Trump could easily wrap up GOP nomination before his trial for classified documents begins

donald trump

Former US President Donald Trump.Brandon Bell/Getty Images

  • The trial of Trump’s classified documents is now set for May 20, 2024.

  • The former president now has the opportunity to sew up the GOP presidential nomination before it begins.

  • The reality now is that Trump’s legal troubles could increasingly spill over into the general election.

Former President Donald Trump could easily wrap up the Republican presidential nomination before facing trial for allegedly mishandling classified documents, a potential blow to his arch-foes who might crave a legal/campaign split-screen to help sink his campaign.

On Friday, Judge Aileen Cannon set the date for the trial of the classified documents for May 20, 2024. Trump is not getting everything he wanted because the former president’s lawyers had tried to delay a trial until after the 2024 election. Trump’s legal troubles are now increasingly likely to affect the timing of the general election, provided Trump wins the nomination.

Cannon’s ruling now means the trial won’t begin until months after Iowans kick off the process on January 15, 2024 with their first nationwide caucuses. In fact, the trial date would not come until months after Super Tuesday. It’s not hard to see how Trump could assemble a large delegation of delegates long before he answers for his handling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.

No recent GOP presidential candidate has emerged without winning a first state, meaning the later date also subtracts one less possible distraction from Trump’s strategy of asserting dominance from the get-go.

He is not yet free at home. The former president still has a litany of other legal issues. Trump is expected to face a civil trial in New York in October after New York Attorney General Letitia James alleged that she discovered the Trump Organization had committed a long series of financial crimes. The former president is also expected to face another libel lawsuit related to writer E. Jean Carroll in January. Trump also indicated that he expects to be indicted soon for his conduct before the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

It is undoubtedly the affair of the classified documents which could sting the most. Former Attorney General Bill Barr has repeatedly said Trump’s refusal to hand over the documents created the greatest legal risk he faces. Some other Republicans have also been less vocal in defending Trump’s alleged conduct in this case compared to other instances.

Trump’s top GOP foes have been cautious so far in criticizing the former president’s long pending legal case. After all, Republican voters continued to rally behind the president, even in the face of indictments and arraignments. But earlier this week, former UN ambassador Nikki Haley led a tougher response after Trump claimed he would soon be indicted on charges related to Jan. 6.

If there’s anyone happy with Friday’s news, it might just be President Joe Biden. Americans often lose interest in politics in the summer before the campaign heats up after national conventions of both parties. Cannon’s decision now means the general election campaign could begin with a landmark verdict eclipsing everything.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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