Judge Aileen Cannon paused litigation in the court case against former President Donald Trump regarding his alleged handling of classified information since leaving office. The effects of the decision still need to be clarified but correspond with a request from the Trump legal team to allow for more time to consider evidence brought by federal prosecutors.
Cannon’s decision came after the Trump legal team requested a three-month extension in the court case, requesting an opportunity to review information from the prosecution.
The former presidents’ lawyers wrote that they did not have access “too significant portions of the materials that the Special Counsel’s Office has characterized as classified and conceded are discoverable — much less the additional classified materials to which President Trump is entitled following anticipated discovery litigation.”
Special counsel Jack Smith, who is leading the prosecution against Trump in this and another case regarding the aftermath of the 2020 election, has previously paused access to the sensitive documents.
Smith’s office stated that the documents could not be stored in a Florida facility and instead should be made available at another secure location in Washington.
The Friday decision to pause litigation could result in a longer delay in the trial.
JUST IN: Judge Aileen Cannon has put a hold on a key part of the Trump classified-documents prosecution while she considers Trump's motion to extend deadlines in the case. Trump lawyers again pushing for a trial date after the 2024 election. pic.twitter.com/1MW2lR6Nr3
— Josh Gerstein (@joshgerstein) October 6, 2023
The former president pleaded not guilty to 37 criminal charges in the case. He has argued that he had the ability to declassify the documents while still in office and denies all allegations of wrongdoing.
Federal prosecutors allege that the former president retained documents that he should not have following the end of his term in office. Smith also accused Trump of attempting to block federal efforts to retrieve the same documents.
The former president spent much of last week in a New York courtroom alleging fraud against his business practices in a civil trial.
Trump is also anticipating prosecution in another federal case brought by Smith, a case brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) and from Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis (D).