Earlier this week, Trump implored a federal court to delay on setting a date, arguing that it would be virtually impossible to seat an impartial jury while he remains a presidential candidate. Attorneys for Trump and Walt Nauta, his personal aide and co-defendant, previously claimed that the “existing discovery production” would take “considerable time and effort” to adequately review.
Smith and his team denounced Trump’s attempt at special treatment, writing in the filing obtained by CNN on Thursday that the “demands of defendants’ professional schedules do not provide a basis to delay trial in this case. Many indicted defendants have demanding jobs that require a considerable amount of their time and energy, or a significant amount of travel.”
“The Speedy Trial Act contemplates no such factor as a basis for a continuance, and the court should not indulge it here,” Smith’s team added.
Smith also accused Trump and Nauta of creating a “misleading” account of the amount of CCTV footage prosecutors in the case handed over to the defendants.
“The Government obtained footage only from selected cameras (many of which do not continuously record) from selected dates throughout the period for which it obtained footage,” the filing stated.
Smith’s team also pointed out that while 800,000 pages of discovery were turned over to the defense, nearly one-third consisted of “non-content email header and footer information” and that there are only about 4,500 “key” pages.
Federal prosecutors scoffed at Trump’s “frivolous” attempt to use the Presidential Records Act as a shield, pointing out that the PRA does not apply to criminal offenses or the hoarding of national security secrets.
“The Defendants are, of course, free to make whatever arguments they like for dismissal of the indictment, and the Government will respond promptly,” the prosecution said. “But they should not be permitted to gesture at a baseless legal argument, call it ‘novel’ and then claim the court will require an indefinite continuance in order to resolve it.”
Trump faces a 37-count grand-jury indictment on charges including conspiracy to obstruct justice, corruptly concealing a record or document, and concealing a document in a federal investigation. The charges stem from his alleged refusal to hand over scores of classified material Trump took to his Mar-a-Lago resort upon leaving the White House in 2021.