Judge Sets New Deadline In Classified Documents Case

The first step in the federal criminal trial against former President Donald Trump has been scheduled for August 14.

Earlier this week, federal Judge Aileen Cannon – who is overseeing the federal indictment brought against Trump over his handling of classified documents – announced that the preliminary court date in the trial will be in mid-August. 

Trump is facing 37 different federal felony counts related to him having classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. They were found during an August 2022 raid conducted by the FBI.

It’s widely expected that the legal team representing Trump will request a delay on that preliminary trial date. Trump is pushing forward with his 2024 campaign for president even though he is facing these 37 felony charges at the federal level, plus another 30-plus felony charges at the state level in New York for various business dealings.

Among the federal charges that Trump is facing are making false statements, conspiracy to obstruct justice and wilful retention of national defense information. The former president has already pleaded not guilty to all of those charges.

Not long before the announcement of the preliminary court date was made, Trump gave an interview to Bret Baier on Fox News, during which he defended the fact that he had those classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago residence. He also vowed that he would continue in his pursuit of the 2024 GOP nomination for president.

During that interview, Trump defended the fact that he was reluctant to turn over the documents that he had at his estate. When Baier pressed him on more details about the indictment, Trump took aim at the National Archives and Records Administration. 

He said:

“The only way NARA could ever get this stuff, this back would be [to say] please, please, please could we have it back.”

Baier responded that NARA did ask for the documents, but Trump said they were just talking, but they hadn’t asked.

Baier replied to that by saying:

“They said can you give the documents back and then they went to the DOJ to subpoena you to give the documents back.”

Trump said NARA had “never” taken such a course with any former president in relation to documents in the past. When Baier pressed Trump even further about why he didn’t just hand over the documents, the former president said:

“Because I had boxes. I want to go through the boxes and get my personal things out. I don’t want to hand that over to NARA yet. And I was very busy, as you’ve sort of seen.”

Trump’s first appearance in federal court in the classified documents case took place in early June at a federal courthouse in Miami. On that day, demonstrators who were both against and for Trump surrounded the courthouse as the proceedings were taking place inside.

There is surely going to be a lot of drama surrounding this trial, and even though the federal judge overseeing it has set the preliminary court date, it’s highly likely that the date will be pushed back beyond its mid-August date.