Updated Nov 1, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Florida judge signals she may delay timeline in Trump classified docs case

 Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during an event at Mar-a-Lago April 4, 2023 in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Former President Trump speaks during an event at Mar-a-Lago on April 4 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Florida judge overseeing former President Trump's classified documents trial signaled she might delay its timeline during a hearing Wednesday.

Why it matters: The classified documents trial is set to begin on May 20, as the GOP frontrunner faces other criminal and civil trials during a competitive election year.

  • The federal classified documents trial's current date falls less than two months before the start of the Republican National Convention in July.
  • Trump's legal team has repeatedly tried to delay it — a strategy applied to other cases until after the election.

Driving the news: Judge Aileen Cannon cited Wednesday the demands for Trump's legal team with handling his other cases, the Washington Post reports.

  • "I'm having a hard time seeing how this work can be accomplished in this compressed time frame," the Trump appointee said.
  • She reportedly noted the current date for Trump's federal 2020 election case, which is scheduled for March 4.

Zoom in: The Wednesday hearing largely centered on the Trump team's push for an extension in the case, arguing that they have been unable to access all of the classified material at the center of the case.

  • Trump's team has also argued that the current date clashes with Special Counsel Jack Smith's election interference case.
  • His lawyers said Smith's office "misled the Court this summer by contending that the unprecedented schedule it requested was workable."'

The other side: The government has rebuked Trump's argument, writing in a filing that they have "met and exceeded its discovery obligations to date and the discovery record provides no cause to delay these proceedings."

  • Prosecutor Jay Bratt argued on Wednesday the other cases' timelines could change, per the Post.

Between the lines: Trump's team has tried to delay proceedings in a number of his court cases, seeing the prospect of pushing proceedings until after the 2024 election as his best bet for avoiding prison time.

Zoom out: Trump, the 2024 Republican primary frontrunner, pleaded not guilty in June to 37 counts related to his post-presidency handling of classified documents.

  • Trump is a defendant in at least seven known cases, including four criminal cases and three civil cases.

Go deeper: Trump's courtroom calendar clashes with 2024 presidential election

Editor's note: This story and headline have been updated to reflect additional developments.

Editor's note: This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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