Donald Trump arrives at Florida courthouse for crucial classified documents hearing

Fort Pierce, Florida - Ex-President Donald Trump arrived in Fort Pierce, Florida on Friday morning for a crucial court hearing on his classified documents case.

Donald Trump arrived at the federal courthouse in Fort Pierce, Florida on Friday morning to attend a hearing in his classified documents case.
Donald Trump arrived at the federal courthouse in Fort Pierce, Florida on Friday morning to attend a hearing in his classified documents case.  © JOE RAEDLE / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

On his way to the federal courthouse, Trump's motorcade passed crowds of supporters who waved flags and cheered ahead of a session that could prove decisive for more than just the case itself.

The 77-year-old faces 40 separate charges that include mishandling classified documents after leaving office and obstructing efforts by authorities to retrieve the materials.

Among the issues that Judge Aileen Cannon is expected to rule on, a trial date is arguably the most consequential.

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Since the original May 20 date has long since been made impossible, the competing options presented by Trump's legal team and the prosecution led by special counsel Jack Smith are August and July, respectively.

Pushing proceedings closer to the 2024 presidential election – in which Trump is almost certain to run as the Republican candidate – is seen as favorable to the former president, who is also involved in three other criminal trials.

Cannon must also decide whether to grant requests for prosecutors to share thousands of pages of materials with the defense, who is also arguing that evidence provided by intelligence agencies in the case is tainted by their bias.

On the other hand, Smith's team is challenging a controversial ruling that may lead to the identity of some witnesses becoming public.

Cannon could announce her decision on these and other matters as early as the end of Friday's court session.

Cover photo: JOE RAEDLE / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

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