Former President Donald Trump’s strong victory in the state of Florida during the 2020 election may prove advantageous for him in his federal trial involving allegations of mishandling classified documents.
According to a Newsmax report, the jury pool will primarily be drawn from counties where Trump enjoyed significant support in both the 2016 and 2020 elections, potentially working in his favor during the trial.
Moreover, the federal judge overseeing the case, Aileen Cannon, was appointed by Trump himself. Earlier this month, Cannon indicated that the trial would likely take place in Fort Pierce, situated in the federal courthouse where she usually presides, located at the northern end of the Southern District of Florida.
Additionally, according to The New York Times, the region includes one swing county and four counties that typically lean towards the Republican party. But, it should be noted that Cannon did acknowledge the possibility of the case being relocated.
“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 well 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 located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, approximately 100 miles southwest of Miami. Judge Cannon has scheduled the trial to begin on August 14, or as soon as it can be scheduled thereafter. Special counsel Jack Smith, who has charged Trump with 34 counts of mishandling classified information, has since asked for the trial date to be pushed back.
Trump has pleaded innocent to the charges.
According to reports last week, Trump has been made aware of the government prosecutors’ witness list, revealing who will be called to testify against him in the case.
The disclosure of this information came about as a result of the Justice Department’s release of “grand jury testimony of witnesses who will testify for the government at the trial of this case” during the pre-trial discovery phase.
That said, the filing by the Department of Justice did not provide a specific list of witnesses or reveal the content of their grand jury testimonies.