A federal judge set the official date for the classified documents case against former President Donald Trump and his aide Walt Nauta.
The trial will begin May 20, 2024 and will be held in the Fort Pierce Division of Florida, Judge Aileen Cannon said in a filing on Friday.
The ruling comes days after Trump’s team argued the trial should be held after the 2024 November election due to the former president’s reelection campaign. The prosecution had requested the trial to begin in late 2023, making Cannon’s ruling an apparent compromise between the two parties.
“This extraordinary case presents a serious challenge to both the fact and perception of our American democracy. The Court now presides over a prosecution advanced by the administration of a sitting President against his chief political rival, himself a leading candidate for the Presidency of the United States,” attorneys for Trump and Nauta argued in a filing Monday night.
The May date puts the trial in the middle of the primary season, with the 2024 Republican National Convention scheduled in mid July.
Trump and Nauta were indicted in June on charges related to allegedly possessing classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. Trump was indicted on 37 counts, including 31 counts of alleged violation of the Espionage Act, one count of “conspiracy to obstruct justice;” one count of “withholding a document or record;” one count of corruptly concealing a document or record;” one count of “concealing a document in a deferral investigation;” one count of “scheme to conceal;” and one count of “false statements and representations.” (RELATED: Trump Indictment Unsealed)
Nauta was charged after allegedly moving documents in Mar-a-Lago after the former president was told to return them.
Both men have pleaded not guilty.