Special Counsel Jack Smith explained Monday why Donald Trump's arguments for holding his 2020 election interference trial in April 2026 do not stand up to scrutiny.
Trump's legal team has upheld Smith's request for a trial to begin in January 2024 after a federal investigation allegedly undermined Trump's ability to prepare a defense, and has urged the judge to deny it.
But Smith claims in a new court filing that Trump is missing “key underlying facts and context.”
“In view of a proposed trial date of 2026 that would deny the public their right to a speedy trial, the defendant cites inaccurate statistics and cases, overstates the body of new and unduplicated discoveries, and exaggerates the challenge of effective verification.” ‘ Smith said.
Earlier this month, prosecutors submitted their proposal to begin the trial on January 2, 2024, with jury selection scheduled for December 11. They estimated the trial would take up to six weeks, adding that that timeline “would justify the public's strong interest in a speedy trial,” given the nature of the charges.
But Trump's lawyers claimed it was far too early, citing the scope of the discovery.
Gregory Singer, one of his attorneys, said they had to “proceed at a pace of 99,762 pages per day to complete the government's first production by the proposed jury selection date,” claiming that this was like reading “Tolstoy “ equals. “War and Peace,” cover to cover, 78 times a day, every day, from now until jury selection.”
But Smith said the administration provided Trump's team with the discovery in a searchable electronic database, with the understanding that the defense would electronically review the documents “consistent with standard modern practice.”
“In cases like this, the burden of verifying discoveries cannot be measured by page count alone, and comparisons to the height of the Washington Monument and the length of a Tolstoy novel are neither helpful nor instructive; In fact, comparisons like this detract from the real issue — which is determining what is required to prepare for the trial,” Smith said.
Trump was indicted in Washington, DC earlier this month on four charges, including conspiracy to defraud the United States, over his efforts to reverse the 2020 election. He has pleaded not guilty.
The former president also faces three other charges: alleged mishandling of classified documents following his departure from the White House in another case Smith is handling, conspiracy to reverse Joe Biden's 2020 election victory in Georgia, and his role in a hush-money payment scheme , which includes adult film star Stormy Daniels.