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Trump attends hearing on classified documents case held at special secure facility

The judge hears arguments about classified information in the case.

Former President Trump, in the special counsel’s classified documents case against him, spent about four hours Monday at a hearing held at a secure facility due to the sensitive nature of the documents at issue in the case .

Trump left around 2:20 p.m. ET the hearing in Florida, which is being held under seal in a Sensitive Compartment Information Facility, or SCIF — a secure room specially equipped to view highly classified documents.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, who is overseeing the classified documents case, will hear arguments Monday on “defense theories of the case” and how “any classified information could be relevant or helpful to the defense ”, according to a court filing detailing the case. calendar.

After Trump and his lawyers appear, special counsel Jack Smith is scheduled to present his arguments to Judge Canon without Trump’s lawyers present.

Trump’s co-defendants in the case, aide Walt Nauta and Mar-a-Lago property manager Carlos De Oliveira, will not be present at the hearing because they do not have authorization to access information classified.

The judge also asked the parties to reserve Tuesday for the continuation of the procedure “if necessary”.

During pretrial proceedings, Smith’s team and Trump’s lawyers clashed over how much uncovered information should be redacted — or completely hidden from public view — in certain court records.

Judge Cannon had previously ruled that Smith’s team must place a cache of documents on the public record, but in a motion last week, Smith urged Cannon to reconsider his decision, saying it would reveal, among other things, the names of potential witnesses in the case. cases, “exposing them to significant and immediate risks of threats, intimidation and harassment”.

“These risks are far from speculative in this matter,” Smith argued in his filing. “Witnesses, agents and court officers in this case have been harassed and intimidated, and the expulsion of further witnesses will present an equally intolerable risk of upending their lives.”

Smith is asking the judge to withhold his decision until the case is resolved, suggesting he may try to appeal the decision to a higher court if Cannon does not reverse his decision.

The case is currently scheduled for trial on May 20, but ongoing disputes between the parties could delay that date.

Trump has been trying to delay the trial for several months. In a court filing last year, Trump’s lawyers argued that the extraordinary nature of the case means there should be no reason to rush the trial.

“Thus, pursuant to 18 USC § 3161(h)(7)(A), given the extraordinary nature of this action, there is assuredly no basis for an expedited trial, and the purposes of the justice are best served by an extension,” Trump’s lawyers wrote.

Trump was indicted last June for allegedly refusing to return hundreds of classified documents and thwarting government efforts to recover them. The former president has pleaded not guilty and denied any wrongdoing.

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