The US Justice Department has proposed delaying until December the trial of former president Donald Trump over his retention of classified documents due to the sensitive nature of some evidence.
Trump is accused of unlawfully holding on to national security information after he left the White House in January 2021 and of obstructing the government’s efforts to identify and retrieve the records.
The judge handling the case had scheduled the trial to begin in August. Special Counsel Jack Smith said in a filing Friday night that a Dec. 11 start will allow more time for Trump’s lawyers to obtain required security clearances and to look at all evidence held by prosecutors.
Prosecutors have turned over evidence including transcripts of grand jury testimony, witness interviews, and key documents, Smith said. The delay is “reasonable and appropriate” to give defense lawyers time to “review and digest” the material, and “make their own decisions about any production to the government,” according to the filing.
While Trump’s lawyers don’t object to a delay, they have requested a hearing to discuss the trial schedule and their objections to Smith’s proposed dates, according to the filing.
Trump, who is seeking to return to the White House in the 2024 presidential election, has denied wrongdoing and claims the case is politically motivated.
The case is US v. Trump, 23-cr-80101, US District Court, Southern District of Florida (Miami). –BLOOMBERG