Prosecutors in a court filing Friday asked the federal judge presiding over former President Donald Trump’s classified document case to push the trial date back from mid-August to December in Fort Pierce.
Just earlier this week, the start date for the two-week trial was scheduled for Aug. 14. The government is now asking U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon to begin with jury selection on Dec. 11, according to the motion. Legal experts this week told the South Florida Sun Sentinel the August date was too soon and would likely be moved.
Because the case involves classified documents, Trump’s defense counsel is in the process of getting the necessary security clearances in order to view them, the motion said, and associated legal processes under the Classified Information Procedures Act will require additional time before trial “that otherwise would not be involved.”
Jay Bratt, Chief of the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section of the National Security Division, wrote in another filing Friday that neither Trump’s attorneys or attorneys for his co-defendant Waltine Nauta, currently the necessary security clearance. Their attorneys cannot review any of the documents marked as “confidential,” “secret” or “top secret” without it.
The government started turning over unclassified documents in discovery Wednesday and have already provided a “significant” amount of those materials, including evidence from subpoenas and warrants, transcripts of grand jury testimony, witness interviews, closed-circuit television footage and “a reproduction of key documents that in the government’s view are pertinent to the case,” the motion said.
“Even with the prompt production the government has arranged, the inclusion of additional time for defense counsel to review and digest the discovery, to make their own decisions about any production to the government, and for the government to review the same, is reasonable and appropriate,” Special Counsel Jack Smith wrote.
Trump’s attorneys are not opposed to moving the current trial date, according to prosecutors’ motion, though his attorneys are expected to file an opposing motion to object to other pre-trial deadlines proposed by the government in their motion.
As thousands of his supporters gathered outside of the federal courthouse in Miami last week in campaign-rally fashion, the former president pleaded not guilty to all 37 counts in the indictment. Nauta has not yet been arraigned or made any plea, prosecutors’ motion said. His arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday.