Former President Donald Trump’s team argued Monday that his trial on allegedly mishandling classified documents should be held off until after the 2024 election in order to have an impartial jury.
“This extraordinary case presents a serious challenge to both the fact and perception of our American democracy. The Court now presides over a prosecution advanced by the administration of a sitting President against his chief political rival, himself a leading candidate for the Presidency of the United States,” attorneys for Trump and his former aide Walt Nauta argued in a filing published Monday night.
The lengthy discovery process, the “potential inability to select an impartial jury during a national Presidential election” and the classification status of the documents should require a delay in court proceedings, the team added, noting that the presidential campaign also puts a time restraint on both men.
Trump, who could be the Republican presidential nominee, would currently have to face trial in December, upending a key time of the election cycle.
Trump and Nauta were indicted in early June for allegedly possessing classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. Trump was indicted on 37 counts, including 31 counts of alleged violation of the Espionage Act, one count of “conspiracy to obstruct justice;” one count of “withholding a document or record;” one count of corruptly concealing a document or record;” one count of “concealing a document in a deferral investigation;” one count of “scheme to conceal;” and one count of “false statements and representations.” (RELATED: Trump Indictment Unsealed)
Nauta was charged after allegedly moving documents around the residence after Trump was ordered to return all the materials.
The unsealed indictment showed images of documents Trump allegedly retained at Mar-a-Lago, including boxes piled up in the bathroom. In August, the FBI seized over 100 documents from Trump’s Florida residence during their search of the property in August, the indictment read.
Both Trump and Nauta have pleaded not guilty.