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Special Counsel Moves To Delay Trump Trial 

Holland McKinnie
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Special Counsel Jack Smith’s request last week to postpone the federal trial of President Donald Trump has raised eyebrows across the nation. Smith, leading the Biden Department of Justice (DOJ) case regarding Trump’s handling of classified documents, was previously fervent in his demand for a “speedy trial.” In a surprising turn, Smith filed a motion with the Florida federal court handling the case on Friday to delay the trial date from August to December.

The delay ostensibly allows Trump’s defense attorneys more time to obtain required security clearances for the case’s sensitive evidence. Still, Smith’s about-face raises questions about his original confidence in the DOJ’s case. It’s noteworthy that Trump’s legal team didn’t oppose the delay.

Smith, who filed a 37-count indictment against Trump concerning classified documents stored at Mar-a-Lago, previously projected an absolute certainty in his legal battle. Suddenly seeking a delay could indicate his overconfidence tripped up the prosecution. It’s possible that Trump’s defense team agreed to the terms and conditions so readily, effectively pulling the rug out from under Smith’s expected lengthy constitutional argument, leading to a timeline crunch for the DOJ.

While it’s clear that this delay gives Trump’s defense team more time to prepare, it also recalls questions about potential ramifications on the trial’s jury pool.

The trial, presided over by U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, is slated to occur in Fort Pierce, the northern end of Florida’s Southern District. This location has significant implications. It pulls potential jurors from one swing county and four staunchly conservative counties – areas where Trump has enjoyed strong support in his previous presidential campaigns.

If the trial continues in Fort Pierce, it’s expected to draw jurors who lean Republican, offering an advantageous demographic for Trump’s defense. However, Judge Cannon, nominated by Trump in 2020, has yet to rule out the possibility of moving the trial.


Dave Aronberg, an outgoing Florida state attorney, predicted a potential shift to West Palm Beach, where Trump resides, and the classified documents were found. If moved, this could slightly shift the demographic of the jury pool. Yet, whether in Fort Pierce or West Palm Beach, the odds seem tilted in favor of Trump’s defense.

In a situation brimming with intrigue and unexpected moves, the conservative jury pool and trial delay could ultimately impact the outcome of this case. While Jack Smith may be forced to reevaluate his legal strategy, Trump’s defense team now has extra time to marshal their forces and strategize with a potentially supportive jury pool. But, as with any legal battle, nothing is set in stone. 

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