Trump Classified Documents Trial Set For May 2024
By Erin Doherty
Florida District Judge Aileen Cannon on Friday set the trial date in the classified documents case against former President Trump for May 20, 2024, per a court filing.
Why it matters: The trial will likely begin after the Republican nominee in the crowded GOP field is crowned, and as the general election is heating up.
- The new date comes after a clash between the Department of Justice and Trump’s legal team over the timing of the trial, with the ex-president pushing for it to take place after the 2024 election.
- Special counsel Jack Smith sought a mid-December trial date.
Driving the news: Jury selection will begin on May 14 and a two-week trial period will begin on May 20, per the filing.
What they’re saying: A Trump spokesperson said in a statement that the new trial date is “a major setback to the DOJ’s crusade to deny President Trump a fair legal process.”
- “The extensive schedule allows President Trump and his legal team to continue fighting this empty hoax,” the spokesperson said.
- A spokesperson for Smith declined to comment on the new date, but referred Axios to previous court filings and remarks at a hearing earlier this week.
Zoom out: The trial date falls after most primary race contests will have wrapped up, including super Tuesday.
- If Trump, the current frontrunner in the Republican field, is the eventual Republican nominee, he is likely to make the historic indictment a centerpiece to his re-election bid.
- Winning the presidency would give him a chance to install sympathetic Justice Department officials, or even try to pardon himself if he’s convicted, Axios’ Alex Thompson previously reported.
- He also faces a number of other legal inquiries as he campaigns for president, including the probe into his alleged efforts to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power during the 2020 election.
- An indictment in that case, also being led by Smith, could be imminent, Trump signaled on his Truth Social account earlier this week.
Go deeper: Trump’s shifting public defenses in classified documents case