Thursday April 18, 2024

Trump in court seeking delay of trial on mishandling classified documents

March 02, 2024
Donald Trump speaking at an event in this file image.  — AFP/File
Donald Trump speaking at an event in this file image.  — AFP/File

FORT PIERCE, Florida: Donald Trump was in federal court in Florida on Friday to ask a judge to push back his criminal trial on charges of mishandling classified documents until the thick of the US presidential campaign.

The frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination looked on as his lawyers told US District Judge Aileen Cannon that the trial should be pushed back from May 20 to Aug 12, which would have him in court in the weeks before the Nov 5 presidential election.

Federal prosecutors said the trial should start on July 8, just a week before the Republican nominating convention, where Trump is expected to be named his party’s standard bearer.

US District Judge Aileen Cannon, who was appointed by Trump, did not indicate what date she would set.

Trump has sought to delay all of his four criminal trials as he campaigns for the presidency. If he were to win, he would be in a position to shut down this case and another that was brought under federal law.

His lawyers also say he cannot have a fair trial while running for president.

“We very much continue to believe that a trial that takes place before the election is a mistake and should not happen,” Trump lawyer Todd Blanche told Cannon.

Federal prosecutor Jay Bratt said the August trial start floated by Trump’s lawyers amounted to a “fake date”, aimed at interfering with two of the other criminal cases that could go to trial during that time.