A federal judge in Florida has denied Donald Trump's defense lawyers' request to postpone his classified documents trial, stating that it is "premature" to delay the date. However, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon has decided to extend other deadlines in the case and indicated that she may revisit the trial date later.
For now, the trial is set to begin on May 20, 2024, despite the Trump team's efforts to have it postponed until after the next presidential election. Trump's lawyers argued that they needed more time to review the significant amount of evidence presented to them, as well as dealing with scheduling conflicts due to other ongoing legal cases against Trump. The prosecution vigorously opposed these arguments, urging the judge to maintain the original trial date.
Cannon has shown understanding towards the defense's concerns during a recent hearing and reiterated it in her written order. She acknowledged the substantial volume of both classified and unclassified evidence involved in the case. Additionally, she pointed out that Trump is currently scheduled for a federal trial in Washington and a trial on state charges in New York next March.
"While the outcome of these matters remains uncertain," Cannon wrote, "the existing schedules significantly overlap with the deadlines in this case, posing additional challenges to ensure that Defendant Trump has sufficient time to prepare for trial and contribute to his defense."
It is worth noting that in July 2023, a compromise trial date of May 2024 was originally set for Trump's classified documents case. The Justice Department had also advised against postponing the trial at that time.
This decision by Judge Cannon means that the trial will proceed as scheduled, providing Trump's defense team with the opportunity to adequately prepare for this significant legal battle.
Former U.S. Attorney Assesses Judge's Order in Trump Case
Harry Litman, a former U.S. attorney and deputy assistant attorney general, recently provided an analysis of the Cannon order in a late Friday MSNBC interview. Litman suggested that the order, which appeared neutral on the surface, was actually pro-Trump in nature.
Changes to Filing Deadlines
Judge Cannon extended several deadlines for filing and responding to pretrial motions in the Florida case against Donald Trump. However, she maintained the trial date but noted that she would revisit the defense's request during a scheduling conference in March.
The Charges Against Trump
The Florida case includes numerous felony charges against the former Republican president. Trump is accused of unlawfully holding classified documents at his Palm Beach estate, Mar-a-Lago, and concealing them from government investigators. Despite the allegations, Trump maintains his innocence.
Trump currently faces a trial on federal charges in Washington, scheduled for March 4, 2024. These charges pertain to his alleged involvement in attempting to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in his favor, which he lost to Democrat Joe Biden. Furthermore, Trump also faces charges in Georgia related to attempts to undermine the state's vote and a separate case in New York involving accusations of falsifying business records tied to hush money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.
Additional Legal Proceedings
Apart from the aforementioned trials, Trump is also involved in a business fraud case in New York. The trial for this case is currently underway. Throughout all of these legal battles, Trump has consistently denied any wrongdoing and has asserted that these cases are politically motivated attempts to prevent him from regaining the presidency.
Trump has gained a reputation for criticizing judges and questioning their impartiality as part of his defense strategy. Notably, he has refrained from making any negative remarks about Judge Cannon.