As we reported previously, Special Counsel Jack Smith moved for a continuance of the August 14th trial setting in the prosecution of former President Donald Trump and his aide, Waltine “Walt” Nauta. Smith sought to push the trial date back to December 11th.
Originally, the Trump team had to respond to a continuance motion from the government by July 6. However, Judge Aileen extended the deadline to July 10 due to Nauta’s later arraignment.
The New York Times published a great article about the case and the current state of the case. But the following line made me laugh:
The written filing — submitted 30 minutes before its deadline of midnight on Tuesday — presents a significant early test for Judge Aileen M. Cannon, the Trump-appointed jurist who is overseeing the case.
The dramatic presentation of court deadlines can be hard to ignore, but lawyers are almost always rushing to meet them. It’s the nature of the beast that lawyers will ask for three or more continuations before submitting their work.
You can read the 12-page document below that outlines the defendants’ requests to the court. They ask it to “delay consideration of a new date until substantive motions are already presented and adjudicated”. They are basically asking the court to delay setting a trial date until all substantive issues have already been resolved.
Although this request is very detailed, it assumes that the case is one with unusual circumstances.
This case represents a significant challenge to both the perception and reality of American democracy. It involves prosecution by a current administration against a main political rival of a president. The case is a major challenge to the perception and reality of American democracy. This is a prosecution brought by an administration of a President who is currently in office against his main political rival. A continuation will serve the ends of justice best.
The legal questions also present significant issues and are of first impression. In the view of the defendants, the intersection between the Presidential Records Act, the criminal statutes in question, and the Presidential Records Act has never been examined by a court and will lead to the dismissal of the indictment. This Court may also be faced with a first-time issue that is of great importance. Other important issues include the classified status of the documents, their purported impact upon national security, the propriety in using any “secret” proof in a case such as this, and the inability to choose an impartial jury in the context of a presidential election. The extensive and voluminous discovery will also require a lot of time to review and digest, especially when combined with the purportedly-classified material that is yet to be presented. All of these questions warrant a continuation pursuant to 18 U.S.C. SS 3161(h)(7)(B)(ii). The apparent belief of the Government that these issues, which are unprecedented in nature, should be decided on an expedited base is simply unsustainable and ignores this case’s magnitude.
The request notes the number of documents that have been produced and anticipates further disclosures.
The Government will release its “first unclassified product” on June 21, 2023. This is due to the large volume of documents and procedural safeguards required to prevent the illegal production of classified information. The initial production was extensive and large. It included over 428.300 documents (more than 833.450 pages) with approximately 122.650 emails (including attachments) and 305.670 documents gathered from ninety-nine (90) sources.
We announced that the pre-trial in this case would be held on Friday, July 14th. The inquiry was intended to look at how classified material in the case is to be handled.
According to the Classified Information Procedures Act, the government was allowed to request a pre-trial meeting “to discuss any classified information that may be relevant to the prosecution”. It also requested the appointment of a Classified Information Security Officer to “assist the Court and Court staff as well as defense in regards to any motions or order”. A pre-trial has been scheduled for July 14, 2023.
We have added the 18th of Jul to our list.
Judge Cannon could decide to delay the August 14th trial date, but she is more likely to wait until after the pre-trial. More updates will be provided as soon as we have them.