The federal government on Friday ordered a hearing in the classified documents case brought against former President Donald Trump by special counsel Jack Smith. Commencing in May 2024.
U.S. District Judge Eileen Cannon said the trial will begin on May 20. A preliminary hearing in the case will be held on May 14.
If that deadline holds, the test will fall deep into the race for the White House in 2024, which will come amid several GOP presidential primaries. It will be A scolding To Trump and his legal team, He wanted to adjourn the trial Until the general election in November 2024.
However, Cannon’s order means the case will unfold at a much slower pace than Smith’s team proposed, which suggested a faster timeline to begin with. The trial was held in mid-December this year. Such a schedule test could end before primary voting takes place in the 2024 election, when Trump is the front-runner for the GOP.
Most state primaries will end in mid-May, though Nebraska, Maryland and West Virginia have scheduled primaries for May 14. Oregon votes next week and a handful of states, including New Jersey, are now scheduled to vote on June 4. Trump won the election on July 20, when he was running for his first presidential term. GOP convention in Cleveland.
Although the nomination process will be decided by May, there are plenty of examples in recent history of the race being a proxy fight until early summer.
A Trump adviser told CNN that now that the trial date is set for the middle of the primary season, they hope to be able to delay the trial beyond the 2024 presidential election.
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Arguing for a trial date after the election, Trump’s lawyers said at Tuesday’s hearing that the public would consider the case “square” with the administration of Trump, his chief 2024 rival, President Joe Biden. Cannon made it clear that he was not interested in those arguments.
“Judge Cannon’s order today is a major setback to the DOJ’s crusade to deny President Trump due process of law. The detailed schedule allows President Trump and his legal team to continue to fight this empty hoax,” Trump spokesman Steven Cheung told CNN on Friday. “Crooked Joe Biden is trying to defeat and use his armed DOJ against his leading political rival – a disgraceful and American abuse of power. Crooked Joe will lose and President Trump will win back the White House for the American people.”
Trump and his aide Walt Nauta were indicted in June, accusing the former president of illegally retaining national security information and accusing both defendants of engaging in prohibited conduct. Both are innocent.
In his new order, Cannon cited the “overwhelming” amount of evidence prosecutors are turning over to the defense, as well as the complications it brings to the classified material actions at the heart of the case. He added that “the court will face an extensive pre-trial motion procedure involving a variety of legal and factual issues regarding the 38-count indictment.”
Still, he was unconvinced by the Trump team’s arguments that those issues justified holding off on setting a trial date altogether, writing that he “sees no sufficient basis on the record to delay the scheduling order.”
Under the schedule the judge issued Friday, briefings on how to handle the classified information in the case — some of which is held out of public view — will continue through late summer, into the fall and into next year. Arguments on other pre-trial issues will take place in the fall and winter. Any wrangling over what evidence will be shown to the jury will be resolved in the spring.
In an attempt to delay scheduling a trial date, Trump’s lawyers pointed to the busy calendar the former president faces in other cases brought against him.
In October 2023, Trump went to trial in New York to defend against the New York Attorney General’s civil suit alleging that he engaged in a $250 million fraud to obtain loans and insurance to inflate the values of his golf courses, hotels and properties. Trump, who has denied wrongdoing, is not required to appear at the hearing, but his lawyer has previously left the door open for him to be called to testify. Trump sat out a day-long vote earlier this year. Attorney General Trump seeks ban on doing business in New York
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Three months later, on January 15, 2024, former magazine columnist E. Trump is again a defendant against Jean Carroll. Trump was found guilty of sexual assault and defamation this spring and ordered to pay Carroll $5 million. His initial lawsuit, set for trial next year, seeks more than $10 million in damages.
On March 25, Trump faced a jury in a criminal case for the first time in a 34-count indictment charging him with falsifying business records.
Trump has accused the Manhattan District Attorney’s office of falsifying records to cover up payments to his former fixer Michael Cohen, who advanced hush-money to adult film actress Stormy Daniels to prevent him from going public about a past affair days before the 2016 presidential election. Trump has denied the affair and admitted to the allegations. The judge has warned Trump that he must appear every day of the trial and could bar him from campaigning for two weeks.
Correction: This story has been corrected to reflect that the Canon test date will begin on May 20 and begin within two weeks.
This story has been updated with additional reporting.