Justice Aileen Cannon (left) and former President Donald Trump (right).
Source: American Courts (L) | Getty Images (R)
A Florida federal judge appointed by former president Donald Trump rejected his request – at least for now – to delay the planned May 20 start of his term. criminal trial for maintaining secrecy government documents after leaving the White House.
Trump has pleaded not guilty in the case, arguing that he had the right to accept whatever he wanted from the White House.
On Friday, Trump went further and acknowledged that “various people” in and around the club saw the “papers and boxes” he took with him, prosecutors say. contained 1,545 pages of classified material.
“Of course they did! These may have been boxes, etc. that were openly and clearly brought from the White House, as is my right under the Presidential Records Act” , Trump said. job on social networks.
Under the Presidential Records Act, which became law in 1978, “all records created or received by the President in the course of his constitutional, statutory, or ceremonial duties are the property of the United States Government and shall be administered by NARA at the end of the year “. administration”, note the National Archives on his website.
“Under the PRA, the official records of the President and his team belong to the United States and not to the President,” the site states. The Archives are required by law to take custody of these records when a president, including Trump, leaves office.
Trump is accused in the case of keeping classified government documents after his presidency ended in January 2021 and of taking steps with employees at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida to prevent government officials from to get them back.
In a ruling released Friday, Judge Aileen Cannon said she would reconsider her decision next spring, after a March 1 hearing in the case. It’s just three days before Trump’s trial begins in another federal criminal case in Washington, D.C., related to the 2020 aftermath election.
Cannon also extended deadlines Friday for a series of pretrial legal filings in the case, citing what she called “evolving complexities” related to producing evidence to Trump’s lawyers, which include a dramatic increase in the amount of classified information involved. in the case.
“Defendants need additional time to review discovery in this case,” Cannon wrote in his order in U.S. District Court in West Palm Beach. “This order seeks to provide this opportunity in a reasonable manner, taking into account the public’s right to a speedy trial.”
The timing of Trump’s trial in this case is significant because he faces three other criminal cases that could also see him go to trial in 2024.
Trump is currently the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, and his lawyers have argued that the criminal trials would interfere with his political campaign activities. So far, the justices have not been sympathetic to this argument.
Trump is separately charged in D.C. federal court with several crimes related to his attempt to undo his 2020 election loss to President Joe Biden.
He is also charged with conspiracy in Georgia state court for his efforts to overturn his loss to Biden in that state in that year’s election.
He is accused in New York state court in Manhattan of falsifying business records related to hush money payments to two women before the 2016 election in order to silence them over allegations that they had sex with him.
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