Former US President Donald Trump went to a Florida federal court on Monday to attend a closed-door hearing in the case over his negligent handling of official documents classified as top secret. Judge Aileen Cannon summoned the prosecution and the lawyers of the Republican, the big favorite of the right for the presidential election in November, to discuss access to confidential evidence.
Mr. Trump and his motorcade arrived early in the morning at the court in Fort Pierce, some 200 km north of Miami, where a group of supporters of the business mogul awaited them with signs of support. The 77-year-old ex-president left the scene about five hours later.
Donald Trump is accused in this case of having put the security of the United States at risk by keeping confidential documents after his departure from the White House in January 2021 in his residence in Florida, instead of handing them over to the National Archives as the law requires him to do so. He pleaded not guilty last year.
Trump’s lawyers want access to documents deemed too sensitive by prosecutors
To prepare their case, Donald Trump’s lawyers want access to the classified evidence in the hands of the prosecution, which the latter opposes, arguing that they are too sensitive documents.
“Defense attorneys should be prepared to discuss in detail their defense theories in the case and how any classified information might be relevant or helpful to (them)”, wrote the magistrate in the court document in which she convened the hearing. The judge heard the arguments of the defense then those of the prosecution, all behind closed doors.
The trial is scheduled to begin on May 20, when the presidential campaign will be in full swing. Alongside Donald Trump will appear Carlos de Oliveira, the administrator of Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s residence in Florida, and Waltine Nauta, an aide to the ex-president. In recent weeks, the candidate, charged in several cases, has alternated campaign meetings and court appearances.