classified documents.”

“Going to court during a presidential election cycle where opposing candidates in that action actually (if not literally) go head-to-head will present extraordinary challenges,” argued the attorneys for the former president and current Republican presidential nominee. When Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Special Counsel Jack Smith to head the Trump investigation, he hinted that the move was to avoid politicization.

The motion also says of the case against Trump: “The court is now conducting a case instituted by the administration of an incumbent president against his main political rival, himself a front runner for the presidency of the United States.”

The word “election” occurs six times in the 12-page file and is at the heart of the former president’s arguments that hearing the case during the presidential campaign would create a number of problems for a jury and for Trump. The filing noted the difficulty of finding an impartial jury during the campaign, the large amount of evidence — some classified — and unresolved legal issues surrounding the use of the Presidential Records Act.

And his lawyers have said there is no compelling reason for the trial to be held at this time. Trump’s legal team has yet to present legal arguments in court about how the Presidential Records Act would affect the case and did not set out his theory in the filing filed Monday night.

A hearing to begin the process of handling potentially classified documents during the trial is currently scheduled for Friday but will likely be postponed.

“This extraordinary case presents a serious challenge to both the facts and perceptions of our American democracy,” Trump’s attorneys said in the filing, adding, “Due to the extraordinary nature of this lawsuit, there is certainly no reason for an expedited trial.” .” , and the ends of justice are best served by a sequel.”

Trump’s request for a potentially longer delay conflicts with Special Counsel Jack Smith’s preference. “My office will seek an expeditious trial on this matter,” he said when announcing the indictment against the former president in June.

The file also highlights Trump’s busy schedule. His New York criminal case, in which he pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of forging business records, is scheduled for trial in March 2024. In a separate case in New York, the state filed a $250 million attorney general fraud lawsuit against Trump and his company, with a civil trial scheduled for October this year.

The government has already submitted a large amount of material for discovery.

“The government has created more than 428,300 records (over 833,450 pages) consisting of approximately 122,650 emails (including attachments) and 305,670 documents collected from over ninety (90) different administrators,” Trump’s attorneys wrote. “Initial production also included around 57 terabytes of compressed raw CCTV footage (there are around nine months of CCTV footage to date, but the final figure is yet to be determined).”

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