The office of Special Counsel Jack Smith has responded to the request from Donald J. Trump’s legal team to delay the upcoming trial. The response, filed in the United States District Court, Southern District of Florida, West Palm Beach Division, opposes the request for an indefinite delay.
The case, United States of America v. Donald J. Trump and Waltine Nauta, has been a focal point of national attention. Trump’s team had previously argued that they could not receive a fair trial prior to the conclusion of the next presidential election. They urged the court to withdraw the current scheduling order and requested that the court not consider a new trial date until an unspecified later time.
However, Smith’s office has countered this argument, stating that there is no basis in law or fact for proceeding in such an indeterminate and open-ended fashion. They argue that the Speedy Trial Act of 1974 mandates that a trial date must be set at the earliest practicable time to assure a speedy trial. Smith’s office has proposed that the trial date be reset for December 11, 2023.
The response also addressed several other points raised by Trump’s team, including the volume of discovery, the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA) process, and the potential impact of the Presidential Records Act on the prosecution. Smith’s office had dismissed these concerns, stating that they do not warrant the wide-open schedule that Trump’s team is advocating for.
Smith and his team also criticized the defendants’ claim that the court could not select an impartial jury until after the presidential election. They argued that the best way to move the case forward, consistent with the defendants’ rights and the public’s interest, is to set a trial date now.
Finally, the demands of the defendants’ professional schedules were also dismissed as a basis to delay the trial, claiming that the court’s schedule should not be subordinated to the schedules of the lawyers that appear before it.
The response concluded by urging the court to reject the defendants’ invitation to defer consideration of a trial date, and to set jury selection to begin on December 11, 2023. The final decision now rests with the court.
Earlier this week, the legal team representing Trump requested an indefinite postponement of the case, citing the extensive amount of evidence and asserting that a fair trial would be impossible while Trump is on the campaign trail for the 2024 presidential election. Additionally, Trump’s lawyers highlighted that the case would necessitate unprecedented judicial rulings concerning the Presidential Records Act, given that this is the first criminal case against a former president.
The response from Smith’s office is a clear rebuttal to these claims. They argued that the volume of discovery is not a valid reason for an indefinite delay and that the court has the capacity to handle such matters efficiently. They also dismissed the assertion that Trump cannot receive a fair trial while campaigning, stating that the court can select an impartial jury regardless of the political climate.
The response from Smith’s office is a clear and firm stance against the delay. The ball is now in the court’s court.