Trump asks judge in federal election interference case for 2-month extension to file pretrial motions

Former President Donald Trump's legal team has asked the judge overseeing his federal election interference case for a two-month extension for the filing of pretrial motions.

The current deadline for pretrial motions in the case is Oct. 9, with the case currently scheduled to go to trial on March 4.

Trump's legal team argues that this is the "first time a President has been charged for conduct committed while in office, and the first time the leading presidential candidate has been charged in the middle of a campaign by his opponent's administration."

MORE: Trump opposes special counsel's request for gag order in Jan. 6 case

As a result, they argue, "defense counsel must research and address issues of extreme constitutional import that require careful analysis and briefing."

Trump last month pleaded not guilty to charges of undertaking a "criminal scheme" to overturn the results of the 2020 election by enlisting a slate of so-called "fake electors," using the Justice Department to conduct "sham election crime investigations," trying to enlist the vice president to "alter the election results," and promoting false claims of a stolen election as the Jan. 6 riot raged -- all in an effort to subvert democracy and remain in power.

The request for a delay comes after Trump's legal team also asked the judge overseeing his classified documents case for a three-month delay to deal with issues related to their ability to view classified information. That trial is currently set to begin on May 20.

Trump pleaded not guilty in June to 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.

PHOTO: Former President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses auto workers as he skips the second GOP debate, in Clinton Township, Michigan, September 27, 2023. (Rebecca Cook/Reuters)
PHOTO: Former President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses auto workers as he skips the second GOP debate, in Clinton Township, Michigan, September 27, 2023. (Rebecca Cook/Reuters)

Separately, special counsel Jack Smith's team said in a filing Thursday that there are some documents involved in the case that are so sensitive that they cannot even be stored with other classified information in a Sensitive Compartment Information Facility or SCIF -- a specially-prepared secure room for viewing highly classified materials.

"The Government stated at the September 12 hearing that there were five charged documents that the defense SCIF is not currently authorized to store," Smith's team wrote in a footnote regarding the secure facility being used by Trump's defense team. "The owners of four additional charged documents have since requested that those documents not currently be stored in the defense SCIF, and as a result, on September 26, the CISO removed those documents from the SCIF."

This includes nine documents in total, according to the special counsel, who said in the filing that they are attempting to establish a location in Florida to where the documents can be viewed.

Smith's team says that in the meantime, they can be viewed at a location in Washington, D.C.

Trump asks judge in federal election interference case for 2-month extension to file pretrial motions originally appeared on abcnews.go.com