The trial date for the case brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith against former President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C., regarding the 2020 election has now been set by District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan for March 4, 2024.
The court held a status conference Monday morning and entered an Order setting the trial for the March date — which is later than the DOJ requested but far sooner than President Trump’s lawyers suggested.
The decision from U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan denied a defense request to push the trial back until April 2026, about a year and a half after the 2024 election, but also sets it later than the January date proposed by special counsel Jack Smith’s team.
Chutkan made it clear to both sides at the outset of Monday’s status conference that she considered neither proposal acceptable.
This places the D.C. case (the second-filed federal case brought by the DOJ) ahead of the trial currently set for May 2024 in the Florida classified documents case. Additionally, the state court case filed by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg against Trump over misclassified business records is set to begin trial on March 25, 2024, although Judge Chutkan reportedly has advised the trial judge in that case that the D.C. setting may conflict with it.
If all of those settings hold, it will obviously be a busy spring for the former president and leading candidate for the 2024 GOP nomination.
While Judge Chutkan declined to accept either party’s requested trial date, the setting is considerably closer to the date proposed by Jack Smith’s office than by Trump’s attorneys, who voiced their objection on the record.
JOHN LAURO objects on the record: “The trial date will deny President Trump the ability to have effective assistance of counsel in light of the enormity of the case.”
— Jordan Fischer (@JordanOnRecord) August 28, 2023
John Lauro reportedly also advised the court that they intend to conduct public polling in D.C. in support of a motion for change of venue.
In the meantime, some legal experts are noting the absurdity of such a quick trial setting.
This date is absurd. It bears no relation to the actual defense needs of the case & the existence of the earlier filed FLA case. Disgraceful & unjust. https://t.co/5mzkk1sgMv
— Leslie McAdoo Gordon 🇺🇸 (@McAdooGordon) August 28, 2023