Judge To Trump: Explain Why You Think The Law Doesn’t Apply To You

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President Trump won several more weeks to file some motions in his D.C. election interference case, but the March 2024 trial date will remain the same, a federal judge ruled on Friday.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan for the District of Columbia gave Trump one more month to file motions concerning subpoenas, and two more weeks to file motions to dismiss and other pre-trial motions. Those were initially due by Monday; now they must be filed by Oct. 23.

It’s a moderate win for Trump, who had asked for a 60-day delay. But it does nothing to postpone the trial date — a goal he has sought both in his D.C. and Florida prosecutions. Trump moved to dismiss the case on Thursday on the basis of one claim: that he’s immune from prosecution because the allegations in the indictment all took place while he was president.

Separately, Chutkan mostly shut down an attempt from the former President to ask for delays around classified information.

There isn’t a lot of it in the D.C. case, but Trump’s attorneys had suggested that their lack of access — and lack of security clearances — should be cause to further delay proceedings.

Chutkan called their bluff earlier this week by ordering the Trump attorneys who had not yet applied for a security clearance to do so.

But the lawyers had also asked Chutkan for the opportunity to review a motion that prosecutors make in national security cases, which involves describing to the judge what classified information they believe should be allowed to make it to the defense. The defense is not allowed to review this motion because it contains information that, the judge may rule, they’re not allowed to see.

Trump’s attorneys asked to be able to review a redacted version of that motion and to file “procedural objections.” Chutkan denied the first part of that request, but approved the second half, noting that both the law governing the use of classified material in criminal trials and precedent from the D.C. circuit bars the defense from being able to see the document.

“Still, the court will allow the defense an opportunity to explain why it believes that
CIPA’s statutory text and Circuit precedent do not govern this case,” Chutkan wrote.

The debate over classified information in the Trump case appears to touch on a vanishingly small amount of documents. Prosecutors said in a filing this week that they don’t plan on introducing classified documents at trial, and that the overall amount is relatively limited by the standards of federal criminal cases: 975 pages in total.

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