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By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent @StacyBrownMedia
Published: 20 June 2023

In a move that reflects a determination to avoid any accusations of delay or sluggishness, Federal Judge Aileen M. Cannon, overseeing the prosecution of former President Donald J. Trump in the classified documents case, announced an ambitious timeline on Tuesday, with the trial set to commence as early as August 14.

Although the judge’s proposed timeline may face delays due to extensive pretrial litigation, particularly regarding handling classified material, her swift approach suggests a commitment to expediting the proceedings.

Due to Cannon’s relative inexperience as a judge, her earlier actions received much attention and criticism.

Legal authority

Last year, she disrupted the document investigation with several rulings in favor of the former president, only to have her decisions overturned by a conservative appeals court, which cited her lack of legitimate legal authority to intervene.

Brandon L. Van Grack, a former federal prosecutor with expertise in national security-related complex criminal cases, expressed doubt that the trial date would hold, given that the process of providing the defense with classified evidence during discovery has yet to commence.

Nevertheless, Van Grack told the New York Times that Judge Cannon appeared determined to move the case forward promptly.

“It signals that the court is at least trying to do everything it can to move the case along and that it’s important that the case proceed quickly,” Van Grack commented.

“Even though it’s unlikely to hold, it’s at least a positive signal – positive in the sense that all parties and the public should want this case to proceed as quickly as possible.”

Deadlines and location

In public statements following the recent indictment of Trump and his aide, Walt Nauta on 37 federal counts, two weeks ago in Miami’s Federal District Court, Special Counsel Jack Smith, who oversaw the investigation, emphasized his desire for a speedy trial.

The schedule outlined in Judge Cannon’s order aligns with that objective, requiring all pretrial motions to be filed by July 24.

The judge also ruled that the trial and all related hearings will be held in Fort Pierce, a small town in the northern region of the Southern District of Florida.

Trump’s arraignment took place at the federal courthouse in Miami.

This article was originally published on NNPA

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