Judge Aileen Cannon, who was randomly selected to preside over the prosecution of Donald Trump, ordered his trial to begin as soon as August 14, 2023.

Trump was indicted on 37 counts for willful retention of highly classified national security information, conspiracy to obstruct justice and falsifying statements to officials from the Department of Justice. Trump has been accused of taking 31 individual national defense documents and was arrested and arraigned last week at the Miami federal courthouse, where he pleaded not guilty on all counts.

Cannon, who was appointed by Trump, is being closely watched by officials and legal experts who do not believe her to be experienced enough to take on such a historic case. Her timeline is likely a signal to prosecutors that she will not draw out the proceedings.

Although the trial date is near, it will probably be delayed by the defense.

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Trump’s legal strategy has long been to drag his feet and extend pretrial motions, ultimately making charges against him seem un-newsworthy or illegitimate.

His lawyers are expected to employ a number of legal tactics that will aim to discredit the investigation into his mishandling of documents, which was led by Special Counsel Jack Smith. They will likely claim that Trump is being selectively prosecuted and will seek to bury evidence that would be particularly incriminating.

It is possible that the team could drag the trial out past the 2024 presidential election, in which Trump is currently the leading Republican candidate. Should he win, Trump may be able to pardon himself or direct an attorney general to drop the charges against him.

Aside from Trump’s attempts to prolong the case, all parties will have to decide how to handle the classified evidence that prosecutors will try to use against the former president. The documents he retained hold national defense information and therefore cannot be used in court without first determining how to maintain their confidentiality.

Cannon has requested that all pretrial motions be filed before July 24, although this deadline will most likely be extended.

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