Trump classified documents: Judge, lawyers to discuss trial date, rules for handling sensitive papers

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, who is scheduled Tuesday to discuss a roadmap with the prosecution and defense for handling papers in Donald Trump’s classified documents case, also expects both sides to be prepared to discuss the government’s proposal to start the trial in December.

In a paperless order posted in the case docket Monday afternoon, Cannon advised the lawyers to be “prepared to discuss the Government’s motion” to set Dec. 11 as the starting date. She also wants a dialogue about the prosecution team’s proposed schedule of pretrial hearings between now and then.

Cannon has set a preliminary trial date for Aug. 14, a routine action designed to comport with the defendants’ speedy trial rights under the law. But Trump’s lawyers emphatically declared in a filing last week that they are seeking anything but a speedy trial.

Instead, in a response to the government’s proposed trial schedule, the defense suggested an open-ended timetable, citing among other things the 2024 presidential election, in which Trump is seeking a second term in the White House. The defense also said it needed more time to get up to speed for reviewing the classified documents and other evidence the government is putting into play.

Tight restrictions

CIPA allows a judge to bar the entry of classified papers into evidence or to approve summaries or redacted documents for a jury’s review. The law was designed, legal experts say, to avoid “graymail,” the threat of revealing national secrets as way to manipulate legal proceedings.

Ahead of trial. government a lawyers can ask the court to limit the evidence they offer to the defense. In turn, defense lawyers must inform the government and judge what it wants introduced on their clients’ behalf.

The process and timetable for doing that are the types of topics that were expected to be discussed Tuesday in Cannon’s courtroom  in Fort Pierce.

This is a developing story, so check back for updates. Click here to have breaking news alerts sent directly to your inbox.

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