Jul 11, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Trump seeks to indefinitely postpone classified documents trial

 Donald Trump delivers remarks at a Nevada Republican volunteer recruiting event

Donald Trump delivers remarks at a Nevada Republican volunteer recruiting event on July 8. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Former President Trump on Monday night asked the federal judge overseeing his classified documents case to indefinitely delay the trial.

Why it matters: A delay, if approved, could eventually push the trial closer to the 2024 presidential election — or even later — and be a major complication as ballots are cast.

  • Proceeding with a trial beginning in December, in accordance with the Justice Department's wishes, would be "unrealistic" due to the volume of preparation needed and could "result in a miscarriage of justice," his lawyers argued in a court filing.

The big picture: Trump's lawyers did not specify when exactly they want the trial to begin, but noted that it should not be decided until all the "substantive motions have been presented and adjudicated."

  • Trump's lawyers added that "no ongoing threat to national security interests nor any concern regarding continued criminal activity" that would justify an expedited trial timeline for the trial.
  • Trump's busy schedule during the 2024 campaign — which also affects his co-defendant and aide Walt Nauta — makes preparation for a trial difficult, they added.
  • His lawyers also argued that while Trump is running for president it would be difficult to secure a fair jury.

State of play: Trump pleaded not guilty to all charges in the classified documents case last month, days after the historic, 37-count indictment was unsealed.

  • Judge Aileen Cannon last month set a preliminary start date of Aug. 14 for Trump's criminal trial in the case.
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