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Federal prosecutors propose pushing back Trump’s classified documents trial to July 8

Originally Published: 29 FEB 24 18:39 ET

Updated: 29 FEB 24 20:51 ET

By Hannah Rabinowitz and Piper Hudspeth Blackburn, CNN

Washington (CNN) — Special counsel Jack Smith and attorneys for Donald Trump proposed moving the trial in the classified documents case against the former president later into the summer.

Smith said in court filings Thursday that he believes that Trump and his two co-defendants, political aide Walt Nauta and property staffer Carlos De Oliveira, should go to trial on July 8.

Attorneys for the three defendants proposed that Trump and De Oliviera’s trial begin on August 12, while Nauta’s trial begins September 9.

Even so, Trump’s attorneys reiterated that they believe that the former president can’t have a fair trial before November’s election, highlighting political dates in their filing where they say the former president needs to be on the campaign trail like the Republican National Convention. Trump could still seek delays even if a trial is set for the summer.

The case is currently scheduled to go to trial in May, though District Judge Aileen Cannon, who is overseeing the case, is expected to address the date in a hearing on Friday.

Trump was indicted in June 2023 and faces dozens of charges related to alleged mishandling of classified documents, including a charge under the Espionage Act, in addition to counts of obstruction of justice, destruction or falsification of records, conspiracy and false statements.

Nauta and De Oliveira have been charged with several counts, including making false statements, conspiracy to obstruct justice and corruptly altering, destroying, mutilating, or concealing documents. The defendants have all pleaded not guilty.

The trial date proposals come days after Cannon denied efforts from Nauta and De Oliveira to view the classified records they allegedly helped conceal at the former president’s Florida residence. Her ruling resolved a dispute that had the potential to hinder movement toward a trial.

The schedule for Trump’s several criminal cases are still largely up in the air.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments over whether Trump benefits from presidential immunity in regard to Smith’s 2020 election interference case the week of April 22, further delaying the federal trial for that case. US District Judge Tanya Chutkan had already postponed the first trial date, originally set for March 4, while appeals courts wrestled with Trump’s claims. Any decision from the high court could affect the course of the classified documents case too.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s state election subversion case against Trump and 14 of his allies has been wrapped up in whether Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis should be disqualified, a move some inside the district attorney’s office fear could derail the entire case, as CNN previously reported.

This story has been updated with additional details.

CNN’s Holmes Lybrand contributed to this report.

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