In June, a federal grand jury in Miami indicted Mr. Trump on 37 felony counts, including conspiracy to obstruct justice and willful retention of national defense information. Trump has maintained that he is the victim of political persecution despite entering a not guilty plea.
Initial plans called for the trial of the former president to start in August. However, the Department of Justice (DOJ) requested in June that the trial begin in December, District Judge Aileen Cannon, giving Mr. Trump's attorneys enough time to acquire the required security clearances they need to view various classified documents in the case.
In a motion submitted on July 10 in a federal court in Florida, Mr. Trump's attorneys—joined by his personal assistant and co-defendant Walt Nauta—asked Judge Cannon to postpone the trial even longer. They claimed that if it started right away, they wouldn't have had enough time to "effectively prepare."
His attorneys claimed that this might result in a miscarriage of justice.
The lawyers stated that "this extraordinary case presents a serious challenge to both the reality and perception of our American democracy." The prosecution brought by the administration of a sitting President against his main political rival, who is also a leading candidate for the Presidency of the United States, is now being heard by the Court.
In light of this, they added, "a measured consideration and timeline that allows for a careful and complete review of the processes that led to this indictment and the unprecedented legal issues presented herein best serves the interests of the Defendants and the public."
There is most definitely no justification for an accelerated trial, and a continuance best serves the interests of justice, they wrote, given the extraordinary nature of this action.
The defense team for the former president also claimed that the DOJ's efforts to schedule the trial for December are unjustified because "neither a continuing threat to national security interests nor any concern regarding continued criminal activity" exist.
Additionally, they mentioned that Mr. Trump will have a busy schedule up until November of 2024 as he is currently the "likely Republican Party nominee" in that race. No matter the verdict of the trial, Mr. Trump has vowed to continue running in the 2024 election. Finally, Mr. Trump's attorneys argued in their court filing that it would be challenging to find an impartial jury to take part in the trial against the former president given the current situation.
According to Mr. Trump's legal team, "proceeding to trial during the pending of a Presidential election cycle wherein opposing candidates are effectively (if not literally) directly adverse to one another in this action will create extraordinary challenges in the jury selection process and limit the Defendants' ability to secure a fair and impartial adjudication."
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The former president's attorneys requested that the judge withdraw the current order setting a trial date for December and postpone any consideration of a new trial date until at least 2024 instead of providing a specific date for a new trial.
Additionally, Mr. Trump will stand trial in other cases early next year, including one in which Letitia James, the attorney general of New York, has accused him of defrauding her office by allegedly paying Stormy Daniels hush money during his 2016 campaign for president.
The most recent motion came just days after Mr. Nauta, Mr. Trump's co-defendant in the case involving the classified documents, entered a not guilty plea in a Miami courtroom to charges that he assisted the former president in concealing classified documents from law enforcement officials, made false statements, and conspired to obstruct justice.