The closed-door hearings began Monday to discuss the extent of access to evidence The Mar-a-Lago classified documents case against former President Donald Trump.
US District Judge Eileen Cannon met with Trump’s defense team in the morning at the federal courthouse in Fort Pierce, Florida, and with the special counsel’s prosecutors in the afternoon.
On Monday morning, a convoy of black SUVs with tinted windows arrived outside the courthouse, escorted by law enforcement. The motorcade departed shortly after 2:00 PM ET.
The chairman of the St. Lucie County Republican executive committee confirmed that Trump personally attended the hearing in a campaign fundraising email after one of Trump’s lawyers told him the former president would be there. This was reported by West Palm Beach’s NBC affiliate WPTV.
NBC News contacted the Trump campaign and St. Contact Lucie County GOP.
Special counsel Jack Smith, who is impeaching Trump over classified documents, asked Cannon last week to reconsider his order to unseal the documents. “Important and immediate” threatened more than twenty witnesses.
The special counsel’s lawyers are trying to block requests from Trump’s lawyers for unredacted documents. contending Cannon applied the legal standard in error when ordering unsealed materials. A judge suspended his preliminary injunction on Friday.
The special prosecutor’s filing cited an exhibit that contained “information about the defendant’s unindicted potentially obstructive conduct and speculation about witness tampering by an unindicted individual.” Prosecutors said the witness disagreed with the recorded interview.
On Tuesday morning, Cannon will hold a sealed hearing with the special counsel’s office and attorneys for Trump’s co-defendants, Walt Nauta and Carlos De Oliveira, according to documents filed in court Monday evening about access to classified information and information in discovery. The hearing will be held at the Sensitive Section Information Facility, or SCIF.
Trump is not required to attend Tuesday’s meeting, but his lawyer is allowed to attend. Nauta and De Oliveira are not allowed to participate.
Former president faces multiple criminal charges in the case, including willful withholding of national defense information, false statements and representations, conspiracy to obstruct justice, concealing a document or record, and corruptly concealing a document. Trump’s legal team trying to get the charges faces a February 22 deadline for dismissal and pretrial motions.
Trump and two co-defendants — personal assistant Nauta and Mar-a-Lago employee De Oliveira — pleaded guilty to charges that the former president mishandled classified documents at Trump’s mansion.
The case is scheduled to be heard trial in Maybut Cannon may delay it during a planning conference scheduled for March 1.