Trump following Mar-a-Lago raid
Trump following Mar-a-Lago raidReuters

A federal judge on Thursday denied former US President Donald Trump's request to dismiss a criminal case that charges him with illegally holding onto classified documents after leaving the White House, Reuters reported.

The ruling by US District Judge Aileen Cannon in Florida came just hours after a hearing in which his lawyers argued that the central charge in the case is improperly vague.

Cannon ruled that question "warrants serious consideration" but should not be decided at this point.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 40 counts of unauthorized retention of national defense information, obstruction of justice and false statements.

Prosecutors have accused Trump of taking top-secret documents with him when he left the White House in 2021 and storing them haphazardly at Mar-a-Lago.

Trump has denounced the indictment against him as "ridiculous and baseless."

At Thursday’s hearing, Cannon also indicated she was unlikely to agree to a separate request by Trump to dismiss the case on the grounds he had deemed the documents to be "personal" rather than government property. That issue could be addressed during the trial, she said.

"It's difficult to see how this gets you to dismissal of the indictment," she told Trump's lawyers, according to Reuters.