By Andrew Goudsward

(Reuters) -The former president of the United States donald trump On Thursday he asked a federal judge to dismiss criminal charges accusing him of illegally retaining sensitive U.S. national security documents when he left office, arguing the allegation is legally flawed.

Trump pleaded not guilty to a 40-count indictment in federal court in Florida that accused him of illegally retaining classified documents at his Florida resort after leaving office in 2021 and obstructing the US government’s attempts to recover them.

Prosecutors working with US special counsel Jack Smith accused Trump of storing documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida that included information about the US nuclear program and possible internal vulnerabilities.

Trump attempted to hide boxes containing classified documents after receiving a grand jury subpoena demanding their return, according to the indictment.

Trump was charged along with his personal assistant Walt Nauta and Mar-a-Lago property manager Carlos de Oliveira, who also moved Thursday to dismiss the charges. Both have pleaded not guilty.

A trial is scheduled to begin in May, but Trump has asked for a delay. U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon has scheduled a hearing for March 1 on the timing of the trial.

(Reporting by Eric Beech)

By Sam