The former president wants to not stand trial in the Florida case until after the election: Of the four indictments that former President Donald Trump is facing, the federal indictment in Florida, in which he is accused of mishandling classified information, is widely seen as the strongest case.
The Delay Strategy for Donald Trump?
That case is currently scheduled to go to trial in May of 2024, but now Trump is calling for a delay in the case. Trump is requesting the trial to begin in mid-November, after the end of the 2024 election. The other federal case against Trump, in the Washington election interference case, is scheduled to begin in March.
Trump had already made such a request of Judge Aileen Cannon, whom he appointed himself, but Judge Cannon ruled in the summer that the trial should begin next May.
“In their initial request to delay the trial, Mr. Trump’s lawyers claimed that,” the New York Times said of the move by the former president. “But arguments like that were missing from his new proposal to push back the proceeding, which did not specifically mention the election. Still, the push to reschedule for mid-November 2024 was a de facto attempt to delay it until after the race was decided.”
The newspaper also noted that if the case is delayed until after the election, and Trump wins it, he could drop the case against himself. Or, if he is convicted before the election and wins, he could seek to pardon himself.
A group called Bright Line Watch took a survey this summer, asking which case against Trump is the strongest, Slate reported. According to the survey of more than 500 political science professionals, the documents case is the strongest and most damning, with two-thirds of those surveyed believing the former president should go to prison in connection with that
The survey ranked the federal election interference case second, followed by the New York case alleging he falsified business records. The survey was taken before Trump’s fourth indictment, for RICO, in Georgia.
“Political science experts were nearly unanimous in believing in the factual basis of the DOJ’s classified documents case—that Trump did bring classified documents to his Mar-a-Lago property, stored them in unsecured locations, showed them to people without security clearances, and attempted to obstruct the federal investigation into the matter. All in all, 94 percent of experts believed Trump had committed a crime here,” Slate said of the survey results.
“The [classified] documents evidence is more cut-and-dry in terms of legal violation than even what’s been made public about Jan. 6,” Brendan Nyhan, a professor at Dartmouth College and co-director at Bright Line Watch, told Slate in the summer. “The indictments that are likely forthcoming are going to rely on secondhand accounts of complex events and may seem less compelling or straightforward.”
Meanwhile, this week, ABC News reported that Trump discussed secrets involving a nuclear submarine with an Australian billionaire, at Mar-a-Lago, after he left office, and that the billionaire told dozens of people about the secrets.
The billionaire is Anthony Pratt, who has been interviewed more than once by prosecutors, the report said.
This episode was “reported to special counsel Jack Smith’s team as they investigated Trump’s alleged hoarding of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago,” ABC News wrote, although it’s not clear if such revelations could be used for additional charges.
“Pratt told Trump he believed Australia should start buying its submarines from the United States, to which an excited Trump — ‘leaning’ toward Pratt as if to be discreet — then told Pratt two pieces of information about U.S. submarines: the supposed exact number of nuclear warheads they routinely carry, and exactly how close they supposedly can get to a Russian submarine without being detected,” ABC News reported about the conversations.
Pratt went on to tell at least 45 people about the exchange.
Author Expertise and Experience
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Stephen has authored thousands of articles over the years that focus on politics, technology, and the economy for over a decade. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter) at @StephenSilver, and subscribe to his Substack newsletter.
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