After pushing back deadlines in Trump’s Mar-a-Lago prosecution, and leaving room for more delays, the judge in the case is complaining that the former president doesn’t have enough time to prepare for trial.
Per reports from the courthouse, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon for the Southern District of Florida appeared set, following a Wednesday hearing, to further delay Trump’s trial on charges that he retained national defense information at Mar-a-Lago.
Per the Washington Post, Cannon said at the hearing that she was “having a hard time seeing how this work can be accomplished in this compressed time frame.”
Cannon had set a May 2024 trial date for the case, 11 weeks after Trump’s Jan. 6 trial in D.C. is set to begin. Special Counsel Jack Smith has said in filings that he expects to try his case in six weeks.
In spite of that, Cannon reportedly worried at the hearing that the Jan. 6 case would “collide” with the Mar-a-Lago prosecution. Trump’s attorneys have argued at every turn that they’re deprived of the ability to properly defend their client, and need more time. Cannon appears to have used the D.C. prosecution to buttress that argument.
Trump has sought to use delay as his main tactic to defend himself against the two federal cases brought by Smith this year. If he defeats Joe Biden in the presidential election next year, Trump could immediately extinguish both prosecutions.
Cannon has taken her time over the past several months. She gave both parties one month to present arguments over a classified information protective order, a step which typically lasts around one week.
And as Trump’s lawyers have continued to petition her for more delays, Cannon has so far obliged them at least in giving time to consider their arguments while eliding her own role in squeezing the time which lawyers have to prepare in the case.
Trump attorney Todd Blanche reportedly spent around an hour of the two-hour hearing discussing how “voluminous” evidence in the case was while complaining that the Jan. 6 case – which was indicted after the Mar-a-Lago case – had completely changed the task before him.
Federal prosecutor Jay Bratt reportedly suggested to Cannon that changing the Mar-a-Lago trial date based on the Jan. 6 case wouldn’t make sense, in part because the DC dates could also shift.
To that, Cannon purportedly replied: “I’m not quite seeing in your position a level of understanding to these realities.”
Cannon promised a ruling on the schedule soon.