Judge Aileen Cannon on Tuesday set a preliminary trial date for August 14 on former President Donald Trump’s case related to his handling of documents, surprising close observers of the matter at first over the aggressiveness of the timeline.
However, legal experts say the date is not likely to hold and instead, there are expected to be delays, perhaps until after the November 2024 presidential election — which could help Trump.
Former federal prosecutor Brandon Van Grack told the New York Times the trial date was “unlikely to hold” considering that lengthy process governing the use of classified information before a trial.
According to the Times: “If a trial drags past the 2024 election and Mr. Trump wins the race, he could, in theory, try to pardon himself — or he could direct his attorney general to drop the charges and wipe out the case.”
WATCH: “We Love Trump!”: Supporters Rally as Trump Faces Arraignment in Federal Court over Classified DocumentsCredit: Ben Von Klemperer via Storyful
Axios also reported that if the trial begins after November 2024, Trump could theoretically pardon himself.
“Trump is now the leading GOP candidate for president. If he were to win the presidency in November 2024, he could have a chance to install sympathetic Justice Department officials before the trial is completed — or try to pardon himself if he’s convicted,” the outlet reported on June 13.
“I don’t see how it gets to trial before the November election,” legal expert and former Assistant Attorney General Andrew McCarthy said on a National Review podcast on Friday.
The Washington Post earlier this week reported that government rules concerning using classified information in a case could give Trump’s legal team a “tactical timing advantage.”
WATCH: “I’M AN INNOCENT MAN!” Trump Responds to News of IndictmentDonald J. Trump / Truth Social
“Lawyers who have worked such cases view the law as a time-consuming and difficult set of procedures that can be extremely beneficial to any defendant seeking to delay a trial,” it reported.
Trump’s legal team is “likely to unleash a flurry of motions and challenges” to delay the trial, Axios reported. In addition, Trump’s lawyers must be cleared for security clearances, a process that also takes months.