The Justice Division rejects Trump’s try to indefinitely postpone the trial of confidential paperwork

Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers a speech at a Republican volunteer recruitment event at Fervent: A Calvary Chapel July 8, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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The Justice Department’s special counsel on Thursday asked a federal judge to reject Donald Trump’s attempt to indefinitely postpone his trial on criminal charges related to keeping classified documents after he left the White House.

DOJ Special Counsel Jack Smith’s team said in a new court filing that the former president’s trial should begin Dec. 11 in Florida and not wait until after the 2024 presidential election, as Trump and his co-defendant Walt Nauta had requested.

Trump is aiming for the Republican presidential nomination.

“There is no legal or factual basis for such vague and open-ended action, and the defendants provide none,” Smith’s prosecutors wrote in their filing in US District Court in West Palm Beach, Florida.

“Speedy trial is a fundamental requirement of the Constitution and the U.S. Code, and not a government preference that must be justified,” the special counsel’s team added. “Defendants’ contention that this court could not select an impartial jury until after the presidential election warrants no further delay here.”

In their own filing Tuesday night, attorneys for Trump and Nauta, who works as Trump’s personal adviser, argued that Smith’s proposed start of the trial in December was “unrealistic” given the amount of evidence and the unique circumstances of the case.

Trump is the first former or past president to be criminally indicted in federal court.

In early June, he was indicted on 37 counts for allegedly illegally storing classified government documents at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach and taking steps to prevent officials from retrieving those documents after suspicions grew that Trump retained such documents.

He and Nauta, who is accused of assisting him in this alleged endeavor, have pleaded not guilty in the case.

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Her attorneys have argued the case will raise significant legal questions, including whether the charges conflict with the Presidential Records Act.

The defense lawyers also assumed that the charges would be dismissed.

On Thursday, Smith’s prosecutors scoffed at that suggestion, writing, “Any argument that…” [the Presidential Records Act] Ordering the dismissal of the charges or defending the charges here borders on frivolity.

“The legal issues raised by the defendants do not justify deviating from an expeditious hearing, let alone postponing the review of one indefinitely,” prosecutors wrote.

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