Jack Smith Urges Judge: Trump's Delay Tactics In Classified Docs Case 'Must Stop'

Special counsel Jack Smith urged the judge overseeing former President Donald Trump’s classified documents case to reject any further efforts to delay his trial.

Trump’s attorneys recently asked U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon to push back a deadline next month to review classified information related to the former president’s indictment into his handling of such material after he left the White House. They pointed to Trump’s separate hush money case in Manhattan that is set to begin Monday, saying the deadline requires time he and his lawyers “simply do not have.”

But Smith’s team said Cannon’s May 9 deadline had been imposed for months and accused Trump’s team of “reflexively” asking to postpone a trial every time the court sets a new deadline.

“The defendants have had ample notice that these deadlines would be scheduled and have already had months to complete the work,” Smith wrote in a new court filing. “Counsel should already be prepared to meet these deadlines, and in any event, other commitments are not grounds for postponement.”

Special counsel Jack Smith wrote Trump's attempts to delay the trial
Special counsel Jack Smith wrote Trump's attempts to delay the trial "must stop" in a new filing on Sunday night. Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images

“Each time the Court sets a new deadline in this case and attempts to keep it moving toward trial,” he added later, “the defendants reflexively ask for an adjournment. That must stop.”

Smith went on to note that Trump chose to hire the same attorneys to represent him in multiple cases, and the lawyers agreed to do so.

“Having made such decisions, they should not be allowed to use their overlapping engagements to perpetually delay trial in this case,” he wrote. “The Court should reject the defendants’ latest delay tactic.”

Trump’s legal team argued in their own filing this weekend that the former president had a constitutional right to be present in New York during the hush money trial, and he has said he planned to testify during the proceedings, which could stretch for more than six weeks. But Smith said Trump’s right to counsel of his choice is not “boundless.”

“The right must be balanced against ‘the prompt and efficient administration of justice,’” the special counsel wrote. “… The claimed rights to counsel of choice and adequate preparation are not implicated at all here because defendants’ counsel of choice has had months to prepare the submissions at issue.”

Cannon, a Trump appointee, has not yet set a date for the trial to begin. Her slow pace has frustrated Smith, who has filed a series of fiery briefs with the court in recent weeks in hopes of seeing the case move forward.