(RestoreAmericanGlory.com) – Donald Trump is set to face trial in May over accusations of amassing classified files at his Florida property.
Federal Judge Aileen Cannon declared that Trump’s trial is slated for May 20, 2024, in a county known for its Trump support, located north of where the said documents were supposedly kept. DOJ Special Counsel Jack Smith had pushed for the trial to commence in December 2023, while Trump’s defense wanted it scheduled after the November 2024 presidential election.
Charges against the former president include unlawful possession of confidential documents following his White House departure in January 2021 and hindering federal efforts to recover those documents from his Mar-a-Lago property in Florida. Trump has consistently refuted these allegations, often claiming that the current administration is using the FBI and DOJ to impede his potential 2024 presidential run, in which he is a leading contender for the Republican nomination.
The legal proceedings are set for Fort Pierce, Florida, a seaside city to the north of Palm Beach. The location, St. Lucie County, saw Trump garner 50.8 percent of the ballots in the 2020 presidential race, a narrow lead over Joe Biden’s 48.8 percent, as per the local election supervisor’s official records.
The 2020 election also saw Republicans dominating St. Lucie, securing positions including congressional representative, state senator, and several state representatives, a factor that might influence the jury selection.
In contrast, Trump’s popularity was lower in Palm Beach County, where the controversial documents were allegedly housed at his Mar-a-Lago club. Here, he secured only 43.2 percent of the vote versus Biden’s 55.9 percent.
Trump’s attorneys contended that holding the trial before November would result in unavoidable bias due to the upcoming 2024 presidential election’s media coverage.
Judge Cannon acknowledged this concern in her decision, indicating that it need not be considered “at this point.”
The case was marked as “complex” as per federal guidelines upon acceptance of submissions from Trump’s legal team, potentially indicating a protracted legal process. Trump’s persistent efforts to postpone all his ongoing criminal cases have led some to speculate that he might be seeking time to pardon himself should he win the presidency again.
In her decision, Judge Cannon mentioned that she hadn’t encountered any precedent where a court denied a complex case status under similar conditions. She anticipates additional discussions on the jury selection methodology.
The pretrial phase comprises multiple deadlines for submissions and other procedures, particularly for managing the substantial quantity of classified data. An initial examination of these confidential documents by the attorneys is scheduled at a provisional location, with a more permanent venue expected subsequently.
A set of pretrial hearings is anticipated on December 11, where Trump’s defense will seek dismissal of the charges and request the removal of Smith from the proceedings.
Per a Newsweek report, the authorities are organizing a secure facility at an undisclosed site in southern Florida for Trump’s legal team to scrutinize the classified materials allegedly retained at Mar-a-Lago.
Due to the highly sensitive nature of the documents, specialized messengers from intelligence agencies will be tasked with transporting the files to Trump’s legal representatives and subsequently returning them to their initial holdings. The preparation for this secure site was projected to be finalized recently, but its whereabouts remain confidential. It’s presumed that a federal security agent has confidentially notified Judge Cannon about the site’s location, as per the legal documents.
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