A federal judge on Monday set a March 4, 2024, trial date in former President Donald Trump’s criminal election interference case, according to Reuters.
The March date will put Trump on trial in Washington, D.C., months before the 2024 presidential election.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan delivered that ruling after rejecting a Jan. 2, 2024 date from special counsel Jack Smith’s federal prosecutors and an April 2026 date from Trump’s attorneys.
Trump pledges to appeal
Update 3:15 p.m. EDT, Aug. 28: Trump on his Truth Social account said he will appeal the court date.
The post called Smith “deranged,” saying that he and “his team of Thugs” had been “working on this Witch Hunt for almost 3 years.” He also called Chutkan “Trump Hating Judge” saying that she gave him only a two-month extension, noting that the trial will happen near Super Tuesday when, according to a previous article by The Washington Post, several states go to the polls on the same day. In 2020, more than one-third of all Democratic National Convention delegates were selected.
He ends the post by saying, “I will APPEAL.”
-- Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
Original report: Chutkan said in her ruling that Trump, who has been indicted four times since March, will have to juggle his legal defense amid his efforts to win the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
“Mr. Trump will have to make the trial date work, regardless of his schedule,” she said.
The former president earlier this month pleaded not guilty to the four-count indictment charging him with illegally conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 General Election. Trump faces charges of conspiracy to violate rights, conspiracy to defraud the government, obstructing an official proceeding and conspiring to do so.
Trump is the only person indicted in the D.C. case so far, but, according to the indictment, he enlisted six unnamed conspirators to overturn Joe Biden’s election victory.
Trump’s lawyer John Lauro argued that he needed at least two years to get ready for trial because there are at least 250 potential government witnesses in the case “and counting.”
“This man’s liberty and life is at stake and he deserves an adequate representation,” Lauro said. “We cannot do this in the time frame the government has outlined.”
Lauro noted that figure doesn’t include any potential defense witnesses, The Washington Post reported. According to Trump’s legal team, they have had 12.8 million pages of discovery material turned over to them.
In Georgia, no trial date has been set for Trump as he faces charges of racketeering in connection with a plan to overturn Georgia’s presidential election, according to an indictment. However, a trial date of March 4, 2024, has been suggested by Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis.
Trump is set to be on trial in New York on March 25, 2024, on a state charge that he concealed a hush money payment to a porn star.
Trump is also set for trial in Florida on May 20, 2024, on federal charges also brought by Smith that allege he retained classified records after leaving the White House.
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