The judge signaled that he might delay Trump’s trial in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case

ft. Pierce, Florida

The federal judge overseeing Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago document-mishandling case has cast doubt on the credibility of holding a hearing in May 2024, signaling he may postpone criminal proceedings.

During Wednesday’s hearing in South Florida, U.S. District Judge Eileen Cannon raised concerns that the defense team may not be able to complete trial preparations between now and spring while dealing with other cases and a stacked trial schedule for Trump.

“It’s hard for me to see how this work can realistically be accomplished at this point,” Cannon said.

Cannon told Justice Department attorney Jay Pratt, who asked that the trial schedule be kept intact: “I don’t see your position in terms of understanding these facts.”

Cannon did not release the ruling in court on Wednesday.

In addition to questioning the defense team’s access to evidence in the case, Cannon repeatedly questioned whether the current trial schedule would unreasonably speed up Trump’s federal election interference trial set for March in Washington, DC.

Trump’s lawyers have repeatedly complained to a judge in the Mar-a-Lago criminal document-mishandling case that they do not have proper access to classified evidence in the case as they prepare for trial next May.

Those complaints have led to the Trump team asking Cannon The hearing should be adjourned “At least until mid-November 2024.”

“After a four-month delay, we have been permitted to review documents critical to certain serious criminal cases,” special counsel Jack Smith said in a filing, Trump’s attorneys wrote to the court two weeks ago.

Attorneys for Trump and his two co-defendants, Walt Nauta and Carlos de Oliveira, employees accused of helping to mislead federal officials, have long aimed to delay the criminal investigation and other investigations Trump faces before next year’s election. A presidential campaign, a busy court schedule and what they call the Justice Department’s “rush to trial.”

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Trump’s candidacy has been subject to classified records allegations, particularly because of the questions it raises — substantial ones. Known witnesses And also Audio source – About Trump’s casual handling of national security information that could be damaging to the United States if accessed at his club and his unwillingness to comply with presidential records regulations after he took office.

Cannon, a Trump appointee, has so far granted Trump’s team some of the concessions it sought in the documents probe.

Trump, Nauta and de Oliveira have pleaded not guilty.

The Office of Special Counsel is arguing with Cannon to set the dates. According to court filings, defense teams have accessed more than 1 million pages of information in the case.

In a filing last week, lawyers told Judge Trump’s team cried the wolf About their access to evidence in the case, including classified records. They’ve had access since early October, but the records have been available for more than a week at a secure facility in Miami.

Trump’s legal team has been reviewing and discussing classified evidence in Miami, most recently on Tuesday, when the former president joined his lawyers at SCIF in the afternoon, according to a source familiar with the matter.

About a month ago, Trump’s team again sought thousands of pages of evidence from the investigation that had already been given to them to see where, among other things, copies of classified documents were located in a box stored at Mar-a-Lago. The documents were “to identify where the pages were stored,” prosecutors said.

This story was updated with additional updates on Wednesday.

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