The Justice Department took aim Monday at former President Trump’s request for an April 2026 trial in his 2020 election interference case, saying his attorneys are exaggerating the amount of discovery they need to review in the case.
Trump’s team last week sought to compare the amount of discovery in the case to various landmarks, suggesting how tall evidence in the case would stand if each page was stacked on top of one another.
But the Department of Justice (DOJ) dismissed the comparison, noting that Trump has seen or created much of the evidence in the case, while the rest is easily sorted through using software commonly used by attorneys in trial preparation.
“In cases such as this one, the burden of reviewing discovery cannot be measured by page count alone, and comparisons to the height of the Washington Monument and the length of a Tolstoy novel are neither helpful nor insightful; in fact, comparisons such as those are a distraction,” prosecutors wrote in a brief, arguing the time needed to review such documents depends more on “relevance, organization, accessibility, searchability, and reviewability.”
The Trump team’s Thursday filing to the court stacked the documents next to the Statue of Liberty and other landmarks, with his attorneys saying they would “need to proceed at a pace of 99,762 pages per day to finish the government’s initial production by its proposed date for jury selection.”
The DOJ on Monday said Trump’s team needs to use the e-discovery vendor it has already contracted to parse the data.
“The defendant’s proposed trial date, however, rests on the faulty assertion that it is necessary for a lawyer to conduct a page-by-page review of discovery for a defendant to receive a fair trial. But the defendant can, should, and apparently will adopt the benefits of electronic review to reduce the volume of material needed to be searched and manually reviewed,” the DOJ wrote.
“These methods include efficient keyword searching and relevancy tagging by multiple simultaneous users, as well as date filtering, deduplication, and threading — all of which services, and more, are offered by the defendant’s e-discovery vendor, according to its own website, and are tools that courts appropriately expect legal professionals to use.”
The DOJ initially proposed a Jan. 2 court date in the case and argued that Trump or his legal team have already seen many of the documents at question in the case, either because they include publicly available information such as the former president’s own tweets, or because they were initially produced during his presidency.
The filing notes on other discovery in the case includes transcripts from conversations with the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack which have been publicly available for months.