US District Judge Aileen Cannon on Tuesday released a proposed timeline for former President Donald Trump’s trial over his keeping of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago— setting an aggressive schedule of wrapping up the proceedings before September.Trump told Fox News in an interview that aired Monday that he didn’t return the boxes of documents because he had been “very busy” and wanted to go through them to separate out his personal belongings.
Cannon, the Trump-appointed judge presiding over the trial, released an order saying she expects the trial to start August 14 “or as soon thereafter as the case may be called” and to last two weeks.
The more than dozen GOP opponents in the race have faced numerous questions about the documents case, and their answers have ranged from calling for Trump to pull out of the race to pledges to pardon Trump if elected president.
Federal prosecutors are charging Trump, 77, with 37 criminal counts related to his keeping of classified documents after his presidency at Mar-a-Lago, his private club and residence in Palm Beach, Florida, according to the unsealed indictment.
In a widely criticized ruling last year, Cannon determined that an independent arbiter known as a special master should review the documents that the FBI seized from Mar-a-Lago. The decision was reversed in a scathing opinion by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.Should the trial begin on August 14 or soon after, it could coincide with the first Republican debate, set for August 23. Trump, who is running for the 2024 nomination and is the clear frontrunner, hasn’t pledged to participate. He has vowed not to drop out of the race regardless of any legal deliberations.
This is the second pending criminal case against Trump. In April, the Manhattan district attorney’s office brought a 34-count indictment against him, accusing him of illegally falsifying business records with payments to Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress, ahead of the 2016 election. Trump pleaded not guilty in that case and has denied having an affair.
The particular district where the case is being heard is known for its quick deliberations, though experts are skeptical about such a quick timeline given that both parties are likely to ask for delays so they can have enough time to prepare for the trial.
Cannon on Tuesday asked the defense and prosecutors to file any pre-trial motions before July 24. The trial is set to be held at the courthouse in Fort Pierce, Florida — the same courthouse where Cannon, 42, typically works.
The precise content of the 31 documents that are the subject of the indictment aren’t clear. The records contain information about US nuclear programs and “potential vulnerabilities of the United States and its allies to military attack,” among other secrets, according to the indictment.
Trump pleaded not guilty during his arraignment in Miami on June 13. US Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman ordered prosecutors to come up with a list of witnesses with whom Trump could not discuss his case unless it’s through his lawyers.
As the judge assigned the case, Cannon will have the power to shape how the case moves forward, will decide whether to dismiss some or all of the counts before the case goes to trial, choose which jurors to seat, and decide the scope of the evidence and legal arguments the lawyers can bring before a jury.
“No prison sentence can undo the damage to these young victims caused by Brownson’s sickening conduct, but at least they can now move forward knowing that he is behind bars,” Glasgow said.The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office said that Brownson was sentenced to six years of prison time for each of the three Class X aggravated criminal sexual assault counts, and four years on each of the criminal sexual assault counts, to be served consecutively.
On March 19, Brownson was found guilty of three counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault and two counts of criminal sexual assault, prosecutors said. The sexual abuse happened in 2012.JOLIET, IL — Rickie Brownson, a 24-year-old Joliet man who is a Liberian immigrant, was sentenced Wednesday by Will County Judge Carmen Goodman to 26 years of prison time in connection with the sexual assaults of three 8-year-old girls from Joliet and Bolingbrook.
According to Will County State’s Attorney Jim Glasgow, Brownson began engaging in sex acts with three 8-year-old girls at their residences in Joliet and Bolingbrook soon after he arrived in the United States in July 2012 and Brownson continued molesting the victims until January 2013. Brownson previously had been found guilty after a jury trial and sentenced to 38 years in jail, but the case was retried after the verdict was overturned on appeal because of issues relating to the voir dire of potential jurors.
He will receive credit for 2,296 days of time served. Will County Jail records indicate that Brownson lived in the 2200 block of Joliet’s Tamarack Drive.Glasgow thanked Assistant State’s Attorneys Mark Fleszewski and Mary Fillipitch, director of victim witness services Nichole Pasteris, and Gus Martinucci who provided audio and video assistance, for their hard work and dedication, Wednesday’s news release noted.
The Plainfield woman, 23-year-old Valerie Perez, was in court for a speeding ticket in September 2012 when Judge Carmen Goodman called for a recess, according to an opinion handed down this month by the Third District Appellate Court.“After the bailiff relayed the comment to the court, the trial judge returned to the bench and instructed the State to prepare and file a petition for contempt,” the opinion said. “The court denied the defense request for a short continuance to prepare for trial and presided over a hearing on the same date as the alleged misconduct. After finding respondent guilty of indirect criminal contempt, the court sentenced respondent to serve eight days in custody.”
The appellate court ruled Goodman was wrong, saying, “we are unable to conclude the evidence proved (Perez) intended to embarrass the judge, since (she) did not communicate this statement directly to the judge or identify the judge by name while in the hallway.”