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Trump’s trial date for classified docs case could interfere with presidential campaign

Jul 21, 2023

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A trial date has been set for former President Donald Trump’s classified documents case and it’s being called a compromise. The government requested the trial begin in December, but Trump’s team asked to push the proceeding until after the 2024 election. A federal judge met the two sides in the middle, setting the proceedings for May of next year. 

The timing is important because Trump is the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination. His obligation to be in court during the proceeding will intersect with his campaign schedule. The date that judge Aileen Cannon chose falls after the bulk of the primary race contests. However, it is less than two months before the start of the Republican National Convention and the formal start of the general election season. That said, the trial is likely to get delayed.

Trump’s team has made it clear that it expects to file various motions in the case. His advisers have admitted that winning the presidency is how he hopes to beat the legal charges that he is facing. Judge Cannon, who was appointed by Trump in 2020, called the case “complex.” She sided with his defense lawyers, who argued there is a sizable amount of evidence that needs to be reviewed before trial.

The former president is facing 37 counts in the case, including violations of the Espionage Act and obstruction of justice. Trump has pleaded not guilty to the charges. 

In her order on Friday, July 21, Cannon said the trial was to be held in her home courthouse in Fort Pierce, Florida. The same courthouse where prosecutors and lawyers for Trump sparred over the trial date on Tuesday, July 18.

Fort Pierce is north of Miami and the jury pool will be pulled from several counties that Donald Trump easily won in the last two presidential elections.

The Justice Department has not commented on Cannon’s decisions.

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SHANNON LONGWORTH: A TRIAL DATE HAS BEEN SET FOR FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS CASE AND ITS BEING CALLED A COMPROMISE.

 

THE GOVERNMENT REQUESTED THE TRIAL BEGIN IN DECEMBER, BUT TRUMP’S TEAM ASKED TO PUSH THE PROCEEDING UNTIL AFTER THE 2024 ELECTION. A FEDERAL JUDGE MET THE TWO SIDES IN THE MIDDLE SETTING THE PROCEEDINGS TO MAY OF NEXT YEAR. 

 

THE TIMING IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE TRUMP IS THE FRONT-RUNNER FOR THE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION. HIS OBLIGATION TO BE IN COURT DURING THE PROCEEDING WILL INTERSECT WITH HIS CAMPAIGN SCHEDULE. THE DATE JUDGE AILEEN CANNON CHOSE FALLS AFTER THE BULK OF THE PRIMARY RACE CONTESTS. BUT IT IS LESS THAN TWO MONTHS BEFORE THE START OF THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION AND THE FORMAL START OF THE GENERAL ELECTION SEASON. BUT THE TRIAL IS LIKELY TO GET DELAYED.

 

TRUMP’S TEAM HAS MADE CLEAR THEY EXPECT TO FILE VARIOUS MOTIONS IN THE CASE. HIS ADVISERS HAVE ADMITTED THAT WINNING THE PRESIDENCY IS HOW HE HOPES TO BEAT THE LEGAL CHARGES HE IS FACING. JUDGE CANNON, WHO WAS APPOINTED BY TRUMP IN 2020, CALLED THE CASE “COMPLEX”. SHE SIDED WITH HIS DEFENSE LAWYERS, WHO ARGUED THERE IS A SIZEABLE AMOUNT OF EVIDENCE THAT NEEDS TO BE REVIEWED BEFORE TRIAL. 

 

THE FORMER PRESIDENT IS FACING 37 COUNTS IN THE CASE, INCLUDING VIOLATIONS OF THE ESPIONAGE ACT AS WELL AS OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE. HE HAS PLEADED NOT GUILTY TO THE CHARGES. 

 

IN HER ORDER ON FRIDAY, JUDGE CANNON SAID THE TRIAL WAS TO BE HELD IN HER HOME COURTHOUSE IN FORT PIERCE, FLORIDA. THE SAME COURTHOUSE WHERE PROSECUTORS AND LAWYERS FOR TRUMP SPARRED OVER THE TRIAL DATE ON TUESDAY.

 

FORT PIERCE IS NORTH OF MIAMI AND THE JURY POOL WILL BE PULLED FROM SEVERAL COUNTIES THAT DONALD TRUMP EASILY WON IN THE LAST TWO PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT HAS NOT COMMENTED ON JUDGE CANNON’S DECISIONS. 

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