The judge overseeing the case involving Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents has set a preliminary trial date for August 14. The trial will address 37 federal felony counts against the former president.
Federal Judge Aileen Cannon made the announcement on Tuesday, but it is expected that the final trial date may change due to potential delays requested by Trump’s legal team. Despite his legal troubles, Trump has vowed to continue his pursuit of the 2024 Republican nomination.
The charges against Trump include allegations of willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and making false statements. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
In a recent interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier, Trump defended his handling of the classified documents stored at his Mar-a-Lago estate and criticized the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) regarding the indictment.
During the interview, Trump admitted that NARA had requested the documents back, but he wanted to go through the boxes and retrieve his personal belongings before handing them over. He argued that previous presidents were not subjected to the same course of action as he was.
“The only way NARA could ever get this stuff, this back would be [to say] please, please, please could we have it back,” Trump said.
“They did ask for it,” the Fox News host said.
“No, we were talking,” Trump interjected.
“They said can you give the documents back and then they went to the DOJ to subpoena you to give the documents back,” Baier replied.
Trump noted that they have “never” taken that course of action before with a former president.
“Why not just hand them over then?” Baier pressed.
“Because I had boxes. I want to go through the boxes and get my personal things out. I don’t want to hand that over to NARA yet. And I very was busy as you’ve sort of seen,” Trump said.
However, according to the indictment, Trump directed his aide to move the documents to different locations despite claiming full compliance with the subpoena.
During his arraignment earlier this month in Miami, Trump encountered both supporters and opponents outside the federal courthouse. This makes him the first president in U.S. history to confront federal criminal charges.