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Trump asks judge to approve special facility for him to review evidence in classified docs case

Julie Bennett/Getty Images

(MIAMI) — Former President Donald Trump’s attorneys have asked the federal judge overseeing his classified documents case to approve a special facility at his Mar-a-Lago estate for him to be able to discuss classified evidence with his legal team “as necessary to prepare an adequate defense,” they said in legal filing Wednesday.


Trump attorneys specifically asked that a previous facility Trump used at Mar-a-Lago while serving as president — where he was previously permitted to discuss and review classified information — be re-established so he can now discuss classified materials shared with his legal team by special counsel Jack Smith in the classified documents case.

In the filing, Trump’s team says they’re making the request due to the the “immense practical and logistical hurdles and costs that make it virtually impossible for President Trump to make regular trips to a public facility to discuss classified discovery material with counsel as necessary to conduct a defense consistent with the rights afforded by the Constitution.”

“Both the required security protocol surrounding President Trump’s travel and the challenges surrounding the media’s and public’s intense focus on this prosecution pose an enormous obstacle to our ability to provide counsel to President Trump regarding classified matters, which are, no doubt, essential to this case,” the filing says.

Trump was charged in June with 37 criminal counts related to his handling of classified materials, after prosecutors said he repeatedly refused to return hundreds of documents containing classified information ranging from U.S. nuclear secrets to the nation’s defense capabilities, and took steps to thwart the government’s efforts to get the documents back. The former president pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Trump’s longtime aide, Walt Nauta, also pleaded not guilty to related charges.

A superseding indictment subsequently charged Trump, Nauta, and Carlos De Oliveira, head of maintenance at Mar-a-Lago, with two obstruction counts based on allegations that the defendants attempted to delete surveillance video footage at Mar-a-Lago in the summer of 2022.

Trump has denied all charges and denounced the probe as a political witch hunt.

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