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Judge Cannon Reverses Prior Decision and Cancels Filing Deadline, Again Delaying the Start of Trump's Fort Pierce Classified Documents Case

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Fort Pierce - Tuesday May 7, 2024: Federal Court Judge Eileen Cannon Monday reversed herself again and agreed to a request from Trump's defense lawyers to postpone the deadline for the defense to submit a list of classified materials that they intend to introduce at the trial.

Last month she set a deadline of May 9th, which is this Thursday. However on Monday she issued a one line paperless order entered on the federal court's electronic record filing system. It says - "PAPERLESS ORDER temporarily staying CIPA § 5 and Rule 16 Expert Disclosure Deadlines 439 . Order setting second set of pretrial deadlines/hearings to follow. Signed by Judge Aileen M. Cannon on 5/6/2024. (jf01) (Entered: 05)."

Judge Canon provided no explanation for her ruling, and she did not set a new deadline for the defense to submit its list of classified materials. In addition, she has yet to set a date for the trial to start.

This latest delay in getting the trial started makes it increasingly likely that the documents trial may not finish, or even get started, until after the November election.

The Judge has also changed her mindon redacting some witness name, finally agreeing to allow that under heavy pressure from the prosecution. And she has backed off her initial order to allow the 'Presidential Records Act ' defense to be included in the jury instructions, which prompted a strong rebuke from Special Prosecutor Jack Smith.

Cannon, who was appointed to the federal bench by Trump, also faced blistering criticism at the start of proceedings, when she granted Trump's request in August 2022 for an independent arbiter, a Special Master, to review documents obtained during an FBI search of Mar-a-Lago. On December 1, 2022, her order was overturned by the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta. In a unanimous decision they concluded that Cannon “improperly exercised equitable jurisdiction.”

Trump is accused of illegally hoarding classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate and obstructing government efforts to retrieve them. He is facing 32 felony counts of willful retention of national defense information in violation of the Espionage Act, 6 felony counts of obstruction-related crimes; and 2 felony counts of false statements
under oath. A total of 40 felony charges. He has entered a plea of not guilty to all of the charges.