Trump Lawyers File Notice on Using Classified Documents in Trial

No trial date has been set by Judge Cannon and she has yet to rule on motions to dismiss the case as well as a gag order request from Jack Smith.

Former President Donald Trump’s attorneys filed a notice confirming they will use classified materials as part of their defense strategy in his federal documents case.

A Monday filing from Trump attorneys Todd Blanche, Emil Bove, and Christopher Kise informed U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon and special counsel Jack Smith that they will submit a notice under the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA), which is a set of rules governing how to use classified records in cases.

Specifically, according to the notice, the former president’s attorneys made their first selection of the documents and told a “Classified Information Security Officer” in Fort Pierce, Florida, about their plans to use the classified materials. They did not reveal the nature of the documents they will use.

The filing suggests that the case appears to be progressing as the Trump attorneys had to meet a pre-trial deadline to inform the court of their decision. No trial date has been set in the case by Judge Cannon, and she has yet to rule on several motions to dismiss the case as well as a gag order request from the special counsel’s team.

In a number of motions, Mr. Smith’s lawyers have been telling the court that the former president should submit their CIPA filing, accusing him of attempting to delay the case as long as possible. Former President Trump’s attorneys have argued that because of his New York criminal case and trial, previous deadlines should be postponed.

The former president faces 40 federal charges for allegedly retaining classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida after he left the White House in 2021 and for allegedly obstructing efforts by federal authorities to have them returned. In August 2022, FBI agents searched his home and retrieved what prosecutors said were boxes containing classified and top-secret documents.

If former President Trump, who is the presumptive Republican nominee for president, is elected in November, he has a number of options to terminate the classified documents case as well as another Smith-led case in Washington on whether he illegally tried to overturn the 2020 election results. He has pleaded not guilty in both cases.

Days after the New York trial ended in late May, his attorneys in the Florida case told Judge Cannon that the former president “recently concluded a six-week trial in New York, which has made the timing of the expert-notice deadline challenging” before saying that it was challenging to meet a deadline for expert-related disclosures.

“Since the New York trial, we have also been reviewing recent productions of classified and unclassified discovery by the Special Counsel’s Office, preparing to file a pretrial motion based on certain of those disclosures, and preparing to timely file our CIPA 5 Notice pursuant to the deadline set by the Court,” lawyers said in a filing on June 10. Judge Cannon granted their request.

Last month, Judge Cannon wrote that she would indefinitely postpone the trial date, which was previously slated for May 20.

Several weeks later, she issued a ruling that would expand on allowing outside experts to testify on whether the Department of Justice’s naming of Mr. Smith as special counsel was legal. Legal experts, including former U.S. Attorney Edwin Meese, as well as former President Trump’s attorneys have argued that the special counsel’s appointment violates the Constitution because he wasn’t working for the government at the time he was named.

Lawyers for the government, however, have contended that his appointment was valid. In March, the Smith team wrote to the court that such arguments are “meritless” and the court should deny the “groundless challenge to the Special Counsel’s authority to prosecute this case.”

“Neither Trump’s challenge nor the Meese Amicus’s additional theories are novel or meritorious; to the contrary, every court that has considered them has rejected them—including authoritative decisions by the Supreme Court,” they added.


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