Trump trial date set for May 2024 in classified documents case

Former President Donald Trump’s trial on charges related to his handling of classified documents is set to start May 20, 2024, a federal judge in Florida ordered Friday.

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Earlier, the trial had been set to begin in August, though U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon noted at the time that attorneys could ask to push back the trial date due to the complexity of the case and the security clearance process.

“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 Friday in an order filed in court.

Attorneys for Trump and his aide, Walt Nauta — who is also facing charges in the investigation — argued against setting a schedule, while prosecutors asked that the trial be postponed until December. On Friday, Cannon rejected arguments from Trump and Nauta’s lawyers and determined that the schedule proposed by prosecutors was too short in light of all the evidence to be reviewed and the sensitivity of some of the documents.

Two weeks have been tentatively set aside for the trial, according to court records.

Trump faces dozens of charges related to his handling of classified documents after authorities said they found more than 100 classified records during a search of his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida last year. Nauta faces charges including conspiracy to obstruct justice after authorities said he helped the former president to hide classified documents and then lied during an interview with the FBI.

Both men have pleaded not guilty.

Trump — who is running for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination — has denied any wrongdoing, framing the investigation as part of a politically motivated witch hunt.

On Tuesday, the former president announced that he had learned he is a target in special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, violence at the U.S. Capitol, signaling a likely indictment. Smith is also overseeing the investigation into the records found at Mar-a-Lago.

In New York, Trump faces 34 charges of first-degree falsifying business records in connection with hush money payments made before the 2016 presidential election. He is also facing possible charges in Georgia, where authorities have been investigating attempts to overturn the state’s 2020 presidential election results.

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