Former President Trump and his aid Walt Nauta have asked the U.S. Court in Miami to delay their criminal trial following their indictments on the handling of classified documents at Trump’s Florida country club residence, Mar-a-Lago.
Prosecutors in the office of Special Counsel Jack Smith had already asked District Judge Aileen Cannon to delay the trial from her initial date of August 14 to December 11 in order to give both sides more time to prepare.
In a court filing late Monday, Trump’s attorneys said a December trial date was too soon, that it would deny them reasonable time to prepare, and described the government’s requested schedule as “unrealistic.”
Trump attorneys further assert that the court should “postpone any consideration of a new trial date.” They make it clear that they oppose any trial that would start during the 2024 Presidential election season.
On June 13, Trump pleaded not guilty to 37 criminal counts brought by a federal grand jury in the special counsel’s investigation. The charges include 31 counts for willful retention of national defense secrets in violation of the Espionage Act, as well as one count each of making false statements, conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a document or record, corruptly concealing a document or record, concealing a document in a federal investigation, and a scheme to conceal.
Nauta, a former Navy petty officer who worked for Trump in the White House as a valet and continued to work as an aide to the former President after Trump left office in January 2021, pleaded not guilty on July 6 to six criminal charges, including conspiracy to obstruct, withholding a document or record, and a scheme to conceal.
The federal indictment against the pair was unsealed in June ahead of Trump’s arraignment.
Nauta attorney Stanley Woodward has four criminal trials scheduled prior to December, including one this week. Two of these trials involve defendants charged with violence against police officers during the deadly January 6, 2021 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol. Woodward is also defending former Trump aide Peter Navarro on charges of defying a Congressional subpoena.
Cannon set a hearing for Friday to discuss issues related to the handling of classified documents as part of a future trial. Woodward has also sought a delay of that hearing because of a trial he has this week in Washington.
In a filing around midday Monday, prosecutors from Smith’s team objected to any delay in that hearing, though by evening both sides had agreed to appear in Cannon’s courtroom in Fort Pierce this coming Tuesday.