U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon for the Southern District of Florida set a preliminary trial date in the Trump Mar-a-Lago case for Aug. 14 in a Tuesday morning order.
The date is likely to be delayed as prosecutors and Trump’s defense wrangle over the mountains of classified material at issue in the case.
Judge Cannon faced incredulity after delaying the DOJ’s criminal investigation last year in response to a civil lawsuit that Trump filed seeking the same. She wrote in an opinion in that case that Trump’s status as a former President should confer special treatment on him.
But the August trial date at least suggests that Cannon, at this early stage in the matter, is sticking to normal procedures. Per the order, motions are due by July 24. She also moved the proceedings from federal court in Miami to Fort Pierce, where her chambers are located.
Special Counsel Jack Smith said after Trump’s indictment that he wanted a “speedy trial” for the case. Under the Speedy Trial Act of 1974, trials have to begin within 70 days from the date of indictment or arraignment, though that’s subject to exceptions.
Trump is expected to file a motion to dismiss the case, while attorneys experienced in prosecuting cases with classified material told TPM last week that the matters typically take more than a year to resolve. That’s partly because of the complexity involved in presenting evidence at trial which may also need to be declassified in order to be shared with jurors and defense attorneys.