Special counsel Jack Smith rebuked former President Donald Trump for his request to delay the trial in his secret documents case until after the 2024 election, arguing that Trump had no reason to delay a trial that has already been held for more than a year half a year away.
“Defendants provide no credible justification for postponing a trial that is still seven months away,” Smith wrote in a motion filed Monday, breaking down Trump’s request point by point. “You are fully informed of the charges and the government’s theory of the case through a very detailed superseding indictment and extensive, organized, unclassified and secret discovery.”
Trump filed a motion last week asking the court to delay the trial, currently scheduled for May, until November. He contended that Smith’s separate cases against Trump and their respective trial dates “currently require President Trump and his attorneys to be in two locations at the same time.” Judge Aileen Cannon then paused all proceedings, including the transcript, while she considered Trump’s request. Trump was indicted in June for hoarding scores of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida after leaving office, despite repeated attempts by the federal government to reclaim them.
Trump also claimed that Smith did not provide Trump and his lawyers with all investigative materials, as well as the necessary secure locations and security clearances to view classified material, giving the former president less time to prepare an adequate defense.
Smith doesn’t think so, saying Trump had access to most of the materials within days of his indictment. “The government provided defendants with an extensive, rapid, and well-organized unclassified evidentiary hearing that provided a comprehensive evidentiary plan for the detailed allegations in the superseding indictment,” he wrote. “The majority of the secret discoveries are also available to the defendants.”
Trump’s claims about the lack of secure facilities and security clearances are “inaccurate or incomplete; Overall, they are misleading,” Smith wrote. He added that Trump’s lawyer, Chris Kise, has had preliminary approval since late July that allows him to see much of the secret discovery material, and that in setting the May date, the court was already considering Kise’s commitments in a separate Trump case have taken into account. Smith also said that the special counsel’s office does not have the authority to determine when and where secure locations would be set up to view the classified documents, but he said they should be available soon.
“Their unsubstantiated allegations of the government’s failure to comply with disclosure requirements do not support their motion,” Smith wrote. “Their claims that they are unable to verify sensitive information are distorted and exaggerated, and in any case the government expects that the CISO will resolve any remaining issues this week.” There is no reason to postpone the hearing date. The defendant’s motion should be denied.”