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US special counsel seeks delay to start of Trump documents trial until December

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. Special Counsel Jack Smith on Friday asked a federal judge to delay the start of former President Donald Trump’s trial on charges of willful retention of classified government records and obstruction of justice until Dec. 11, a court filing showed.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon set an initial trial date of Aug. 14.

But Smith, in the filing, said the Aug. 14 date “would deny counsel for the defendant or the attorney for the Government the reasonable time necessary for effective preparation.”

Trump, who is seeking the Republican nomination for president for the 2024 election, was arraigned in federal court in Miami last week, during which he pleaded not guilty to charges he unlawfully kept national security documents when he left office and lied to officials who sought to recover them.

(Reporting by Eric Beech; editing by Dan Whitcomb and Sandra Maler)