Judge Tanya Chutkan sets a March 4 trial date in federal 2020 election trial

August 28, 2023

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan set a March 4 trial date in the federal investigation into attempts to overturn the 2020 election.

That’s one day before the “Super Tuesday” primaries in the 2024 election.

Attorneys for former President Trump and prosecutors in the office of Special Counsel Jack Smith went to court Monday in Washington DC over radically differing proposals for a trial date.

Prosecutors had requested a January 2 start date while Trump’s attorneys have requested it not start until April, 2026.

Trump’s attorneys argued they need that nearly 2.5 years from now to comb through some 11.5 million pages of documents prosecutors have sent them. The special counsel’s office has pushed back on that figure, insisting they’ve sent something more like 3 million new pages, while the Trump team already had access to the other documents via public files, the former President’s White House files housed in the National Archives, his own PAC (political action committee) and his 2024 reelection campaign.

Further, prosecutor Molly Gaston has asserted that the special counsel’s office provided Trump’s defense team with “load-ready files” to allow for their quick review in the same manner that the special counsel’s team did—through targeted keyword searches and electronic sorting.

Trump attorney John Lauro protested the March 2024 trial date, saying it will “deny President Trump the opportunity to have effective assistance of counsel.”

Chutkan responded that his position is noted for the record. She further said, “Mr. Trump, like any defendant, will have to make the trial date work, regardless of his schedule.”

Trump has pleaded not guilty to four criminal counts in the federal case surrounding attempts to overturn the 2020 Presidential election, including conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding and conspiracy against rights.

The federal election case is one of four criminal cases against Trump. Judge Aileen Cannon of the U.S. District in Southern Florida has set a May 20 trial date in the special counsel’s prosecution of Trump’s handling of classified documents post-Presidency.

On the state level, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has asked a judge to set a trial date of March 4 for former her racketeering case related to Georgia’s 2020 election. That date, of course, is now in conflict with Chutkan’s trial date for the federal case.

In New York State, the trial date on Trump’s alleged falsifying business records related to hush money payments related to the 2016 election has been set for Marcy 25, though Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has indicated he is willing to confer with other authorities to address scheduling conflicts.

PHOTO: Trump arrives in DC for Arraignment, August 3

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