Judge Sets Trump Classified Documents Trial for May 2024

Federal judge Aileen Cannon has set the trial date for former President Donald Trump on federal charges of illegally retaining classified documents for May 20, 2024.


Federal judge Aileen Cannon has set the trial date for former President Donald Trump on federal charges of illegally retaining classified documents for May 20, 2024.

  • Cannon’s decision would fall in between prosecutors’ preference for a trial starting in December and the Trump legal team’s request to delay the trial until after the 2024 presidential election.
  • Trump was indicted in June on 37 charges that he unlawfully kept classified documents and deceived federal officials who tried to recover them.
  • Trump’s federal trial would commence in the waning weeks of the Republican presidential primaries when it’s likely the Republican nominee will have already been determined. However, the trial, if it continues as scheduled, would kick off before the GOP candidate is formally nominated at the Republican National Convention.
  • The news that Trump is scheduled to go on trial in the middle of the 2024 presidential election is just the latest legal setback for the former president.
  • Trump revealed Tuesday that he has received a target letter from special counsel Jack Smith that indicated he could soon be indicted on additional federal charges related to Trump’s efforts to overturn his defeat in the 2020 elections.
  • Indictments in a separate investigation into Trump’s efforts to overturn his defeat in Georgia led by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Wills could come in August. Willis is expected to present her case to a grand jury in the coming weeks.
  • On Wednesday, a New York federal judge rejected Trump’s request to transfer the “hush money” criminal case brought against him by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg from state court to federal court.
  • “The evidence overwhelmingly suggests that the matter was a purely a personal item of the President — a cover-up of an embarrassing event,” US District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein wrote. “Hush money paid to an adult film star is not related to a President’s official acts. It does not reflect in any way the color of the President’s official duties.”


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times observed this was Cannon’s first big decision in the case. Cannon, a Trump appointee, “was randomly assigned to the case in June and faced enormous scrutiny after having made some rulings last year in a related matter that were favorable to Mr. Trump and that were ultimately overturned in a stinging reversal by a federal appeals court.”
  • CNN noted that although most of the Republican presidential primaries will be wrapped up by the time the trial starts, Oregon and New Jersey are scheduled to vote after the trial begins. Nebraska, Maryland, and West Virginia will go to the polls the week before.
  • Politico reported on President Joe Biden’s “ten-foot-pole strategy” for addressing Trump’s legal woes. Jonathan Lemire wrote, “If Trump’s campaign shows signs of collapsing under the weight of the myriad criminal proceedings, the Biden team feels its best approach may just be to stand back and not engage.”



  • National Review recapped the charges Trump faces: “willful retention of national-defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a document or record, corruptly concealing a document or record, concealing a document in a federal investigation, scheme to conceal, and making false statements and representations.”
  • Cannon rejected the DOJ’s December trial date as “atypically accelerated and inconsistent with ensuring a fair trial,” according to Fox News. “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,” she added.
  • The Wall Street Journal noted Cannon justified the date because the evidence in the trial “is voluminous and likely to increase in the normal course as trial approaches.” She continued, “And, while the Government has taken steps to organize and filter the extensive discovery, no one disagrees that Defendants need adequate time to review and evaluate it on their own accord.”


Return to Freespoke Freespoke.com

© Dominic Moore, 2023