Special counsel Jack Smith is opposing former President Donald Trump’s request to delay the trial over his alleged mishandling of classified documents until after the 2024 election.

In a court filing Thursday, the special counsel’s legal team rejected the defendants’ argument that a fair trial couldn’t be convened ahead of the presidential election. Prosecutors cited the Speedy Trial Act of 1974, which says judicial officers should set trials “at the earliest practicable time,” with allowances for only limited delays in limited circumstances.

“The Defendants chide the Government for seeking an ‘expedited’ trial but in doing so they have it exactly backward,” assistant special counsel David Harbach wrote. “A speedy trial is a foundational requirement of the Constitution and the United States Code, not a Government preference that must be justified.”

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