Trump gets trial date in classified documents case
A federal judge has set a trial date in the Department of Justice’s classified documents case against former President Donald Trump: Aug. 14, 2023, the Washington Post reports. In a court order filed Tuesday, Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon of the federal Southern District of Florida “asked lawyers on both sides to file any pretrial motions by July 24."
According to the Daily Beast, Cannon’s order was “a baffling turn of events,” noting the judge “created what’s referred to as a ‘rocket docket’ to speed [Trump’s] trial through the system.”
CNBC reports the federal Southern District of Florida is “known” for its rocket docket.
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Special counsel Jack Smith, who is investigating the former president, charged Trump with 37 counts relating to his illegal retention of 31 documents, including 2 counts of false statements and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice. As the Post notes, special counsel Smith "said he would push for a speedy trial” when he announced the charges against the former president.
Despite Judge Cannon’s order setting a trial in just 55 days, former Trump lawyer Tim Parlatore told Axios last week he “wouldn’t foresee this thing getting tried within a year.”
According to the Post, “legal experts have said Cannon’s lack of experience in trials related to national security could also slow down the proceedings.”
The Beast likewise reports that “legal scholars have noted [Cannon] is something of a loose cannon, consistently making puzzling decisions that lean heavily in favor of the president who appointed her in his final months in office.”
Daily Beast report Jose Pagliery writes that by setting the trial in two months “Judge Cannon appears to be doing Trump a favor: making the decisive legal battle early enough that it would not disrupt Trump’s 2024 run for president, which is expected to heat up later this year.”
Trump, for his part, has claimed he’s “an innocent man.” Last week, he pleaded “not guilty” to all 37 charges.
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