Trump's classified docs trial delayed indefinitely by Judge Cannon

 May 8, 2024

A trial, which was originally scheduled for May 20, has been put on hold indefinitely by the judge presided over President Donald Trump's criminal case in Florida.

This is the case in which Trump is accused of hoarding classified information at his Mar-a-Lago estate following his presidency, as Politico reported.

This seems to indicate that the judge is losing some of his control over the president, due to a scheduling conflict with the other cases in which Trump is involved.

Given the complex pretrial disputes between special counsel Jack Smith and the attorneys for Trump, it was widely anticipated that the date would be rescheduled.

Smith's Hard Push

In spite of Smith's best efforts, Judge Aileen Cannon has made it clear that she will not be able to settle on a new trial date before the end of July, according to an order she issued on Tuesday afternoon.

The decision stated that Cannon, a judge appointed by Trump and who assumed her position in late 2020, plans to address the case's backlog of other matters before scheduling a fresh trial date.

Cannon has come under fire from Smith's legal team for what they perceive as an excessively slow handling of pretrial matters; meanwhile, tensions have been rising between the special counsel and the court due to a slew of perplexing rulings that have the potential to halt the case.

“[F]inalization of a trial date at this juncture — before resolution of the myriad and interconnected pre-trial and [classified evidence] issues … would be imprudent and inconsistent with the Court’s duty to fully and fairly consider the various pending pre-trial motions,” Cannon wrote in the five-page order.

The Need For a Hold

Given that Smith is already waiting for a decision on presidential immunity from the Supreme Court, which might decide the fate of his other case against Trump—charges in Washington D.C. for trying to undermine the 2020 election—this year, the reorganization just adds more uncertainty to the situation.

The third criminal case against Trump is for trial in Manhattan. He is accused of making false statements
regarding a hush money payment to a porn star.

Georgia has also filed criminal charges against him for allegedly trying to tamper with the state's 2020 election results.

Trump's Request

Trump has attempted to pause all of the criminal prosecutions until after the election this year. If he is successful, he has the power to dismiss Smith's two federal lawsuits and perhaps halt similar proceedings in Georgia and New York state.

Although Cannon's order does not explicitly rule out the potential of trying the classified materials case in 2024, the prospect is much diminished from what it was before, given the case's glacial advancement in recent months.

Judge Scott McAfee of Georgia's Fulton County Superior Court and U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan of Washington's Trump criminal cases will be able to plan their own trials this summer or fall thanks to Cannon's decision to postpone a final ruling. However, whether or not those two judges will have enough time to prepare their cases is debatable.

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