Judge Delays Trump Documents Trial, Won’t Set New Date

Judge Delays Trump Documents Trial, Won’t Set New Date
Former President Donald Trump walks to speak to the press at the end of the day of his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments linked to extramarital affairs, at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City, on May 7, 2024. (Win McNamee/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon on May 7 reset deadlines in the case special counsel Jack Smith is prosecuting against former President Donald Trump, blowing past the original May 20 trial date with pretrial deadlines running through July.

Judge Cannon did not set a new trial date in the order, finding it premature.

The judge had signaled this possibility earlier in the year, referencing the amount of litigation around what classified information will be used in the case. Such litigation will continue through July 22 according to the judge’s new calendar, which lists several major hearings.

President Trump was charged with 40 counts related to allegedly mishandling classified information. His valet Walt Nauta and Mar-a-Lago property manager Carlos De Oliveira were charged alongside him as codefendants.

Adding to the classified information issues, President Trump is currently on trial in New York where prosecutors estimate needing up to three more weeks to present their case, and he is required to be present during the trial. If defense attorneys call additional witnesses, it may add to the trial length in New York.

Judge Cannon wrote that to set a date now before resolving the “myriad and interconnected pre-trial and CIPA [Classified Information Procedures Act] issues” would not be fair or prudent.

The judge still has before her several motions to dismiss charges or the indictment entirely, motions to unseal information the defendants argue are critical in the case, and ongoing discovery issues to resolve.

Judge Cannon revealed that there are eight substantive motions to rule on, two of which have not been publicly docketed, and “extensive” discovery issues.

Mr. Nauta and Mr. De Oliveira had demanded a speedy trial, which puts prosecutors and the court on a clock to bring the case to trial, and Judge Cannon said she has weighed the Speedy Trial Act against due process rights.

“Upon such review, the Court finds that the ends of justice served by this continuance, through the last deadline specified in this Order, July 22, 2024, outweigh the best interest of the public and Defendants in a speedy trial,” she wrote.

Possibly complicating matters is the prosecutors’ recent admission that the order of the documents in the boxes seized is not the same as the order of the scanned copies given to the defense, leading defendants to argue for additional discovery that could further move deadlines.

Major Hearings Scheduled

The judge had previously already scheduled a sealed May 8 hearing over grand jury matters, as defendants have requested some grand jury transcripts be made public. She has scheduled a deadline to resolve seal requests by May 20, the original trial date.

On May 22, the court will hold a hearing on Mr. Nauta’s motion to dismiss the indictment for selective and vindictive prosecution, a motion that was just recently unsealed. The judge will hear arguments on the defendants’ motion to dismiss the indictment for insufficient pleading on the same day.

On June 21, the court will hear arguments on whether the special counsel’s appointment was lawful. The argument that Mr. Smith’s office is unconstitutional is one that has been advanced by former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, in amicus briefs, in both cases Mr. Smith is prosecuting against President Trump. Defense attorneys in these cases have adopted these arguments to various degrees.

From June 24 to June 26, partial evidentiary hearings will be held regarding the defense’s motion to compel discovery from prosecutors, and the scope of what the prosecution is required to hand over.

Amici wishing to argue at any hearing have a June 3 deadline to request permission from the court.

Judge Cannon has set a July 22 status conference, after which a trial date is likely to emerge.

Major deadlines for disclosures have also been updated.

On May 31, parties are required to submit an update regarding discovery.

The defense’s original May 9 deadline to disclose what expert testimonies they will use regarding classified information was postponed a month, to June 10.

Defendants have a June 17 deadline to submit notice of all classified information they intend to disclose. Prosecutors have a July 9 deadline to supplement expert disclosures if necessary, and a July 10 deadline for reciprocal classified information discovery.

The judge noted that such a deadline would normally not be set until classified information disclosures by the defense are resolved, which is scheduled for a sealed July 22 hearing, but she has set one to accommodate the prosecutors’ requests.

Defendants were also given a July 19 deadline to submit a speedy trial report.

From The Epoch Times

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