Trump's classified documents case may be over after shock ruling

 May 8, 2024

The judge in Donald Trump's classified documents case has delayed the criminal trial indefinitely, a decision seen by many as an effective deathblow to Jack Smith's plans to prosecute Joe Biden's rival before the 2024 election. 

In a shock ruling Tuesday, Florida Judge Aileen Cannon canceled a May 20 trial date and declined to set a new one.

The ruling created intense backlash among Trump's critics.

Documents case over?

In her brief ruling, Cannon said there are too many unresolved pre-trial issues to justify setting a date.

"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," she wrote.

The judge noted the "novel and difficult questions" in the case, which deals with sensitive classified evidence, and the need to ensure "the fair and efficient administration of justice."

"The Court therefore vacates the current May 20, 2024, trial date (and associated calendar call), to be reset by separate order following resolution of the matters before the Court, consistent with Defendants’ right to due process and the public’s interest in the fair and efficient administration of justice."

Trump gets the upper hand

Cannon's ruling led to fresh attacks on her from left-wing and anti-Trump commentators, who have long accused Cannon, a Trump appointee, of bias.

George Conway, the ex-husband of former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, said the outcome was predictable.

With the classified documents case potentially over, Trump is facing three other criminal trials, only one of which is likely to be resolved before the election: the ongoing "hush money" prosecution in New York.

The case is generally seen as the least serious one Trump is facing.

Smith is also pursuing Trump over January 6th, but the case is in limbo as the Supreme Court weighs Trump's immunity defense.

Trump scored another legal win Wednesday when an appeals court in Georgia agreed to review his push to disqualify prosecutor Fani Willis.

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