US Federal Judge Elaine Cannon ordered the start of the trial of former US President Donald Trump in the secret documents case in mid-May 2024.
The judge set the date following a closely watched pre-trial hearing last Tuesday.
The judge also set the jury selection date for May 14, and said that the trial would then begin on the 20th of the same month and extend for two weeks.
The judge rejected the Department of Justice’s efforts to prosecute Trump in December, and also rejected Trump’s request to postpone his trial until after the next presidential election in 2024.
Trump faces 37 counts of deliberately keeping confidential documents after the end of his presidential term and obstructing the course of justice.
Trump had called for postponing the start of his trial until after the next presidential elections, and he explained that his candidacy in these elections would make it difficult to choose an impartial jury.
And the American news site “Axios” said that the trial will likely begin after the announcement of the Republican candidate from among the large numbers of candidates, and with the start of the general election heat.
The Florida trial is one of many legal obligations piling up on Trump’s agenda stretching into the 2024 election cycle, including cases involving his company, defamation charges and a payment to hush up a porn star years ago.
Trump is also under federal and state criminal investigations related to efforts to invalidate the results of the 2020 election.