The battle of Trump trial dates is an interesting sideshow during the unprecedented slate of political prosecutions of a former U.S. president during an election campaign.
In a new order, U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon rescheduled the pretrial deadlines for one of the two cases in which former President Donald Trump is being prosecuted by Special Counsel Jack Smith.
Regarding the case involving classified-marked documents retained by the former president at Mar-a-Lago, Judge Cannon rendered a partial grant and partial denial of the defense’s petition to extend deadlines, which included the trial.
Judge Cannon stated that a postponement would “be considered at a scheduling conference on March 1, 2024″—exactly three days prior to the commencement of the trial in the other case that Smith is prosecuting in Washington—while rejecting the motion to alter the trial date.
In reference to the “high volume” of classified discovery, the judge found “it most prudent, given the evolving complexities in this matter, to adjust the first batch of pre-trial deadlines.”
Furthermore, she stated that she was unable to “ignore the realities” of the defendant, President Trump, being confronted with multiple trial schedules.
The order establishes additional discovery deadlines, such as a joint discovery status report on January 9, 2024, and a pretrial motions deadline on February 22, 2024. These are the final deadlines prior to a hearing on March 1, 2024, during which the remainder of the trial schedule will be determined.
According to NYU law professor Andrew Weissmann, Mueller’s “pit bull” during the Russia collusion investigation, Judge Aileen Cannon’s decision to keep the classified document trial dates as they stand, despite Donald Trump’s rescheduling request, could be “an attempt to cause problems for the Georgia prosecutor who has charged the former president with trying to overturn the 2020 election.”
This doesn't change my opinion of Cannon one iota; by allowing Trump to later move to delay the trial, but keeping the date for now, she is blocking Fani Willis from scheduling her trial on the current FLA date. And Cannon has substantially delayed the dates for all FLA filings. https://t.co/A4i1DhXwHm
— Andrew Weissmann (weissmann11 on Threads)🌻 (@AWeissmann_) November 10, 2023
“This doesn’t change my opinion of Cannon one iota; by allowing Trump to later move to delay the trial, but keeping the date for now, she is blocking Fani Willis from scheduling her trial on the current FLA date. And Cannon has substantially delayed the dates for all FLA filings,” Weissmann opined.
Podcaster Tom Joseph also weighed in on the subject with invective against Judge Cannon.
“Corrupt Judge Cannon will delay Trump’s May 20 classified documents trial to protect him, except he has a problem,” he explained.
“If she delays the docs trial too much, it open a window for Fani Willis to bring her RICO trial of Trump. Trump needs Cannon to incrementally block Willis.”
One can sense the frustration in such legal commentary, since the political prosecutions of Donald Trump have provoked accusations that they are motivated by an ‘election interference’ agenda.
Judge Cannon is the one judge that has attempted to be judicious in the handling of a prosecution against a former president, according to legal commentator Julie Kelly.
Kelly also pointed out that the classified documents case is getting so dicey for the prosecution that Special Counsel Jack Smith may be trying to get it dismissed.
As I reported previously–just reiterated by Judge Cannon–Jack Smith wants to keep some alleged classified material away from Donald Trump–records created during his own presidency.
Cannon understands this is unchartered territory and will be subject of extensive litigition pic.twitter.com/uZ00KEmteY
— Julie Kelly 🇺🇸 (@julie_kelly2) November 10, 2023
“As I reported previously–just reiterated by Judge Cannon–Jack Smith wants to keep some alleged classified material away from Donald Trump–records created during his own presidency,” Kelly noted. “Cannon understands this is unchartered territory and will be subject of extensive litigition.”
The balancing act between the multiple Trump prosecutions — and the jockeying between the prosecution teams to go with the case most likely to ‘stick’ — is resulting in a scheduling battle that is less about fairness than about interfering in the 2024 election.
Judge Cannon seems to be the only one willing to frustrate this blatant attempt to torpedo the 2024 election chances of the leading candidate former President Donald Trump.
This has undoubtedly made Judge Cannon the subject of vitriol and acrimony among those who want Trump’s 2024 re-election bid to be effectively ended before Election Day.
In an intriguing wrinkle to the Trump hearings, the former president’s legal defense is signaling it wants to allow cameras in the courtroom.
Trump’s attorneys, in a filing on Friday, argued in favor of allowing the media to give live coverage from within the courtroom in order to keep the American public from having to “rely on biased, secondhand accounts.”
“For the first time in American history, an incumbent administration has charged its main, leading electoral opponent with a criminal offense,” Trump’s attorneys wrote. “Aware that its charges are meritless, the prosecution has sought to proceed in secret, forcing the nation and the world to rely on biased, secondhand accounts coming from the Biden Administration and its media allies.”
“As a result, the citizens of our great country are unable to review for themselves what the facts of this case show, and how unfairly President Trump is being treated at the hands of his political opponent,” Trump’s attorneys continued. “As President Trump has made clear from the outset, the prosecution has repeatedly denied him his fundamental constitutional rights, including the right to prepare for trial and to present a fulsome defense.”
“The prosecution wishes to continue this travesty in darkness. President Trump calls for sunlight,” they added. “Every person in America, and beyond, should have the opportunity to study this case firsthand and watch as, if there is a trial, President Trump exonerates himself of these baseless and politically motivated charges.”