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Former President Donald Trump prepares to speak at the Trump National Golf Club on June 13, 2023 in Bedminster, New Jersey.
A federal judge on Friday ordered a trial in the classified documents case brought against former President Donald Trump by special counsel Jack Smith to begin in mid-May 2024.
A two-week trial will begin May 20, U.S. District Judge Eileen Cannon said.
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. That would be a rebuke to Trump and his legal team, who wanted to delay the trial until after the general election in November 2024.
However, Cannon’s order also means the case will unfold at a slower pace than Smith’s team had proposed when it recommended a faster deadline for the trial to begin in mid-December this year. Such a schedule test would 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.
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.”
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
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