Donald Trump’s Florida trial for allegedly mishandling classified documents and obstructing government efforts to retrieve them has been pushed back indefinitely, U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon ruled Tuesday, increasing the chance that Trump’s New York criminal trial may be the only one to happen before the November election.

Trump Classified Documents

This image, contained in the indictment against former President Donald Trump, shows boxes of records stored in a bathroom and shower in the Lake Room at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla. Justice Department via AP

The judge had originally set the trial date for late May and heard arguments on March 1 about when the trial should be – with Trump’s lawyers pushing to start after the presidential election, in which he is the presumptive Republican nominee, or no earlier than August.

Prosecutors urged Cannon to pick a date in early July.

But in her ruling, the judge said there are too many complicated legal rules and deadlines surrounding the use of classified evidence in public criminal trials that need to be considered before she finalizes a court date. She said she would schedule the trial date at a future time.

Cases that involve classified documents have to follow the rules and legal proceedings defined under the Classified Information Procedures Act, or CIPA.

In her order Tuesday, Cannon set a number of new pre-trial deadlines that parties will have to meet. The latest deadline is a CIPA-related deadline for July 22 – which means the trial will not happen before then.


“The Court also determines that finalization of a trial date at this juncture-before resolution of the myriad and interconnected pre-trial and CIPA issues remaining and forthcoming-would be imprudent and inconsistent with the Court’s duty to fully and fairly consider the various pending pre-trial motions before the Court, critical CIPA issues, and additional pretrial and trial preparations necessary to present this case to a jury,” Cannon wrote.

Trump is the first former U.S. president to be charged with crimes. He faces four separate indictments as he campaigns for another term in the White House, an unprecedented test of the nation’s legal and political systems. The timing of each case – including a state trial in New York that began April 15 – has grown increasingly consequential as he draws closer to a general election rematch against President Biden. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

His D.C. federal trial for allegedly trying to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory is on hold while the Supreme Court weighs his claim that he is immune from prosecutions for actions he took as president. There is no trial date set yet in Georgia, where Trump is charged with a broad conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election results in that state.

In Florida, Trump is charged with dozens of counts of mishandling classified information after his presidency ended and plotting with two aides to obstruct government efforts to recover the material from Mar-a-Lago, his Palm Beach home and private club. He has filed multiple motions seeking to dismiss the charges on a variety of claims.

Prosecutors have accused Trump of taking hundreds of classified documents with him when he left the White House. The Washington Post has previously reported that some of the material was related to nuclear secrets, Iran’s missile program and U.S. intelligence efforts in China.

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