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The federal criminal trial of Donald Trump for alleged election meddling on the eve of the Jan. 6 Capitol riots is set to begin in March 2024, as the former president enters another four years in the White House. logistics posed new challenges.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan in Washington on Monday rejected Trump’s efforts to delay the trial until after next year’s presidential election, instead setting a March 4, 2024 start date for the trial.
It was the day before “Super Tuesday,” when Republican voters in more than a dozen states are expected to head to the polls for their party’s presidential nominee.
Chatkan said the former president “has to make sure the trial date goes through regardless of the schedule.”
Among the many Republicans vying for the 2024 presidential nomination, Trump is the undisputed front-runner. But his bid to secure another four years in the White House has been complicated by four separate criminal cases against him that will unfold in the upcoming election. until the election.
Trump and his advisers have made no secret of his goal of delaying the legal process until after the election next November. He said he could pardon any of his federal criminal convictions if elected president.
Trump’s lawyers had sought to delay his federal trial in Washington for allegedly overturning the 2020 presidential election until April 2026. Jack Smith, the special counsel appointed by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to oversee cases involving the former president, had suggested the trial would begin in January, 11 months before Election Day in November. Months before the Iowa caucuses, the battle for the Republican nomination is about to kick off.
But Chatkan rejected both proposed start dates during a court hearing in Washington on Monday, saying Trump’s work schedule should not interfere with the trial’s progress, according to US media reports. Trump did not attend the hearing.
The federal case in Washington is one of four criminal charges against the former president, who has now been indicted on a total of 91 separate charges.
Trump also faces a case in Manhattan over his alleged falsification of business records to conceal “hush money” payments to porn stars, and another federal case in Miami over his alleged mishandling of classified documents. The Manhattan case will begin in March 2024, and the Classified Documents case will begin in May 2024.
Meanwhile, Trump and 18 others were indicted this month in Fulton County, Georgia, in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. The former president turned himself in to authorities last week in Georgia, where he was photographed. He and his co-accused are due to stand trial on September 6.
Trump’s critics believe the president’s complex web of legal troubles could eventually unravel his political ambitions.
But Trump allies say the looming criminal trial will only strengthen the former president’s standing among the Republican grassroots, which will select the party’s 2024 presidential nominee.
Trump’s poll numbers rose with each indictment, and the Trump campaign said over the weekend it had raised more than $7 million in donations since the photo became public Thursday night.