Jack Smith Criticizes Donald Trump's Recent Legal Move as 'Clearly Incorrect'

Special Counsel counters Trump's legal strategy with firm opposition

by Zain ul Abedin
Jack Smith Criticizes Donald Trump's Recent Legal Move as 'Clearly Incorrect'
© Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Special Counsel Jack Smith has firmly countered former President Donald Trump's request to postpone disclosure deadlines amidst his ongoing classified documents case due to overlapping legal battles, including Trump’s upcoming hush-money trial in New York.

Trump’s legal team has cited the start of jury selection in the New York case this Monday as a reason for delay. The hush-money case focuses on accusations that Trump doctored internal records of his company to conceal payments made to his former attorney Michael Cohen.

These payments were allegedly directed to adult film actress Stormy Daniels to silence her claims of a past extramarital affair with Trump. In this instance, Trump, who is also eyeing a GOP presidential nomination, faces 34 counts of falsifying business records, all of which he denies, including the alleged affair.

Parallel to this, Trump confronts significant charges in Florida, where he is accused of improperly handling sensitive documents post-presidency. Specifically, Trump faces 40 felony counts for unlawfully retaining classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago residence and obstructing efforts to retrieve them, charges to which he has pleaded not guilty.

The initial trial date in the documents case was scheduled for May 20. Still, the exact timeline remains uncertain as Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee, deliberates on a new commencement date amidst criticism of her perceived leniency towards Trump.

Smith Refutes Delay Request

In an attempt to reschedule, Trump’s legal team recently pushed to extend the May 9 disclosure deadline to a date post-New York trial, potentially mid-July. They argue the trial’s length - projected at six weeks - necessitates the postponement.

In response, Smith’s filing from Sunday refuted these claims, emphasizing the court’s awareness of Trump’s New York obligations when setting the initial May deadline. Smith criticized the motion as misleading, suggesting it falsely portrayed the situation as unforeseen by the court and underestimated the preparation time already afforded to Trump's legal team.

Smith also highlighted the implausibility of needing the full duration of the New York trial plus additional weeks to prepare necessary disclosures, suggesting these moves aim primarily at delaying proceedings. Moreover, Smith pointed out that Trump’s Florida-based legal team, already equipped with appropriate security clearances and not involved in the New York trial, are fully capable of managing ongoing tasks.

In concluding his filing, Smith urged the court to reject further delays, emphasizing the necessity of adhering to set deadlines to progress towards trial. This ongoing legal tussle underscores a clash of legal strategies and the broader implications of Trump’s dual legal challenges as he navigates complex legal waters while eyeing a political comeback.

Donald Trump