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Trump's lawyers tell judge they oppose starting classified docs trial in December

In a new filing, Trump’s lawyers say the demands of the presidential campaign are a key reason a trial at the end of the year would be “unreasonable.”
Donald Trump at the Road to Majority conference in Nashville, Tenn.
Donald Trump at the Road to Majority conference in Nashville, Tenn., in June 2022. Mark Humphrey / AP file

Lawyers for former President Donald Trump asked a federal judge Monday to delay a criminal trial over Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents until after next year’s presidential election.

In a federal court filing in Miami, attorneys for Trump and his co-defendant, personal aide Walt Nauta, said that to “begin a trial of this magnitude within six months of indictment is unreasonable, telling, and would result in a miscarriage of justice.”

In a court filing late last month, prosecutors from special counsel Jack Smith’s team had requested that the trial be delayed until Dec. 11 after a federal judge overseeing the case set a trial date for Aug. 14.

Trump was indicted last month on seven criminal charges alleging that he mishandled more than 100 classified documents discovered last year at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

He faces 37 counts alleging that he willfully retained national defense information, conspired to obstruct justice and made false statements. He has pleaded not guilty.

Monday's filing points out that Trump is running for president and says he is the likely Republican nominee — an undertaking that “requires a tremendous amount of time and energy, and that effort will continue until the election on November 5, 2024.” 

Nauta’s job, the filing says, requires him to accompany Trump during most of his campaign trips.

Selecting a fair, impartial jury during a presidential campaign makes the prospect of a December trial date even more daunting, the filing says.

The filing adds that Trump, like his defense lawyers, has “previously scheduled trials in other matters" that make the scheduled date "nearly impossible."

Trump hopes to seize the Republican nomination for president in 2024. While a final date has not been set for the Iowa caucuses, the first primary contest is expected to take place in mid-January.