In the ongoing Mar-a-Lago classified documents case, attorneys representing former President Donald Trump have recently submitted a new filing that not only challenges special counsel Jack Smith, who is leading the prosecution, but also targets Attorney General Merrick Garland. The attorneys have accused Garland of inappropriately advocating for a swift trial.
Central to this legal contention is the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the right to a speedy trial for anyone accused of a crime. However, the strategy from Trump’s legal team appears to be focused on delaying the trial as much as possible. The filing argues that the Special Counsel’s Office, under Smith’s direction, has been actively seeking to sway public opinion and media coverage against Trump, particularly in light of his potential presidential campaign, told The New York Times.
The lawyers claim that these efforts are evident in the actions taken by the Special Counsel’s Office, such as the request to unseal the warrant used for the August 2022 raid on Mar-a-Lago and the public statements made about the case.
The filing further alleges that Garland’s recent public statements, which were broadcasted by CNN on January 19, 2024, were defensive and improperly aligned the Department of Justice with the Special Counsel’s demand for a quick trial. These statements, according to Trump’s attorneys, support what they deem as baseless and politically motivated charges against the former president.
In addition to these allegations, Trump has initiated a broad and unusual legal move, seeking access to a vast array of communications within the Justice Department. This action is seen as an attempt to uncover any potential misconduct in the handling of his case.
Judge Aileen Cannon, who is overseeing the case, has faced criticism from various legal experts for her decisions, which some perceive as being favorable to Trump. Despite this, she has not yet altered the original trial date. However, there is growing speculation among observers that she may be setting the stage for a potential delay. Such a delay could significantly impact the timeline of the case, particularly with the upcoming election looming.
Simultaneously, another case that Smith is prosecuting, involving federal election conspiracy charges against Trump, is currently paused. This pause is due to appellate judges reviewing Trump’s claim of presidential immunity for actions taken while in office. The outcome of this review could have important implications for the progress of the case.