Former President Donald Trump’s criminal trial on charges of withholding and concealing classified and top-secret documents will begin in Florida on May 20, 2024.
That schedule puts the trial at the tail end of the Republican presidential primary process. Trump is currently the front-runner for the GOP nomination and already may have become the nominee by that time.
In an order issued in Ft. Pierce, Fla., U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon says the evidence in the case is “extremely voluminous and will require substantial time to review” and includes classified and top secret documents that require special handling procedures. She also says the case meets the legal definition of a “complex” case, requiring a more extended trial schedule.
Trump faces 37 counts, including more than 30 violations of the Espionage Act, over allegations of withholding documents related to national security. He’s also charged, along with aide Walt Nauta, with making false statements and conspiring to obstruct justice. Nauta’s case also goes to trial on May 20.
Both Trump and Nauta have pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The former president’s lawyers had been asking for the trial to be delayed until late next year. They said Trump’s busy schedule — he’s running for president again and juggling several lawsuits and two criminal indictments — necessitated waiting until after the 2024 presidential election.