Trial delay could make it possible for Trump to pardon himself

 June 23, 2023

A preliminary trial date has been set for former President Donald Trump.

Judge Aileen Cannon set the date for August 14 in the case related to Trump's handling of documents, igniting chatter about the aggressiveness of the timeline.

Legal experts have said that the August 14 date is not likely to hold and that there are expected to be delays.

The delays could push the trial to perhaps until after the November 2024 presidential election — which could help Trump.

Former federal prosecutor Brandon Van Grack said the trial date was "unlikely to hold."

"If a trial drags past the 2024 election and Mr. Trump wins the race, he could, in theory, try to pardon himself — or he could direct his attorney general to drop the charges and wipe out the case," the New York Times reported.

Additionally, Axios reported that if the trial begins after November 2024, Trump could theoretically pardon himself.

"Trump is now the leading GOP candidate for president. If he were to win the presidency in November 2024, he could have a chance to install sympathetic Justice Department officials before the trial is completed — or try to pardon himself if he’s convicted," Axios reported June 13.

"I don’t see how it gets to trial before the November election," legal expert and former Assistant Attorney General Andrew McCarthy said.

The Washington Post reported that government rules regarding using classified information in a case could give Trump’s legal team a "tactical timing advantage."

"Lawyers who have worked such cases view the law as a time-consuming and difficult set of procedures that can be extremely beneficial to any defendant seeking to delay a trial," the Post reported.

Trump’s legal team is "likely to unleash a flurry of motions and challenges" to delay the trial, Axios reports.

Trump’s lawyers also must be cleared for security clearances. That process also takes months.