Oct 5, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Trump tried to delay classified documents trial until after 2024 election

Former President Trump speaking in a courthouse in New York on Oct. 4.

Former President Trump speaking in a courthouse in New York on Oct. 4. Photo: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Lawyers for former President Trump in a filing late Wednesday attempted to delay the trial over his handling of classified documents until after the 2024 presidential election.

The big picture: It's the latest attempt by Trump to postpone the criminal trial, set for May 20, 2024, in Florida. He previously asked that it be put off indefinitely, which was denied by the presiding judge.

  • In the most recent filing, Trump's lawyers requested that U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon move the trial until "at least mid-November" of 2024 — after Election Day on Nov. 5.
  • The current trial date falls during the Republican presidential primaries. Trump is the leading candidate by a wide margin.

Catch up quick: A federal grand jury earlier this year charged Trump with a total of 40 charges related to his retention of classified documents after he left the White House.

What they're saying: On Wednesday, Trump's attorneys claimed that the trial should be delayed in part because they have not been able to access all of the classified material at the center of the case, specifically at a secured location in Florida.

  • Lawyers for the former president said they could not view the documents at that site because "the logistics of that arrangement are unworkable."
  • They also said the current schedule conflicts with the trial over his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election, which is set to start on March 4, 2024.

Zoom in: Federal prosecutors last week accused Trump's lawyers of attempting to "intentionally derail" the trial, the New York Times reports.

  • The prosecutors said they have given the defense 1.28 million pages of unclassified materials, which included 200 witness interview transcripts and grand jury appearances.

Between the lines: Trump has also attempted to delay his other trials.

  • He requested the 2020 election inference trial be put off until April 2026.
  • He also asked that the trial in the New York civil fraud case be set back. His request was denied earlier this week, allowing the trial to begin.

Context: Last month, Judge Cannon granted limitations sought by Special counsel Jack Smith on how Trump can discuss restricted information with his legal team.

  • She said Trump and his defense could only discuss the documents in a secure area in Florida approved by the classified information security officer appointed to the case.
  • However, federal prosecutors argued last week that at least nine documents contain such sensitive information that they should only be available in D.C., per the Times.

Go deeper: NY AG James calls Trump's voluntary court appearances a "political stunt"

Read the filing:

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