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Judge overseeing Trump documents case sets Aug. 14 trial date, but date is likely to change

Will Trump trial happen before 2024 election?
Will Trump classified document trial happen before 2024 election? 06:08

Washington — U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon has set an Aug. 14 start date for former President Donald Trump's trial in the case over his alleged mishandling of classified documents.

In a brief order issued Tuesday, Cannon said the criminal jury trial is set to take place over a two-week period beginning Aug. 14 at the federal district court in Fort Pierce, Florida. That date, however, is likely to change, as Trump's legal team files requests with the court that could result in the trial's delay.

The former president's lawyers are expected to file a motion to dismiss the case and could also seek to exclude evidence collected during the Justice Department's investigation. It's unclear, however, whether those efforts will be successful. 

Cannon said in her order that any request to move the date of the trial must include details about the factors that constitute grounds for such action, and specifically noted the complexity of the case and the process to obtain security clearances. She set a July 24 deadline for Trump's lawyers and federal prosecutors to submit pre-trial motions. 

Trump is facing 37 federal felony counts relating to his handling of sensitive government documents that were recovered from his South Florida property, Mar-a-Lago, after he left the White House in January 2021. He pleaded not guilty to all counts at his arraignment last week and was released on his own recognizance.

Trump's attorney did not immediately respond to request for comment. 

The Justice Department's case against Trump is unprecedented, as it marks the first time federal charges have been brought against a former president. The indictment, which was returned by a federal grand jury earlier this month, stems from special counsel Jack Smith's investigation into Trump's alleged mishandling of classified documents.

The indictment charged Trump with 31 counts of willful retention of classified documents and one count each of conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a document or record, corruptly concealing a document or record, concealing a document in a federal investigation, scheme to conceal and making false statements and representations.

The former president is accused of holding on to 31 government documents relating to the national defense, nearly all of which had top secret or secret classification markings. According to the indictment, the records related to U.S. nuclear weaponry and military planning, as well as the military capabilities of other countries. 

The 31 sensitive records were retrieved by federal officials on either June 3, 2022, when Trump's representatives turned them over in response to a grand jury subpoena, or Aug. 8, 2022, when the FBI executed a court-authorized search warrant at Mar-a-Lago.

Walt Nauta, an aide to Trump who served as a White House valet, was named as a co-conspirator.

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