Donald Trump’s Classified Documents Trial Set To Begin In May 2024

The trial over Donald Trump’s withholding of classified documents is now scheduled to begin on May 20, 2024, meaning that the criminal case may play out in the midst of the presidential campaign.

US. District Judge Aileen Cannon set the schedule for the proceedings in a court order on Friday, rejecting federal prosecutors’ request that the trial start in December, and Trump’s team call for delaying it until after the election.

Trump was indicated in June on 37 counts relating to his retention and withholding of classified documents after he left the White House. Special Counsel Jack Smith also claims that Trump lied about the top-secret material and attempted to obstruct FBI and grand jury investigations.

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Trump and Republican congressional allies claim that he is being unfairly targeted, as some lawmakers on Capitol Hill attack federal authorities and even suggest defunding the FBI.

The attacks on the justice system continued this week, as Trump said that he has received notice from Smith that he is a target of another investigation into the January 6th attack on the Capitol. The former president said that the letter was a prelude to arrest and indictment.

Trump also is facing New York state charges related to the hush money payments that were made to porn star Stormy Daniels in advance of the 2016 presidential election. That trial, centering on whether he falsified business records, is scheduled to start in March. He also faces several civil trials. All of them raise the scenario that Trump, the leading contender for the GOP nomination, will be mired in civil and criminal court proceedings in the midst of a campaign.

The date is in the latter part of GOP primary season, meaning that there is strong likelihood that the party will have a presumptive nominee by that point. The first contest, the Iowa caucus, is scheduled for January 15.

In her setting the schedule, Cannon noted the complexities in the case and the volume of documents involved. Trump’s team had argued that setting a trial in the midst of the 2024 presidential election would create the likelihood of “insurmountable prejudice,” but Cannon wrote that it was “unnecessary to resolution” at this point.

Cannon also scheduled a series of dates related to pre-trial discovery and protective orders, given the extent of classified material that is at issue in the case. The trial is scheduled to take place in Fort Pierce, FL.

Trump and his aide, Walt Nauta, who also is facing charges in the case, have each plead not guilty.

More to come.

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