Trump attempting to delay trials 'at any cost,' special counsel tells judge
Trump is seeking delays in both the classified documents and Jan. 6 cases.
The special counsel leading both the classified documents probe and the Jan. 6 election interference investigation says that former President Donald Trump is trying to delay both trials "at any cost," after Trump's attorneys filed a motion for a stay in the Jan. 6 case.
Attorneys for Trump on Wednesday asked the judge overseeing his federal election interference case to delay all proceedings in the case pending a resolution of their motion to dismiss the case on immunity grounds.
"President Trump respectfully requests that the Court stay all proceedings in this case pending resolution of his Immunity Motion," Trump's lawyers said in a public court filing.
The request came on the same day that the judge in Trump's classified documents case, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, said she would consider pushing back that case's schedule following a motion by Trump's attorneys.
Early Thursday morning, special counsel Jack Smith's team alerted Judge Cannon to Trump's motion to stay in the Jan. 6 case, saying that the motions in those separate proceedings illustrate Trump's goal to delay both of the trials "at any cost."
"As the Government argued to the Court yesterday, the trial date in the District of Columbia case should not be a determinative factor in the Court's decision whether to modify the dates in this matter," the special counsel said in the Thursday filing. "Defendant Trump's actions in the hours following the hearing in this case illustrate the point and confirm his overriding interest in delaying both trials at any cost."
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 and took steps to thwart the government's efforts to get the documents back. Two months later he pleaded not guilty to charges of undertaking a "criminal scheme" to overturn the results of the 2020 election. He has denied all wrongdoing in both cases.
In a motion filed last month in the Jan. 6 case, Trump's lawyers claimed he has "absolute immunity" from prosecution for actions taken while serving in the nation's highest office.
The special counsel's office has said that Trump is "not above the law" and is "subject to federal criminal prosecution like other citizens."