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The federal judge presiding over former President Donald Trump’s classified documents case stunned the prosecution on Friday when she agreed to delay the trial, which is what his legal team has been pushing for.
U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon reportedly agreed to push back the May 2024 start date for Trump’s trial in a case brought by special counsel Jack Smith.
Investigative reporter Julie Kelly, who has been covering all of the pre-trial hearings in Miami, posted on X, “As expected, Judge Cannon will delay the trial schedule in Jack Smith’s classified documents case against Trump.”
On Friday, she posted from the court, stating that “pre-trial deadlines temporarily stayed pending order to follow.”
BREAKING: As expected, Judge Cannon will delay the trial schedule in Jack Smith’s classified documents case against Trump. Details to follow pic.twitter.com/NLuZjF7ckG
— Julie Kelly 🇺🇸 (@julie_kelly2) November 3, 2023
Kelly indicated on Wednesday that Cannon was leaning toward delaying the trial date.
“Just left classified docs case hearing in Judge Cannon courtroom,” she wrote. “She will consider a modified trial schedule given numerous issues including voluminous discovery, discovery delays, late delivery of secure location to review evidence and Trump’s conflicting trial schedules.”
Addressing the attorneys on both sides, Cannon said, “I’m just having a hard time seeing how realistically this work can be accomplished in this compressed period of time, given the realities that we’re facing,” according to Politico.
Trump’s lawyers have been pushing to have the trial start date moved beyond the 2024 election.
“Proceeding to trial during the pendency of a Presidential election cycle wherein opposing candidates are effectively (if not literally) directly adverse to one another in this action will create extraordinary challenges in the jury selection process and limit the Defendants’ ability to secure a fair and impartial adjudication,” the lawyers wrote in a July court filing.
Trump’s attorneys told Cannon on Wednesday that preparing for his alleged ‘election interference’ case, which is scheduled to begin in Washington, D.C., in March, would interfere in their preparation for the classified documents case.
Kelly added on the X platform regarding the expected trial delay: “You will see much caterwauling by corporate media types and usual suspects like [Andrew] Weissmann and [Barb] McQuade how Cannon is doing Trump’s bidding.”
“But the blame lies SOLELY at the feet of DOJ. Jack Smith brought 2 unprecedented federal cases against a former president within two months of each other,” she noted further.
“He asked for, and was granted, an expedited trial schedule in D.C. Judge [Tanya] Chutkan gave Trump 7 months to prepare for trial–the typical J6 case goes to trial over a year after indictment,” Kelly wrote.
Meanwhile, Smith appears to have hit a dead end in his election interference case against Trump, according to a report last week.
According to sources who spoke to The New York Times, Smith may be winding down his investigation into whether Trump’s campaign defrauded investors by making false election claims following the 2020 race against now-President Joe Biden.
Smith’s team has “quietly withdrawn a subpoena seeking records from” Trump’s 2020 campaign “as part of their investigation into whether Mr. Trump’s political and fund-raising operations committed any crimes as he sought to stay in power after he lost the election,” two sources told the Times.
Continuing, the Times noted, “The office of the special counsel, Jack Smith, decided this week to effectively kill the subpoena to the Trump campaign following the withdrawal of a similar subpoena to Save America, the political action committee that Mr. Trump’s aides formed shortly after he lost the race in 2020.”
The outlet noted further that rescinding subpoenas issued to Donald J. Trump for President Inc. and the Save America PAC suggests that Smith’s office is either winding down or ending that part of his investigation into whether the then-president broke any laws by claiming the 2020 election was stolen from him in order to raise funds.
“Trump’s team has long maintained that the financial inquiry by Mr. Smith’s office would struggle to yield any charges. Political fund-raising materials often engage in bombast or exaggeration, and a fine line exists between criminal behavior and solicitations protected by the First Amendment,” The Times noted.