Donald Trump on On Monday night, a federal court asked to postpone setting a date for his criminal trial for hoarding classified documents at his post-presidency Mar-a-Lago estate, arguing it would be virtually impossible to get an impartial jury place while he is a presidential candidate.
“Prosecuting the trial during the pendency of a presidential election cycle in which opposing candidates effectively (if not literally) face each other directly in this action will create extraordinary challenges in the jury selection process and limit the defendants’ ability to provide a fair and impartial trial,” Trump’s lawyers and Walt Nauta, his personal assistant and co-defendant, said in a court file Monday.
“There is no question that a trial of this action during the upcoming presidential election will affect both the outcome of that election and, more importantly, the defendants’ ability to receive a fair trial,” the lawyers argued.
Florida District Judge Aileen Cannon, the Trump appointee overseeing the case, initially set a tentative trial date of August 14, but it is widely expected to be postponed.
Nauta was indicted last month along with the former president and caught on tape just days before the Justice Department visited Mar-a-Lago in June 2022. He appeared in court earlier this month and pleaded not guilty to all charges related to the documents. Trump pleaded not guilty at his June arraignment in Miami.
Trump faces a 37-member 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 allegations stem from his alleged refusal to hand over dozens of classified documents that Trump took to his Mar-a-Lago resort upon leaving the White House in 2021.
The delaying tactic is the latest in team Trump’s legal strategy to avoid a prison sentence if convicted. The former president has previously claimed he can pardon himself – an untested use of presidential power.
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