(The Center Square) – Special Counsel Jack Smith’s team of prosecutors argued Thursday that former President Donald Trump is set on delaying his federal criminal trials “at any cost.”
Trump, 77, the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, and his lawyers have repeatedly argued that prosecutors have proposed unrealistic timelines in the two federal cases.
Trump’s defense team on Wednesday requested a stay on all proceedings in the Washington D.C. case until his motion to dismiss the indictment based on claims of presidential immunity is “fully resolved.”
Prosecutors called in a delay tactic designed to push back the trial dates in both federal criminal cases until after the 2024 presidential election.
“Defendant Trump’s actions in the hours following the hearing in this case illustrate the point and confirm his overriding interest in delaying both trials at any cost,” prosecutors wrote in a notice to U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon. “This Court should allow itself to be manipulated in this fashion.”
For months, Trump’s legal team has been raising concerns about his crowded legal calendar. In the Florida classified documents case, Trump’s attorneys have been asking to push back deadlines and the May 2024 trial date.
Smith’s team of federal prosecutors charged Trump in Washington D.C., with four federal counts related to contesting the 2020 election and connection to the storming of the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021. The charges include conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the United States, obstruction, and conspiracy against the right to vote and to have one’s vote counted, according to the indictment. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
In Florida, Trump pleaded not guilty in June to 37 counts that allege he kept sensitive military documents, shared them with people who didn’t have security clearance, and tried to get around the government’s efforts to get them back. That federal case is tentatively set to go to trial in May 2024, right in the middle of the Republican presidential primary calendar. In late July, special counsel Jack Smith filed additional charges against Trump and two other men that allege Trump ordered employees at Mar-a-Lago, his Florida residence and social club, to delete security videos while he was under investigation for retaining classified documents.
Trump remains free without any travel restrictions as he campaigns for the GOP nomination to challenge President Joe Biden. Trump faces legal battles on several fronts as he seeks the nomination. Trump has pleaded not guilty to federal criminal charges in Washington D.C. and Florida. He also has pleaded not guilty to state criminal charges in Georgia and New York.
In addition to those criminal cases, a case in Colorado could determine if his name appears on the ballot in that state. Similar ballot challenges are pending in other states. On top of that, Trump faces a civil trial in New York related to his real estate business.
Trump has said the legal challenges amount to a politically charged witch hunt designed to interfere with his bid to re-take the White House.