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Trump judge sets May 2024 trial date in classified documents case, rejecting calls to wait until after presidential election but also refusing to grant prosecutors’ ‘atypically accelerated’ proposed schedule


Left: FILE – Former President Donald Trump speaks at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., June 13, 2023, after pleading not guilty in a Miami courtroom earlier in the day to mishandling classified documents (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File). Right: Judge Aileen M. Cannon speaks remotely during a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight nomination hearing to be U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on July 29, 2020, in Washington (U.S. Senate via AP).

The judge overseeing Donald Trump’s classified documents criminal case in Florida has set a May 2024 trial date.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, appointed by Trump in 2020, appears to have split the difference between the former president’s request to delay the trial until at least after the 2024 presidential election and the government’s request to hold trial in December.

“The Government’s Motion to Continue Trial and Revised Proposed Schedule 34 is GRANTED IN PART,” Cannon wrote in a docket order filed Friday. She set the trial date for Monday, May 20, 2024, with a 9:00 a.m. start time.

The trial had originally been set for Aug. 14. Federal prosecutors have requested the trial date be set no later than December.

“The Court finds that the interests of justice served by this continuance outweigh the best interest of the public and Defendants in a speedy trial,” Cannon wrote in her ruling. She rejected Trump’s request to hold off on setting any deadlines in the case, finding that it’s “necessary to manage this proceeding through important stages of discovery […] and does not see a sufficient basis on this record to postpone entry of a scheduling order.”

The government’s request to have the trial in December, however, was “atypically accelerated and inconsistent with ensuring a fair trial.”

The judge gave a glimpse into the extensive amount of discovery involved in the case:

As it stands, the Government’s timeline spans less than six months from the first discovery production (June 21, 2023) to trial in a CIPA case involving, at the very least, more than 1.1 million pages of non-classified discovery produced thus far (some unknown quantity of which is described by the Government as “non-content”), at least nine months of camera footage (with disputes about pertinent footage), at least 1,545 pages of classified discovery ready to be produced (with more to follow), plus additional content from electronic devices and other sources yet to be turned over.

“By conservative estimates, the amount of discovery in this case is voluminous and likely to increase in the normal course as trial approaches,” the judge noted.

Cannon also acknowledged the Trump team’s argument that it would be next to impossible to seat an impartial jury in the case, but said she didn’t need to address that issue at this time.

“Defendants identify various additional factors the Court deems unnecessary to resolution of the Government’s motion at this juncture, most principally the likelihood of insurmountable prejudice in jury selection stemming from publicity about the 2024 Presidential Election,” she wrote in her ruling.

The former president is facing a 37-count indictment for allegedly keeping classified and national defense information in various parts of the Mar-a-Lago resort that also serves as his residence. He has pleaded not guilty.

Trump, who is also facing a criminal indictment in New York and may be separately charged with election interference Georgia and for his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, announced his presidential candidacy in November.

According to reports from inside the courtroom, Cannon seemed skeptical of Trump’s request to delay the trial until after the election. That hearing ended without a ruling; Cannon said that she would file a separate written order.

Read Cannon’s ruling, below.

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