Former President Donald J. A federal judge on Friday set a trial date for May 2024 on charges that Trump illegally possessed dozens of classified documents, striking a middle ground between the government’s request to go to trial in December and Trump’s desire to pursue the case after the 2024 election.
Judge Eileen M. Cannon said in his order that his home court in Fort Pierce, Fla., a coastal city two and a half hours north of Miami, will draw its jury from many of the counties Mr. Trump won in his two previous presidential campaigns.
Justice Cannon also laid out a calendar of hearings for the rest of this year and next, including dealing with classified matters at the heart of the case.
The planning order came after a contentious hearing Tuesday in federal court in Fort Pierce, where attorneys working for special counsel Jack Smith and Mr. Trump’s lawyers have argued over when to hold the hearing.
Timing is more important in this case than in most criminal matters because Mr. Trump is now the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, and his legal duties on the court will interfere with his campaign schedule.
In fact, the date Judge Cannon chose to open the trial — May 20, 2024 — is a day before the primary in the key swing state of Georgia. But it falls after most of the primary races have already taken place.