Florida judge sets trial date for Trump confidential documents case in May next year

WASHINGTON (AP) – A federal judge in Florida has set a trial date for May next year for a case accusing former President Donald Trump of illegally storing hundreds of classified documents.

The May 20, 2024 trial date set by U.S. District Judge Eileen Cannon on Friday is a compromise between the prosecution’s request to set the trial in December this year and the defense’s request to postpone it indefinitely until after the 2024 presidential election.

If the date comes true, it would follow on the heels of another Trump trial in New York over dozens of state charges of falsifying business records related to allegations of hush money payments to pornographic actors. This also means that trials won’t start until very late in the presidential nomination calendar, and perhaps well after the Republican candidate has been revealed, but before that candidate is formally nominated at the Republican National Convention.

In postponing the trial from the Dec. 11 start date sought by the Justice Department, Cannon wrote, “The government’s proposed schedule is unusually accelerated and inconsistent with ensuring a fair trial.” She agreed with the defense team that the amount of evidence that needed to be reviewed before trial, including classified information, was “tremendous and likely to increase in the normal course as the trial approaches.”

“The court has determined that the interests of justice served by this continuation outweigh the best interests of the public and defendants in a speedy trial,” Cannon wrote.

In a statement referring to the Justice Department, the Trump campaign said Cannon’s order “is a major setback in the Justice Department’s efforts to deny President Trump a fair legal process.” A massive schedule will allow President Trump and his legal team to continue to fight this empty hoax. “

Trump could face additional trials next year. He said this week he received a letter notifying him that he was the subject of a separate Justice Department investigation into efforts to reverse the results of the 2020 presidential election, suggesting charges could be filed soon.

The targeted letter referred to several different statutes that Trump could be charged with violating, including conspiring to defraud the government, according to people familiar with the matter, who requested anonymity for the personal communication.

Trump’s new investigative attorney, John Lauro, told Fox News on Friday that prosecutors appear to be accusing Trump of “making any effort to sabotage” the counting of state electoral votes on Jan. 6, 2021, and of “whether he threatened anyone or stuffed a ballot.” He said Trump would not appear before a grand jury because he “did nothing wrong.”

“He hasn’t done anything criminal,” Lauro said. “And he claimed that as president of the United States, he had the right to hold these offices. When he saw all these election inconsistencies and misconduct going on, he did what the president was asked to do, because he took an oath to do just that.” Judges appointed by Trump and his own attorney general said there was no evidence of widespread misconduct that could have affected the outcome of the election.

Meanwhile, Georgia prosecutors are expected to announce charges in the coming weeks in an investigation into attempts by Trump and his allies to overturn votes in the state.

The trial against Cannon was scheduled to take place in federal court at Fort Pierce.

The case stems from 38 indictments filed last month by Justice Department Special Counsel Jack Smith, accusing President Trump of conspiring with his valet Walt Nauta to intentionally keep classified documents, including top-secret records, at the Mar-a-Lago mansion in Palm Beach and conceal them from investigators seeking their return.

Both Trump and Nauta have pleaded not guilty.


New York-based Associated Press reporter Jill Colvin and Michael R. Sisak contributed to the report. Florida judge sets trial date for Trump confidential documents case in May next year

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