Donald Trump submits a motion to delay the trial of the documents until after the election.
Late last Monday evening
Donald Trump‘s defense team filed a motion to postpone the former president’s classified documents case until after the 2024 election, arguing that holding the trial beforehand “will create extraordinary challenges in the jury selection process and limit the Defendants’ ability to secure a fair and impartial adjudication,” according to the motion.
A federal grand jury last month charged former president Trump on 37 felony counts including 31 counts of deliberate retention of national security information.
The Trump defense team isn’t the only one that has made requests for the upcoming trial—Special Counsel Jack Smith has already motioned for a December 2023 trial in the case, stating that it is strongly in the public interest to commence the trial as soon as possible. However, the defense argues that the former president would not be able to receive a fair trial before the election, and it seems they are seeking nearly a year’s delay beyond the original proposed December 2023 start date.
If Trump wins the Republican nomination—and he’s currently polling at 50% of the Republican vote, nearly 30 points ahead of the candidate with the next most votes, Ron DeSantis—the timing of a late 2023-early 2024 trial would certainly be difficult for the entrepreneur. And, if Trump were to win the 2024 election, he would, as president, be privy to legal and constitutional tools that would assist in disrupting the trial. This includes his self-proclaimed power to “self-pardon,” which no president previously has attempted to exercise. According to Politico, he could also appoint leaders of the Justice Department who would, at his request, “opt to pull the plug on any lingering criminal matters.”
Trump defense attorneys say that the request to bring the federal criminal case to trial quickly is unnecessary: “There is no ongoing threat to national security interests nor any concern regarding continued criminal activity,” the team stated.
Other Trump Trials Set To Start In Fall 2023;Early 2024
Donald Trump is already facing a civil trial in New York set to start in October regarding alleged fraud in Trump’s businesses. There is also another criminal trial involving the Apprentice host set to start in March 2024, this one concerning purported hush money payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 presidential election.
This most recent indictment involves 37 felony counts relating to illegally retaining national security secrets and to obstruction of justice. An audio recording was recently leaked to CNN in which the former president seems to acknowledge that he kept classified national security documents after his term as president, stating on the two-minute audio that “these are the papers” and referring to their “highly confidential” nature. The recording will likely be used as key evidence in the federal case.