Former President Donald Trump handily won the state in 2020, and that could definitely work to his advantage when it comes to his federal trial for allegedly mishandling classified documents.
As Newsmax reported on Friday, the jury pool will come primarily from counties that Trump easily won in 2016 and 2020, and that could definitely work to his advantage when the case comes to trial.
In addition, the federal judge hearing the case is Aileen Cannon, whom Trump appointed. And on Friday, she signaled that the trial would take place in Fort Pierce, the federal courthouse where she usually sits, at the northern end of the Southern District of Florida.
As The New York Times added, the region is home to one swing county and four solid red ones. But that said, Cannon did leave open the possibility that the case could be moved.
“I’m not convinced this case is going to go in Fort Pierce,” Dave Aronberg, an outgoing Florida state attorney in Palm Beach County, told the Times. He went on to predict that the case could be moved to West Palm Beach, where Trump lives and where the classified documents were actually found.
But for now, if the case remains in Fort Pierce, that will bode will for Trump when it comes time to select a jury.
“For years, it’s been a very conservative venue for plaintiffs’ lawyers,” trial lawyer John Morgan told the Times. “It is solid, solid Trump country.”
Trump won Okeechobee County, a rural county where just more than 16,000 people voted in the 2020 election, with 71.5% of the vote, according to the county’s election tally. He took Highlands County with 66.8% in 2020. That county is a rural area where more than 52,000 people voted.
In Martin County, where more than 98,000 people voted, Trump won with 61.8%. In Indian River County, where more than 97,000 voted, the then-president won with 60.2% of the vote.
The swing county of St. Lucie County was one in which Trump won narrowly in both 2016 and 2020. He got 50.4% of the vote in 2020 to defeat President Joe Biden.
Fort Myers is situated along Florida’s Atlantic coast, about 100 miles north of Miami. Cannon has set the trial date for Aug. 14 “or as soon thereafter as the case may be called.”
Trump found out who government prosecutors will be calling on to testify against him in the case, according to reports on Wednesday.
The revelation stemmed from the Justice Department’s release of “grand jury testimony of witnesses who will testify for the government at the trial of this case” as part of the pre-trial discovery phase.
That said, the DOJ’s filing did not list the witnesses specifically nor what they said during their grand jury testimony.
On Monday, a federal judge handling the case blocked the former president from releasing any evidence that is given to his legal team by federal prosecutors.
“The Discovery Materials, along with any information derived therefrom, shall not be disclosed to the public or the news media, or disseminated on any news or social media platform, without prior notice to and consent of the United States or approval of the Court,” Federal Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart noted in his order.
In addition, the order stated that Trump and his legal team also are not allowed to disclose any of the material, due to the sensitivity of its contents, in “any public filing or in open court without notice to, and agreement from, the United States, or prior approval from the Court.”
The defense counsel has also been instructed to keep all the documents securely in their custody. Furthermore, it stipulates that upon the conclusion of the case, all the materials must be either returned to the U.S. government or completely destroyed within 90 days.
The defendants are explicitly prohibited from retaining any copies of the material. However, they are permitted to take notes on the material, provided that these notes are securely stored, the Daily Wire reported.