The judge overseeing Donald Trump’s indictment for allegedly mishandling classified documents said Friday she would give the former president more time to review evidence before the May trial date, but also signaled she could decide next year if the trial itself should be pushed back.
In a nine-page order, U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon said she would revisit Trump’s request to delay the trial in South Florida at a scheduling conference in March.
Cannon held a hearing earlier this month to decide whether the timetable she set should remain or whether she should push it back.
Prosecutors have argued to stick to the schedule she set earlier this year, which includes a trial in May 2024. Lawyers for the former president insisted they needed more time to prepare and said it wasn’t plausible to expect them to prepare for this trial and a separate federal trial against Trump in D.C., which is set to begin in March.
“Turning to the substance of discovery, the record as it has developed in this case reflects an unusually high volume of unclassified and classified discovery,” Cannon wrote in her order Friday, saying that she expects a significant amount of legal fights surrounding the highly sensitive evidence at issue in the case.
“Without expressing any view on the merits of those anticipated motions, it is evident that the parties are at odds on significant issues related to the scope of discoverable information in this case, and that such disagreements will require substantial judicial intervention,” Cannon wrote.
Trump is charged in Florida with dozens of counts of mishandling classified information and plotting with two aides to obstruct government efforts to recover hundreds of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, his Palm Beach home and private club, after his presidency ended. He has pleaded not guilty.
The judge also noted the complexity of the Florida case is only further complicated by the federal charges of obstructing the 2020 election — the case that is currently scheduled to go to trial in March in Washington. Trump has also pleaded not guilty in that case.
Cannon wrote that the demands on Trump’s legal team to prepare for one trial while conducting another could also ultimately affect the Florida trial schedule.
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