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Trump trial postponed indefinitely

There are too many unresolved issues in the classified documents case, District Judge Aileen Cannon has ruled

A US federal judge has indefinitely postponed the trial in a case against Republican presidential front runner and ex-president Donald Trump, in which he is accused of mishandling classified documents.

In the summer of 2022, FBI agents raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence and private club, recovering hundreds of classified documents. The Washington Post reported in September of the same year that some materials related to US nuclear secrets, Iran’s missile program, and Washington’s intelligence activities in China.

A year later, Trump was indicted by a federal grand jury in Miami, Florida. The former president has pleaded not guilty.

The trial was initially set to begin on May 20, 2024. However, in a ruling on Tuesday, US District Judge Aileen Cannon reset the date for trial, arguing that there were eight substantive pending motions on which she has yet to decide. The judge also said she believed the national security mishandling allegations to “present novel and difficult questions.”

Cannon said that the finalization of a trial date at this point “would be imprudent and inconsistent with the court’s duty to fully and fairly consider” numerous issues in the case, noting that “additional pretrial and trial preparations [are] necessary to present this case to a jury.”

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Trump’s legal team had previously argued that holding the trial too close to the election, which is scheduled for November, could lead to election interference. 

With the new ruling, it is unclear whether the trial will start before the election, in which Trump is almost certain to face a rematch with US President Joe Biden. The Washington Post noted that, if the GOP frontrunner were to win the election, he could appoint an attorney general who would drop the federal charges against him. The Justice Department also has a long-standing policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted.

Trump, who is the first former president in US history to face criminal charges, is also fighting several other legal battles. These include a case related to an alleged hush-money payment to an adult-film actress, and alleged efforts by Trump to illegally overturn the 2020 election result. He has denied all charges.

 

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