This marks the start of the Republican primaries.
In the affair of secret government documents, the trial of former US President Donald Trump is scheduled to begin on May 20, 2024. Judge Aileen Cannon, who is responsible for the case, said in an order. The point in time is particularly important because of the presidential election next year. The process will now begin during the Republican primary.
Trump was indicted at the federal level in June for storing top-secret government documents at his Mar-a-Lago, Florida property and failing to return them when requested. He took the papers with him from the White House at the end of his term in January 2021. At the beginning of August 2022, the FBI federal police searched his villa and confiscated several sets of documents classified as top secret.
The former US President pleaded not guilty at a court hearing in Miami in June. If convicted, he faces a long prison sentence.
dispute about timing
There had been legal wrangling between the public prosecutor’s office and Trump’s lawyers about the start of the process. They had called for the process to be postponed until after the presidential election in November 2024. The lawyers cited the complexity of the case and their client’s candidacy for the presidency as reasons.
For its part, the US Department of Justice had asked for a delay until December 11, 2023, after the court had previously set August 14. The judge now chose a date that is roughly halfway between the demands of the prosecutor’s office and Trump’s lawyers.
Also process in New York
Trump is also facing a court hearing in New York. Charges were brought against him there at the end of March. Prosecutors in New York have charged Trump with falsifying business documents in 34 cases. He is said to have attempted to hide harmful information and illegal activities before and after the 2016 presidential election, in which he emerged victorious.
At the heart of the allegations is the payment of hush money to a former porn actress. The ex-president pleaded not guilty in court in New York in early April. The trial in the former case is scheduled to begin in March 2024.
Third charge possible
Trump also anticipates an impending third indictment in connection with the 2020 presidential election and the storming of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. He had been stirring up sentiment in the weeks following the 2020 presidential election with false claims that voter fraud stole his victory. At the beginning of January 2021, there was an attack on the seat of the US Congress, during which Trump supporters tried to prevent the formal confirmation of Joe Biden’s election victory and thus the change of power in Washington
At the same time, investigations are also underway in the state of Georgia into Trump’s possible influence on the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Trump, who wants to become president again in 2024, presents the legal action against him as an attempt by his opponents to prevent him from returning to the White House.