The increased security has cost millions of dollars, and American taxpayers are footing the bill.
According to the New York Times, security costs for Smith, his family, and the dozens of investigators working on the case amounted to $1.9 million for the first four months since the team was appointed in November 2022.
Total costs for the investigation during that timeframe were $9.2 million, meaning the Department of Justice is poised to spend a minimum of $25 million per year getting to the bottom of the case.
Former US attorney Timothy J Heaphy told the Times that the investigation spearheaded by Smith "is actually pretty cheap considering the momentous nature of the charges."
Trump has been hit with a slew of charges relating to his alleged mishandling of classified documents, boxes of which were discovered at his Florida residence in August 2022. He currently faces 31 counts of willful retention of national defense information, and six further charges including conspiracy to obstruct justice, and withholding a document or record.
While the DOJ's charges fall under the Espionage Act, Trump's attorneys have repeatedly cited the Presidential Records Act, which gives commanders-in-chief the authority to determine which records in their possession are personal and which they'd like to have placed in the National Archives.
Smith originally claimed that the trial would be "speedy" as the DOJ has "one set of laws in this country" and that "they apply to everyone," however legal experts warned that proceedings could be "lengthy."
Trump's lawyers petitioned the court to push the trial back to November 2024 to give them more time to prepare and to ensure it did not interfere with the election. Judge Aileen Cannon has since set the start date for May 20, 2024.
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