The judge overseeing the criminal case against former president Donald Trump in the Southern District of Florida has rejected the ex-president’s most recent attempt to delay his trial on charges that he violated the Espionage Act and obstructed a probe into how he still had classified documents at his home long after his presidency had ended.
In an order issued on Friday, Judge Aileen Cannon rejected Mr Trump’s request to delay the trial that she scheduled for 20 May 2024 earlier this year.
Judge Cannon, who was nominated to the bench by Mr Trump and confirmed just weeks before he left office, left open the possibility that she would step in to aid his efforts to push any trial back until after next year’s presidential election in hopes that he will win and be able to order prosecutors to drop the charges after he is sworn in for a second term.
She wrote in her order that she would consider more requests to delay Mr Trump’s trial during a scheduling conference on 1 March.
Mr Trump’s attorneys had asked her to grand an extension of several months in the trial schedule, citing what they described as delays in accessing evidence the government has turned over as part of the pre-trial discovery process.
The ex-president has three other cases pending against him in Washington, DC, Georgia and his former home state of New York.
His trial on charges of defrauding the United States and obstructing an official proceeding is set to begin before US District Judge Tanya Chutkan in March.