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Federal Prosecutors Seek July 8 Trial for Trump


Dueling Trial Date Proposals

WASHINGTON – Federal prosecutors are requesting a July 8 trial for former President Donald Trump on charges that he illegally retained and concealed classified documents. Defense lawyers, however, say no trial should be conducted this year but proposed Aug. 12 as an alternative possibility.

The dueling proposals were submitted Thursday ahead of a pivotal hearing in Florida at which the judge in the case, Aileen Cannon, is expected to set a trial date. The trial is currently set for May 20, but Cannon indicated months ago that she expected to revisit that date during Friday’s hearing.

Significance of Trial Date

The trial date in the classified documents prosecution has taken on added significance in light of the uncertainty surrounding a separate federal case in Washington charging Trump with scheming to overturn the 2020 presidential election. The Supreme Court said this week that it would hear arguments in late April on whether Trump as a former president is immune from prosecution, leaving it unclear whether that case might reach trial before the November election.

In their motion, defense lawyers made clear to Cannon their strong preference to avoid a trial in the current year while Trump — who faces four separate state and federal prosecutions — is campaigning for the Republican nomination for president.

Trump Team Strategy on Criminal Cases

A vital component of the Trump team’s strategy is aimed at delaying the former president’s criminal cases until after the election. The possibility that Trump may order the Justice Department to dismiss federal cases or pardon himself looms if he were to be elected as president once again.

2024 Election & Fair Trial Concerns

Positioned as a leading candidate in the upcoming 2024 election, President Trump’s defense lawyers maintain that a fair trial cannot be ensured this year in a manner consistent with constitutional rights. Citing the Sixth Amendment’s right to be present and participate in proceedings and the First Amendment’s protection of campaign speech for the American people, the defense argues for postponing the trial.

Trial Dates and Legal Maneuvers

While an alternative trial date of August 12 has been proposed by the defense post the Republican National Convention, they have also petitioned for a dismissal of the case altogether. This includes invoking an immunity argument that is soon to be deliberated by the Supreme Court.

Ongoing Legal Battles

Among the multiple criminal cases Trump is entangled in, the New York state prosecution charging him with falsifying business records related to hush money payments to a porn star appears to be the only one potentially proceeding to trial on March 25. On the other hand, a case brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis for allegedly scheming to subvert the presidential election in Georgia remains without a trial date.

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