Although she did previously move back several pretrial deadlines in the case, a federal judge in Florida has now decided not to postpone the commencement of the former president Trump’s criminal case regarding his handling of secret documents for the time being.
Aileen Cannon, a U.S. District Judge, decided on Friday to reject the move made by Trump’s legal team to delay the case “without prejudice” and to not bring it up again going forward.
She previously wrote that the start date of the trial could be changed in a scheduling conference on March 1.
The decision represents a significant win for the team led by special counsel Jack Smith, who had vehemently opposed any postponements in the case, claiming the former president was trying to wait until after the 2024 presidential race.
Trump continues to lead the GOP presidential primary by a significant margin.
Cannon previously seemed prepared to support Trump’s attorneys’ plea to postpone the trial when she heard arguments about a possible postponement earlier this month, stating that she “has a hard time seeing how realistically this [current schedule] would work.”
In addition to the former president’s other legal issues with their own schedules, the Florida court took note of the 1.3 million pages of evidence—along with thousands of hours of security footage captured at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort—that prosecutors in the Mar-a-Lago case provided to the defense in discovery.
Just over two months will pass before Trump’s trial for his involvement in plans to rig the 2020 election in Washington, D.C., begins on March 4.