Judge pauses litigation in classified docs case while mulling Trump's request for extension
At issue is how to handle the classified materials at the center of the case.
The judge overseeing the probe into former President Donald Trump's handling of classified documents has paused any litigation involving the classified materials in question as she considers a request from Trump to extend deadlines in the case, according to a new order.
At issue is how the classified materials at the center of the case are to be handled by the defendants and their attorneys, based on national security requirements.
After Judge Aileen Cannon established several deadlines for ruling on those issues, Trump's legal team last month filed a motion asking her for a three-month extension, saying that Trump and his co-defendants have still not had access "to 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."
Cannon's order on Friday temporarily pauses the upcoming deadlines as she considers Trump's motion.
Special counsel Jack Smith's 's office said in a recent filing that some documents are so sensitive that they cannot be stored in a secure facility in Florida with the other documents in the case. Smith's team has told the court that the documents can be made available in a secure facility in Washington, D.C., for review.
Trump pleaded not guilty in June to 37 criminal counts related to his handling of classified materials, after prosecutors said he repeatedly refused to return hundreds of documents containing classified information ranging from U.S. nuclear secrets to the nation's defense capabilities, and took steps to thwart the government's efforts to get the documents back.
The trial is currently set to begin on May 20.
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