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 July 12, 2023

Judge authorizes a postponement in the classified documents case hearing following the arrest of Donald Trump

According to a new court order, former President Donald Trump's first hearing in his criminal case will take place on July 18, as The Washington Examiner reported.

Due to the sensitivity of the classified materials, the hearing before U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon concerning the management of classified information will likely be the first of many proceedings on this matter and may be closed to the public.

The date was set after a dispute on Monday, in which special counsel Jack Smith implied that Trump and his co-defendant Walt Nauta were attempting to impose a "unnecessary" postponement by rescheduling the trial from this coming Friday.

This week, Stanley Woodward had prior obligations at a bench trial in Washington, D.C., so Nauta filed a motion to postpone the hearing, citing Woodward's involvement.

Smith contested Nauta's request and questioned why his attorney from Florida, Sasha Dadan, couldn't manage the hearing instead.

“An indefinite continuance is unnecessary, will inject additional delay in this case, and is contrary to the public interest,” the special counsel team wrote in their filing.

Monday evening, a subsequent filing was added to the docket indicating that the Trump team and the special counsel team concurred that July 18 would be the date of the initial court appearance.

Nauta stated that he had "little notice" that prosecutors would bring charges in the Southern District of Florida, where he would be required to have an attorney licensed in the state, and that his District of Columbia-based attorney's inability to obtain notices from the docket hindered his efforts to alert the court of the scheduling conflict.

The co-defendant also raised concerns about his defense team's lack of security credentials, stating in a letter that it was unreasonable to expect his Florida-based attorney to take the lead on matters originally scheduled to be discussed on Friday.

The 18th of July hearing will highlight guidelines under the Classified Information Procedures Act to determine how sensitive materials involved in legal proceedings can be protected and how they can be revealed or discussed in court.

As Trump's case involves classified materials, which are restricted to those without the proper clearances, the CIPA procedure could further delay the path to trial, as prosecutors must find a method to use these materials as evidence without revealing their sensitive contents.

In the midst of conflicting filings between Trump's legal team and the government regarding the CIPA hearing date, Trump has argued that holding his trial before the 2024 election would be unjust to his chances of reelection.

Trump plead not guilty to 37 federal offenses related to the classified documents case last month, including 31 counts of willful retention of classified documents under the Espionage Act.

Former White House valet and current Trump aide Nauta is charged with six counts of obstruction of justice conspiracy, fraudulent statements, and withholding and concealing documents. Thursday, he plead not guilty to all charges.

Written By:
Charlotte Tyler

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