Trump lawyers awkwardly correct Mar-a-Lago delay request after saying colleague is not relevant


Donald Trump

Former U.S. President Donald Trump. (GDA via AP Images)

Defense attorneys representing former President Donald Trump in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case made an admitted mistake in a recent court filing — a mistake that concerned one of their own.

On Thursday morning, a trio of Trump’s lawyers — Christopher Kise, Todd Blanche, and Emil Bove — submitted a motion in favor of pushing back “critical” case deadlines that fall amid their client’s ongoing New York City hush-money trial. The filing argued it was a “virtually impossible task” to handle an in-progress trial and adequately prepare the Espionage Act aspect of the defense’s case.

“The SCO cannot seriously contend that CIPA § 5(a), whereby a defendant must provide particularized notice setting forth the specifically classified information which he believes to be necessary to his defense, is not a critical stage,” the filing reads, setting up an intentional use of rhetorical repetition, just before the error.

The first version of the filing continues: “The SCO also cannot seriously contend Mr. Bove is indispensable in this process.”

The upshot, of course (if accounting for well-known rules of both grammar and syntax), is that Trump’s lawyers seemed to be saying that Bove — one of the three authors of the motion — was not necessary as they worked on the process of identifying relevant classified information they would use in the defense’s case.

A scrivener’s error in Mar-a-Lago

A scrivener’s error in Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago case (via court filing)

That, however, was the opposite of what they meant to say about Bove — and what the filing otherwise argued.

Special counsel Jack Smith has urged U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon to keep in place an outstanding May 9 deadline for CIPA-related briefing to be completed. The government says maintaining that deadline is crucial to “getting the case to trial” in a timely manner.

The defense, on the other hand, has implored the judge to be more lenient with time considerations because of the ongoing Manhattan trial and the difficulty posed by not only working on two cases at once — but also by working on a highly-guarded and hugely important aspect of the Florida-based case while dealing with jurors several states away.

As Law&Crime previously reported, the Department of Justice describes a CIPA § 5(a) Notice as the “linchpin” of the Classified Information Procedures Act, a statute that lays out how to guard classified information while using it in a criminal proceeding.

By Thursday afternoon, Trump’s defense team filed a motion to strike its original CIPA-related and Bove-diminishing motion.

“The initially filed version contains a scrivener’s error and a corrected version will be refiled,” the terse motion to strike reads.

One popular legal dictionary defines a scrivener’s error as one that occurs “due to a minor mistake or inadvertence and not one that occurs from judicial reasoning or determination.”

A corrected version of Trump’s latest motion to delay the process in the Southern District of Florida was filed immediately after.

The corrected line now reads: “The SCO also cannot seriously contend Mr. Bove is not indispensable in this process.”

Matt Naham contributed to this report.

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