(Reuters) -Former President Donald Trump and his aide Walt Nauta have asked a federal court in Florida to postpone their criminal trial in a classified documents case, saying Trump’s busy presidential campaign schedule ahead of the 2024 election will make the current trial schedule “untenable.”
“President Trump is running for President of the United States and is currently the likely Republican Party nominee. This undertaking requires a tremendous amount of time and
energy, and that effort will continue until the election on November 5, 2024,” attorneys for Trump and Nauta wrote in a joint court filing late on Monday.
“Such preparation requires significant planning and time, making the current schedule untenable and counseling in
favor of a continuance.”
Trump, the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, pleaded not guilty in federal court on June 13 in Miami to charges that he had unlawfully kept classified national security documents when he left office in 2021 and tried to obstruct justice when the federal government sought to retrieve them.
Federal prosecutors had already asked U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon to delay her proposed Aug. 14 trial date until Dec. 11 to give both sides more time to prepare.
A spokesman for Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office declined to comment on Trump and Nauta’s request, but said the office intends to file a response in the coming days.
Federal prosecutors and attorneys for Trump and Nauta are due to appear before Cannon on July 18 for the first time for a pre-trial conference to discuss scheduling and other logistical issues.
In addition to citing his campaign schedule, Trump’s lawyers also told the judge that the unprecedented indictment raises “significant” legal questions and challenges that will be posed by the classified nature of the evidence.
The documents case will unfold under a strict set of rules prescribed by the Classified Information Procedures Act, which aims to protect classified evidence and manage disclosure of such records at a public jury trial.
Nauta, Trump’s aide, pleaded not guilty last week in a Miami federal courthouse to charges that he had helped Trump hide top secret documents taken when he left the White House.
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch in Washington and Bharat Govind Gautam in Bengaluru; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Alistair Bell)
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