May 8, 2024


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Federal judge postpones Trump’s classified records trial with no new date

Former President Trump’s classified records trial stemming from Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation has been postponed with no new date, Fox News has learned.

The trial was set to begin on May 20, but Judge Aileen Cannon of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida postponed that date to Tuesday.

In a filing Tuesday, Cannon said that due to the ‘myriad and interconnected pre-trial’ issues ‘remaining and forthcoming,’ it would be ‘imprudent and inconsistent with the Court’s duty to fully and fairly consider the various pending pre-trial motions.’

‘The Court therefore vacates the current May 20, 2024, trial date (and associated calendar call), to be reset by separate order following resolution of the matters before the Court, consistent with Defendants’ right to due process and the public’s interest in the fair and efficient administration of justice,’ Cannon wrote.

In the filing, Cannon listed the dates of pre-trial deadlines to manage ‘pending discovery and disclosure matters’ and to ‘adjudicate pre-trial motions before the Court.’

Cannon scheduled a hearing on May 8, a hearing on May 20 and a nonevidentiary hearing for defendant Waltine Nauta’s motion to dismiss on May 22.

Cannon also scheduled deadlines for reports on May 31, June 10, June 17 and another nonevidentiary hearing on a motion to dismiss on June 21, ‘based on unlawful appointment and funding of special counsel.’ 

The judge also said an additional hearing would take place from June 24 to June 26 and set deadlines for disclosures from the special counsel for early July and the defendants’ speedy trial report for July 19 – the final day of the Republican National Convention.

Cannon scheduled a status conference for July 22 and another hearing for later that day.

Cannon did not schedule a new trial date.

Trump was charged out of Smith’s investigation into his retention of classified materials. Trump pleaded not guilty to all 37 felony charges from Smith’s probe, including willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and false statements.

Trump was also charged with an additional three counts as part of a superseding indictment out of the investigation: an additional count of willful retention of national defense information and two additional obstruction counts.

Trump pleaded not guilty.

The move to indefinitely postpone the trial comes after Cannon unsealed a slew of documents related to the FBI’s investigation into the former president and the FBI’s raid on his Mar-a-Lago, Florida, estate in 2022.

The documents provided a detailed look into the personnel involved in the raid on Mar-a-Lago and a play-by-play timeline of the raid. One of the documents is an FBI file that suggests the agency’s investigation into Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents was dubbed ‘Plasmic Echo.’

Another unsealed FBI memo memorialized the role of Attorney General Merrick Garland in the investigation.

In a document dated March 30, 2022, Garland provided his approval to allow the investigation into Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents to upgrade to a ‘full investigation.’

‘This email conveys Department of Justice (DOJ) Attorney General (AG) [Merrick Garland] approval for conversion to a full investigation,’ a synopsis of the restricted document reads.

Also, last week, Smith and federal prosecutors admitted in a court filing that documents seized during the raid on Mar-a-Lago are no longer in their original order and sequence.

‘There are some boxes where the order of items within that box is not the same as in the associated scans,’ Smith’s filing states.  

The prosecutors had previously told the court that the documents were ‘in their original, intact form as seized.’ 

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan is investigating whether that evidence was ‘altered or manipulated.’

Smith also charged Trump in a separate jurisdiction – in Washington, D.C. – out of his investigation into election interference and Jan. 6. Trump pleaded not guilty to those charges as well.

That trial is also postponed indefinitely. The Supreme Court is considering arguments on presidential immunity and whether Trump is immune from prosecution in Smith’s case.

The high court is expected to rule on the matter by mid-June.

Fox News’ Jake Gibson contributed to this report.

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