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U.S. judge sets mid-August date for Trump trial in classified documents case




Former President Donald Trump
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0.

Former President Donald Trump is set to face a jury trial on federal charges of mishandling classified information, after the Miami judge overseeing the case signed an order Tuesday scheduling the trial to begin Aug. 14.

U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon, whom Trump appointed to her seat on the federal bench in the Southern District of Florida, signed an order calling for the mid-August start date “or as soon thereafter as the case may be called.”

It will be the first time a former U.S. president is tried on criminal charges.

Delays in a trial date are not uncommon, and Cannon said Trump’s case, which is relatively complex and will require security clearances, could be pushed back.

All pre-trial motions must be filed by July 24, according to the order. The trial’s start date is subject to change, and Cannon scheduled a calendar call for the parties to check in on Aug. 8.

The trial is expected to take two weeks, she wrote. If the schedule holds, Trump’s trial would likely end well before the Republican presidential caucuses and primaries, in which polls show Trump is the leading candidate.

Cannon’s order also means the federal trial could occur before Trump’s separate New York state trial for felony business fraud, even though a New York state grand jury indicted Trump three months before the federal indictment was unsealed.

The state trial, in which Trump is accused of illegally using campaign money in 2016 to pay hush money to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, is expected to begin in March.

The South Florida federal district has a reputation in legal circles as a “rocket docket” where cases are quickly adjudicated. Special Counsel Jack Smith, who is prosecuting the case for the U.S. Justice Department, said earlier this month he would push for a speedy trial.

A 37-count indictment unsealed June 9 accuses Trump of scheming with an aide to keep possession of top secret and other sensitive documents after he left the White House. The former president kept dozens of boxes of sensitive material unsecured in his South Florida estate and club, showed documents to people without security clearance and concealed from even his own lawyers how many documents he had, according to the indictment.

Trump has pleaded not guilty in both cases and has denied even having an affair with Daniels.

This story was republished from the Ohio Capital Journal under a Creative Commons license.

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