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A federal judge in Florida has decided not to postpone the start of former President Donald Trump’s criminal trial concerning his handling of classified documents.
US District Judge Aileen Cannon rejected Trump’s legal team’s motion for a delay “without prejudice,” leaving open the possibility of revisiting this decision at a March 1 scheduling conference. This development represents a minor win for special counsel Jack Smith’s team, which opposed any delays, suspecting Trump aimed to push the trial past the 2024 presidential election, where he is a leading GOP contender.
Judge Cannon, who had previously seemed inclined to grant the delay due to the vast amount of evidence and Trump’s overlapping legal challenges, acknowledged the situation’s complexity. She pointed to the extensive discovery material, including 1.3 million pages and thousands of hours of security footage from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. “I am not quite seeing a level of understanding on your part to these realities,” Cannon told prosecutor Jay Bratt during the earlier arguments.
The trial for the classified documents case begins on May 20, following Trump’s DC-based trial for charges related to the 2020 election, which starts on March 4. Additionally, Trump faces a New York trial over a hush-money payment beginning March 25, and another trial linked to his actions in Georgia post-2020 election is yet to be scheduled.
In the Mar-a-Lago case, Trump faces charges under the Espionage Act for withholding presidential records and obstruction of justice charges for allegedly concealing them from prosecutors.