Judge Aileen Cannon paused litigation in the case of Jack Smith and classified documents on Friday, as she considers whether to grant Trump’s motion to extend deadlines related to classified material.
Attorneys Chris Kise and Todd Blanche for Trump argued that prosecutors acting for Jack Smith were employing delaying tactics in the discovery process, thereby taking too long to deliver evidence. According to their motion, they deemed the May trial date unworkable.
“On July 18, 2023, the Special Counsel’s Office represented to the Court that ‘all’ discovery would be available on ‘day one.’” Trump’s lawyers wrote.
Blanche and Kise also said Jack Smith’s Florida classified docs trial set for May 20 and his separate March 4 DC trial regarding Trump’s so-called effort to stop the transfer of power set for March 4 require “Trump and his lawyers to be in two places at once.”
“The March 4, 2023 trial date in the District of Columbia, and the underlying schedule in that case, currently require President Trump and his lawyers to be in two places at once,” Trump’s lawyers wrote, according to CBS News. “And, months after the Office’s representation to the Court, discovery is not complete in this case—including with respect to the classified documents at issue in more than 25% of the [Espionage Act] counts in the Superseding Indictment.”
Jack Smith’s goal was to make it difficult for Trump’s lawyers to travel between Washington, DC and Florida by scheduling concurrent court dates. The attorneys have stated that the DOJ prosecutors have not provided any classification reviews or basic discovery materials.
“These are not mere ‘complaints.’ The Special Counsel’s Office has not provided some of the most basic discovery in the case,” the attorneys wrote. “Given the current schedule, we cannot understate the prejudice to President Trump arising from his lack of access to these critical materials months after they should have been produced.”
Blanche and Kise, who had previously applied for security clearances to review classified material in the context of this case, contended that the Special Counsel had not established even the most rudimentary protocols for handling the confidential documents.
“The Special Counsel’s Office has failed to make very basic arrangements in this District for the handling of the relevant classified information, the holding of necessary CIPA hearings, and the production of related work products by the court and counsel,” the lawyers wrote in the 12-page filing.
udge Aileen Cannon temporarily paused litigation in the classified documents case on Friday. The trial is scheduled to begin May 20.
ABC News reported:
The judge overseeing the probe into former President Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents has paused any litigation involving the classified materials in question as she considers a request from Trump to extend deadlines in the case, according to a new order.
At issue is how the classified materials at the center of the case are to be handled by the defendants and their attorneys, based on national security requirements.
After Judge Aileen Cannon established several deadlines for ruling on those issues, Trump’s legal team last month filed a motion asking her for a three-month extension, saying that Trump and his co-defendants have still not had access “to significant portions of the materials that the Special Counsel’s Office has characterized as classified and conceded are discoverable — much less the additional classified materials to which President Trump is entitled following anticipated discovery litigation.”
Cannon’s order on Friday temporarily pauses the upcoming deadlines as she considers Trump’s motion.
Erica Carlin is an independent journalist, opinion writer and contributor to several news and opinion sources. She is based in Georgia.