MIAMI — Former President Donald Trump’s trial on charges pertaining to allegations of unlawfully retaining hundreds of classified documents is scheduled to start on May 20, 2024, a federal judge in Florida ordered Friday.
This particular date, which was set by U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, was reached as a compromise between the prosecution's plea to set the trial in December and the defense's request to postpone it until after the 2024 presidential election.
The trial for Trump, who is charged with 37 counts pertaining to the mishandling of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago home, was initially scheduled to start in August. However, last month, Special Counsel Jack Smith's team proposed a new date of mid-December because the case involved classified information that needed security clearance in order to be turned over to Trump’s lawyers.
Trump's legal representatives then responded by requesting an indefinite delay, saying they need additional time to examine the evidence and that proceeding with this date is "unreasonable," and suggesting that an unbiased jury cannot be selected before the 2024 election.
However, Cannon wrote in the seven-page ruling that "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 was appointed to the bench in 2020 by Trump himself and has faced criticism for ruling in favor of Trump last year after granting his request for a special master in this classified records case.