Judge Aileen Cannon, who was randomly selected to preside over Donald Trump’s federal crime case, seemed skeptical of the former president’s request to delay the trial until after the 2024 presidential election.

Trump’s legal team filed a motion claiming that his candidacy in the election will make it impossible to assemble a fair jury for his classified documents case, in which he is being charged with willful retention of national security information and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

The first pretrial hearing for the case took place at the federal court in Fort Pierce, Florida on Tuesday. Cannon, a Trump-appointed judge, did not make a ruling but hinted at her position that the trial should begin in December, per Special Counsel Jack Smith’s request.

The hearing was meant to discuss how the classified documents will be handled as evidence. However, Cannon told both parties on Monday to prepare their proposals for when the trial should begin.

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Cannon initially scheduled the first hearing for August, but Smith argued that more time was needed to ensure that the classified evidence would be kept confidential.

“I can appreciate more time is necessary, but some dealings can be established now,” said Cannon.

Cannon is being closely watched by political experts and officials, who have argued that she is too inexperienced and biased to handle this unprecedented criminal case. Appearing unconvinced by Trump’s argument may be a tactic by the judge to establish herself as impartial.

The Department of Justice has also rejected Trump’s assertions that, as a former president and current presidential candidate, his trial should be conducted differently than most. His claims contradict generations of precedents that have ensured fair rulings, no matter the status of the defendant.

Tuesday’s hearing occurred hours after Trump received another target letter from Smith, this time notifying him that he is a suspect in a different investigation into the Capitol insurrection on January 6. Smith is expected to bring charges against Trump as early as this week, adding to the former president’s pile of criminal allegations.

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