Trial in Trump Documents Case Set for May 2024

The federal judge overseeing former President Donald J. Trump’s prosecution on charges of illegally retaining dozens of classified documents set a trial date on Friday for May 2024, taking a middle position between the government’s request to go to trial in December and Mr. Trump’s desire to push the proceeding until after the 2024 election.

In her order, Judge Aileen M. Cannon said the trial was to be held in her home courthouse in Fort Pierce, Fla., a coastal city two-and-a-half hours north of Miami that will draw its jury pool from several counties that Mr. Trump won handily in his two previous presidential campaigns.

Judge Cannon also laid out a calendar of hearings, throughout the remainder of this year and into next year, including those concerning the handling of the classified material at the heart of the case.

The scheduling order came after a contentious hearing on Tuesday at the federal courthouse in Fort Pierce where prosecutors working for the special counsel, Jack Smith, and lawyers for Mr. Trump sparred over when to hold the trial.

The timing of the proceeding is more important in this case than in most criminal matters because Mr. Trump is now the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination and his legal obligations to be in court will intersect with his campaign schedule.

Indeed, the date Judge Cannon chose to start the trial — May 20, 2024 — is one day before the primary in the key swing state of Georgia. But it falls after the bulk of the primary race contests will have already taken place.

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