Miami Federal Judge Sets Trump Trial Date for May 20, 2024

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Miami U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon has cut the baby in half, setting May 20, 2024, for former President Donald Trump’s trial for obstruction and retaining classified documents.



Prosecutors, after turning down an August trial start date set by the judge, asked that it begin Dec. 11, 2023. Trump’s team requested it to start after the 2024 election. And so it will be May 2024 — for now. The sheer volume of discovery may cause further delays later.

Key dates and milestones in the Miami case, which will impact legal actions being taken against Trump in other jurisdictions, will be:

  • Production of Classified documents to Trump Sept. 7
  • Pretrial Motions Dec. 11
  • Discovery status reports Feb. 12, 2024
  • Pretrial  May 14, 2024
  • May 20, start date.

Civil Court Trials already set in New York State are:

  • Alleged fraud October 2023
  • Defamation Jan. 15, 2024
  • Misleading people to invest Jan. 29, 2024.

Like a man running a marathon with a lead weight on his ankles, Trump will have to run for president and face legal actions in almost every month from Sept 2023 to June 2024. And, there will likely be a new conspiracy charge in Washington, D.C. as well as legal action in Georgia. Trump’s lawfare dance card will probably run until election day 2024. And there is a good chance the prosecution will file additional motions in Miami this August. So far, months still not booked for legal action are November 2023 and April 2024, and July to election day are free for new court dates.


How many dates can be put on the calendar while ensuring the defense has time to prepare for each case properly? And how many trials can there be before the very process becomes election interference?

Three factors led to delaying the Miami case: a) getting a security clearance for all of Trump’s legal team; b) building out a secure location for the defense team and defendants to review classified documents; and c) the sheer volume of discovery.

In her ruling, Judge Cannon wrote:

As it stands, the government’s timeline spans less than six months from the first discovery production (June 21, 2023) to trial in a … case involving, at the very least, more than 1.1 million pages of non-classified discovery produced thus far (some unknown quantity of which is described by the Government as ‘non-content’), at least nine months of camera footage (with disputes about pertinent footage), at least 1,545 pages of classified discovery ready to be produced (with more to follow), plus additional content from electronic devices and other sources yet to be turned over. By conservative estimates, the amount of discovery in this case is voluminous and likely to increase in the normal course as trial approaches. 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.


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The judge has already slapped down the prosecution’s request to restrict defense lawyers from sharing classified information with their clients. For any conspiracy-type charge, there must be two people involved. Prosecutor Jack Smith has also charged Trump valet and Guam native Waltine “Walt” Nauta in this case. He and Trump will have access to all the classified documents produced in discovery. Charging a man and restricting him from seeing the evidence in the case against him seemed a bridge too far for the judge.

As the judge herself admits, just as one question leads to another, discovery often leads to further requests for discovery. So the May 20 date may not be etched in stone. One objection the judge shot down quickly was the defense’s concern about finding a non-partisan jury in the middle of an election. That would be dealt with at the time, Judge Cannon said. In the meantime, let the discovery begin.


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