Donald Trump, the former president of the United States, is set to face trial in May 2024 on charges of mishandling top secret documents.
US District Court Judge Aileen Cannon has ordered the start of the jury trial, which comes at a time when Trump is the clear frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination.
Trump and his defense attorneys had requested that the trial be held after the November 2024 election, while prosecutors had asked for it to begin in December 2023.
Cannon set the start of the trial for May to give both sides time to process over 1.1 million pages of documentary evidence.
Trump is charged with 37 criminal counts for allegedly taking government records when he left the White House in 2021 and refusing to hand them over.
He faces charges of willful retention of national defense information and conspiracy to obstruct justice, as well as other charges related to withholding documents and making false statements.
Trump's aide Waltine "Walt" Nauta is also charged with helping him hide documents at Mar-a-Lago.
Nauta, a former military valet, served President Donald Trump
during his time in office and continued to work for him in a personal capacity after he left the White House.
Trump, who was impeached twice and recently found liable for sexual abuse, has stated that he will continue to run for the 2024 White House race regardless of the outcome of a document case.
Trump faces multiple legal challenges, including a looming indictment from Special Prosecutor Smith for his attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election won by Joe Biden
, as well as a fraud case in New York involving hush money payments to Stormy Daniels.