Judge Cannon Declines Trump Request to Delay Pre-Trial Deadlines in Classified Docs Case…. For Now

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Judge Aileen Cannon on Thursday denied Trump’s request to postpone a February 22 pre-trial deadline in Jack Smith’s classified documents case.

The judge, a Trump appointee, denied Trump’s request to push back a deadline as his legal team figures out how to navigate classified materials and how they can be discussed before a jury.

“The deadline to file pre-trial motions (as distinct from motions in limine seeking the exclusion of specific evidence/arguments from being presented during trial) remains February 22, 2024,” Judge Cannon wrote in court filings.

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“However, to the extent the Court’s resolution of the pending Motions to Compel Discovery 262 yields a specified need of any party to supplement previously filed pre-trial motions and/or to file evidentiary motions that could not reasonably have been filed by February 22, 2024, the Court will consider such arguments as appropriate, but only upon a particularized and timely showing that events post-dating February 22, 2024, clearly justify additional pre-trial briefing,” Cannon wrote.

Jack Smith last June indicted Trump on 37 federal counts in Miami.

Trump was charged with 31 counts of willful retention of national defense information and 6 other process crimes stemming from his conversations with his lawyer.

In July Jack Smith hit Trump with 3 additional charges in the investigation into classified documents stored at Mar-a-Lago.

The superseding indictment, filed in the Southern District of Florida, claims Trump was part of a scheme to delete security footage from Mar-a-Lago.

There are more than 1.3 million documents and years’ worth of Mar-a-Lago footage to review.

Last week Judge Aileen Cannon shut down Special Counsel Jack Smith’s attempt to keep names of government witnesses and other discovery under seal in the classified documents case against Trump.

Jack Smith has been fighting to keep the names of government witnesses a secret. He also opposed the unsealing of discovery material because one document confirms the existence of another FBI investigation.

The documents produced by the special counsel’s office were heavily redacted. Jack Smith requested certain documents to remain sealed in full.

Judge Cannon last Tuesday denied Jack Smith’s request to keep some of the discovery under seal.

“Although substantiated witness safety and intimidation concerns can form a valid basis for overriding the strong presumption in favor of public access, the Special Counsel’s sparse and undifferentiated Response fails to provide the Court with the necessary factual basis to justify sealing,” Cannon wrote last Tuesday.

Jack Smith responded to Cannon last Thursday night and asked her to reconsider her order.

Last Friday Cannon temporarily stayed the deadlines in her order pending a response from Trump’s legal team. Trump’s team has until February 23 to respond.

The classified documents trial is currently set for May 20, 2024, however, it may get postponed since Jack Smith’s January 6 DC trial, which was set for March 4, 2024, is delayed.

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