Special Counsel Requests Trial Date in Classified Documents Case

By Jerry McConway, updated on March 1, 2024

Donald Trump is about to find out if the judge he appointed to the bench, Judge Aileen Cannon, will take the election into account in his trial regarding the alleged mishandling of classified documents.

The case was initially slated to start in May, but due to numerous motions being filed and litigated, they now have to pick a new starting date.

Talking Points…
- Jack Smith files a new date
- Trump counters
- Analysis

Jack Smith Files for New Trial Date

Had this been a close race, the initial trial date of May 20 would have been a significant problem for Trump, as it was just ahead of the three primaries that would have decided the race. That, obviously, is no longer a problem.

Jack Smith, however, has managed to create a new problem for Trump with his requested trial date of July 8. It just so happens that the Republican National Convention begins on July 15 in Wisconsin. The point is, if Smith gets his trial date on the 8th, Trump will not be able to attend the convention where the nominee will be named unless he flies back and forth from Wisconsin and Florida every day.

Trump Counters with August Trial Date

After Smith made his filing, the Trump Defense team countered with an August 12 start date. His Defense team also tried to make the argument that this entire case is unconstitutional, stating:

"As the leading candidate in the 2024 election, President Trump strongly asserts that a fair trial cannot be conducted this year in a manner consistent with the Constitution."

If Trump can get his date rather than Smith's, this could lead to a verdict coming down after the election. There are stacks of evidence in this case, so it is reasonable to assume the case will take approximately a month to pan out, possibly longer.

Then, once the case is done, Judge Cannon will set a date for closing arguments. Once arguments are heard, the case will go to the jury, and who knows how long that will take, especially if there are a few Trump friends who refuse to convict the former president. If there is a guilty verdict, the court will be recessed until Cannon decides on a sentencing hearing.

Analysis

That month may not seem like a lot, but that could be the difference in a verdict coming down before the general election or after.

In the last polling I saw, Trump loses roughly 30% of his support among voters if he is convicted, slightly more if he is sentenced to prison, so this is a big deal, especially because Smith has been very sly with these charges, making it difficult for Trump to get a clean sweep in the case.

Judge Cannon has previously dismissed the idea that this trial needs to be pushed back beyond the election, but she has ruled in Trump's favor on other issues, so she may just split the difference in this case and have a late July or early August start date. More important for Trump, in this particular case, is to be able to attend the Convention.

About Jerry McConway

Jerry McConway is an independent political author and investigator who lives in Dallas, Texas. He has spent years building a strong following of readers who know that he will write what he believes is true, even if it means criticizing politicians his followers support. His readers have come to expect his integrity.

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