Jack Smith's classified documents trial postponed indefinitely, as prosecutor admits to destroying exculpatory evidence

 May 7, 2024

The judge in Donald Trump's classified documents case has delayed the trial indefinitely, days after Jack Smith admitted to misleading her about key evidence.

In a Friday court filing, Smith admitted that evidence had been tampered with since it was seized in the notorious Mar-A-Lago raid.

The digital scans of documents do not line up with the physical ordering of the files, Smith said. The chronology of the files is critical in a case where Trump is accused of deliberately hoarding classified information.

Legal experts say Smith may have destroyed evidence that could have exonerated Trump.

Evidence tampering in Trump case

The original document order could show that the files had been left untouched since leaving the White House at the end of the Trump presidency. A former Trump defense lawyer who previously worked the case, Tim Parlatore, said the boxes appeared to be in pristine condition when he reviewed them.

“For prosecutors who are trying to prove that the defendants knowingly possessed these documents to then destroy the evidence that would undermine that claim is a very serious violation,” he said.

Smith quietly admitted, in a footnote, to having given the judge the mistaken impression that the documents were in their original order.

"There are some boxes where the order of items within that box is not the same as in the associated scans,” Smith's team wrote.

Cannon delays trial indefinitely

Smith tried to blame Trump for the mix-up, suggesting the files were moved during a court-ordered special master review that Trump had sought.

"Since the boxes were seized and stored, appropriate personnel have had access to the boxes for several reasons, including to comply with orders issued by this Court in the civil proceedings noted above, for investigative purposes, and to facilitate the defendants' review of the boxes,” Smith’s team wrote.

Smith also blamed the "size and shape of certain items in the boxes possibly leading to movement of items."

In a shocking order Tuesday, Judge Cannon ordered the trial postponed indefinitely citing the various serious and unresolved issues in the case.

The trial had been originally scheduled for May 20.

“The Court also determines that finalization of a trial date at this juncture — before resolution of the myriad and interconnected pre-trial and CIPA issues remaining and forthcoming — would be imprudent and inconsistent with the Court’s duty to fully and fairly consider the various pending pre-trial motions before the Court,” Cannon wrote.

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