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Tribune News Service
Tribune News Service
Dave Goldiner

Special counsel trashes Trump’s demand to delay Mar-a-Lago documents trial till after the 2024 election

Special counsel Jack Smith’s prosecutors on Thursday trashed former President Donald Trump’s demand to delay his trial until after the election, saying “there is no basis in law” for such a move.

Federal prosecutors derided the claims by Trump that putting him on trial before voters go to the polls in November 2024 would amount to an unfair interference in the election in which Trump is seeking a return to the White House.

“There is no basis in law or fact for proceeding in such an indeterminate and open-ended fashion, and the defendants provide none,” prosecutors wrote in a filing to U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon.

The prosecution called “border(ing) on frivolous” another key Trump defense claim that the Presidential Records Act somehow supersedes the criminal counts he was charged with in a 37-count indictment.

The filing also mocked Trump’s claim that he will be far too busy running for president to handle the demands of a trial.

“Many indicted defendants have demanding jobs that require a considerable amount of their time and energy, or a significant amount of travel,” prosecutors wrote. “The Speedy Trial Act contemplates no such factor as a basis for a continuance, and the Court should not indulge it here.”

Cannon, who made several pro-Trump decisions in an earlier stage of the case, will preside over an initial hearing Tuesday when she may rule on Trump’s demand for an indefinite delay in the trial. The government wants the Trump trial to start in December.

Trump is accused of illegally keeping classified documents that he took with him to Mar-a-Lago after leaving the White House in 2021, and defying a subpoena for their return.

Walt Nauta, his loyal valet, is charged with helping Trump hide the documents from prosecutors by moving boxes at the Florida resort.

Trump has repeatedly said the Presidential Records Act allowed him to do whatever he wanted with the documents, including top-secret classified records.

But Smith’s team said that argument holds no legal water.

“The PRA is not a criminal statute, and in no way purports to address the retention of national security information,” prosecutors said.

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