The Justice Department has appealed to a Florida federal judge to reject former President Donald Trump‘s request for an indefinite delay in his federal criminal case involving the handling of sensitive government records.
Why Trump Requested Federal Criminal Case Delay?
Special counsel Jack Smith argued that there is no legal or factual basis for proceeding in such an open-ended manner. Trump’s attorneys had claimed that holding the trial for federal criminal cases during the 2024 presidential election could jeopardize a fair jury selection process, CBS News reported.
However, prosecutors countered this argument, stating that there is no reason to credit such a claim and that the trial for the federal criminal case should start sooner rather than later, acknowledging the need for additional protocols for jury selection.
Judge Aileen Cannon had initially set a trial date for August 14 for the federal criminal case, but prosecutors have requested a postponement until December. Trump’s legal team objected to both timelines without suggesting an alternative start date. Defense attorneys accused the government of attempting to expedite the trial for the federal criminal case, but Smith clarified that a speedy trial is a constitutional requirement and not merely a preference of the government.
In their filing, the government also urged Judge Cannon to proceed with jury selection on December 11, 2023. Trump’s attorneys cited several reasons for the delay of the trial for the federal criminal case, including the volume of discovery materials provided by the government and the complexity of the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA) under which Trump was charged. The special counsel clarified that only a subset of documents was considered key, and the claim about nine months of CCTV footage was misleading.
Trump’s Federal Criminal Case
Smith revealed that classified materials and witness statements containing classified information would be sent to a sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF) in Miami for review by defense attorneys with appropriate security clearances. The defense counsel’s deadline for obtaining security clearances was highlighted, and once completed, the remaining Mar-a-Lago documents would also be made available for review in the Miami SCIF.
Trump has pleaded not guilty to 37 counts related to the alleged mishandling of sensitive government records. The legal battle over the trial for the federal criminal case timeline and related issues continues as the Justice Department appeals against Trump’s request for delay.