Judge Ponders Delay of Trump Documents Trial

Judge Aileen Cannon to set new schedule, which could push trial until after 2024 election
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2023 6:28 AM CDT
Judge Ponders Delay of Trump Documents Trial
Former President Trump smiles as he arrives at a commit to caucus rally, Monday, Oct. 16, 2023, in Adel, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

A federal judge in Florida on Wednesday raised the possibility of delaying former President Trump's classified documents trial until after the 2024 presidential election, when Trump might be able to escape the charges altogether. US District Court Judge Aileen Cannon initially set a trial date of May 20, but that was before Trump was indicted in the federal election interference case. That case, with a trial to begin March 4 and last several months, has "completely disrupted everything about the schedule your honor set," Trump lawyer Todd Blanche told Cannon at a hearing, per Politico. Cannon noted the schedule is now unrealistic because of issues related to the case's sensitive documents, including with security clearances for some Trump lawyers, per ABC News.

"I'm just having a hard time seeing how realistically this work can be accomplished in this compressed period of time, given the realities that we're facing," she said. She didn't outright say she would delay the trial but confirmed she would make "reasonable adjustments" to the schedule. This "could have a domino effect of delaying the entire trial schedule," per the Washington Post. Trump's lawyers are pushing for a delay on the argument that they can't work two cases at the same time. "It's very difficult to be trying to work with a client in one trial and simultaneously try to prepare that client for another trial," said lawyer Chris Kise, who phoned into the hearing from a New York courthouse where Trump is battling a civil fraud case, per Politico.

Prosecutors have requested no change to the trial date. "The court should not let the DC case drive the schedule here," Jay Bratt, head of Justice Department's counterintelligence division, told Cannon, per ABC, adding the goal of the Trump team in both cases is "to delay it as long as they can." (The defense suggested it would take 10 years to review the "voluminous" evidence provided by the government.) There are concerns that Trump, who's again seeking the Republican presidential nomination, could interfere in pending federal cases against him if he returns to the presidency. "He could appoint an attorney general willing to drop the charges, or he could even attempt to pardon himself," per Politico. Cannon said she'd set a new schedule "as soon as possible." (More Donald Trump stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.