Advantage Trump? Legal Loophole Could Insulate Ex-President In Mar-A-Lago Classified Documents Case Until After 2024 Elections

Zinger Key Points
  • The CIPA law aimed at fixing the delay tactics used by defendants could come in handy for Donald Trump's legal team, a report says.
  • Despite the 2 indictments and many more legal cases pending against him, Trump is now the frontrunner among GOP candidates.

Former President Donald Trump recently faced his second indictment, earning the dubious distinction of being the first president – past or current, to face a federal criminal indictment.

The cloud could have a silver lining after all.

What Happened: Trump is being charged on multiple counts in the classified document case for possessing the documents and attempting to obstruct an investigation aimed at recovering the material. The case will fall under the purview of the Classified Information Procedures Act, or CIPA, which provides leeway for a delay in the trial until after the 2024 presidential elections, Washington Post reported.

What's CIPA: The CIPA law, passed in 1980, was aimed at fixing the tactics used by defendants who raise the possibility of classified information being revealed at trial. This is because after a criminal indictment becomes public, the prosecutor assumes the onus of taking reasonable precautions against unauthorized disclosure of classified information during the case.

In some cases in the past, prosecutors have dropped charges or entire cases for fear of disclosing the secrets the government was trying to protect, the Post said.

The law mandated a series of pretrial steps to determine which classified information should be used in the court of law and how they were to be used, the report said. Lawyers, who worked in similar cases in the past, opined that these steps are time-consuming and difficult procedures and could work in favor of the defendants who seek to delay the trial, it added.

See Also: Trump Campaign Raises $6.6 Million Since Indictment, Labels Prosecutor ‘Deranged’

Why It's Important: Legal experts say that despite special counsel Jack Smith's intent to expeditiously take up the case, CIPA could delay it. This is particularly due to Judge Aileen Cannon's lack of experience with such issues, the report said.

The report also noted that Trump would need at least one lawyer or even more than one, with security clearance to examine evidence. This will reportedly take weeks or sometimes months. 

And Trump's team could review the evidence the government collected only in secure areas called sensitive compartmented information facilities, the Post said. Discussions with potential witnesses should also be done in a SCIF, it added.

After the analysis of all classified documents, Trump's lawyers would then file a sealed document in court outlining the classified information they plan to disclose to jurors at the trial.

These complexities could allow Trump to move forward unhindered with his 2024 campaign.

Despite the several legal setbacks Trump is facing, he is the frontrunner among the slew of candidates in the Republican presidential primary.

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Posted In: NewsPoliticsLegalTop StoriesMediaAileen CannonDonald TrunpJack Smith
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