CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Federal judge indefinitely postpones Trump classified documents trial

May 8, 2024, 6:33 AM | Updated: 7:01 am

Donald Trump classified documents...

Former President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference held at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida on February 08. (Mandatory Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images/File via CNN Newsource)

(Mandatory Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images/File via CNN Newsource)

In an order Tuesday, Cannon cancelled the May trial date and did not set a new date. While Trump was in criminal court Tuesday for his hush money trial in New York, Cannon’s move means there are no trial dates currently set for the other three criminal cases against him.

By indefinitely postponing the classified documents trial, Cannon’s order pushes it closer to the 2024 election – and potentially afterward.

LISTEN: Analysis, Hope Hicks, ex-Trump adviser, in court Friday

The judge’s new schedule lays out all the legal disputes that Cannon must decide before a jury could hear the case. Cannon said that process will take at least until late July of this year.

Cannon noted in her Tuesday order that there are eight substantive pending motions she has yet to decide. She also reiterated that she believes the national security mishandling allegations in the case “present novel and difficult questions.”

Though all parties agreed that the case wouldn’t be ready to go before a jury in May, prosecutors still pushed for a July trial date, while Trump and his co-defendants proposed dates in August and September. Although Trump’s attorneys have continuously asserted in court filings that a pre-election trial would be “unfair.”

The further delayed trial also could put Trump’s two federal cases on a collision course.

In Washington, DC, the former president is charged with alleged crimes he committed during his presidency to reverse the 2020 election results. That case, also brought by special counsel Jack Smith’s team, has been on pause while the Supreme Court considers Trump’s claims of sweeping immunity. A decision from the high court is expected by July.

Trump is charged in the Florida case with mishandling classified documents and with working with two co-defendants, Walt Nauta and Carlos De Oliveira, to obstruct the Justice Department’s investigation. All three have pleaded not guilty.

Cannon said in her new scheduling order that she will hold a hearing on what had been considered Trump’s longshot request for records from the Biden administration.

The hearing will start on June 24 and is scheduled to last three days.

The move by Cannon is a significant win for the presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee. The proceeding will give Trump and his attorneys a platform to air unfounded theories about the prosecution, including the accusation that it is politically motivated.

Attorneys for Smith have vehemently denied allegations of political bias and opposed the move to hold the hearing as unnecessary and unjustified.

Cannon also scheduled a June 21 hearing on Trump’s claims that Smith was unlawfully appointed.

In his bid for records from the Biden administration, Trump has argued that he is entitled to a broad swath of records from various federal agencies, including from President Joe Biden’s White House, because Trump claims those agencies are effectively part of the prosecution team.

Smith’s office countered that Trump’s theories were “baseless,” that the discovery request was “frivolous,” and that the defense lawyers’ arguments had fallen well short of the high threshold for holding such a proceeding.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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Federal judge indefinitely postpones Trump classified documents trial