WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge in Florida declined for now to postpone former President Donald Trump’s classified documents trial but did push back several pre-trial deadlines in the case.
The ruling from U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon is at least a modest victory for special counsel Jack Smith’s team, which had vigorously rejected efforts to push off the trial beyond its scheduled start date of May 20, 2024.
The case includes dozens of felony charges accusing the Republican former president of illegally retaining classified documents at his Palm Beach estate, Mar-a-Lago, and hiding them from government investigators.
The decision from Cannon is notable given that she had signaled during a hearing this month that she was open to pushing back the trial date, pointing to the other trials Trump faces as well as the mounds of evidence that defense lawyers need to review. Trump’s lawyers had complained about the burden of scouring more than 1 million pages of evidence that prosecutors have produced. Prosecutors had resisted any effort to delay, saying they’d already taken steps to make the evidence easier for the defense to review.
Trump is currently set for trial on March 4, 2024, in Washington on federal charges that he plotted to overturn the 2020 presidential election, which he lost to Democrat Joe Biden. He also faces charges in Georgia accusing him of trying to subvert that state’s vote, as well as another state case in New York accusing him of falsifying business records in connection with hush money payments to porn actor Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election.
In addition, Trump has been sued in a business fraud case in New York, where a trial is taking place. Trump has denied wrongdoing in all of the cases, claiming without evidence that they are part of a politically motivated effort to prevent him from returning to the White House.