When Will Trump Be in Court? These Are the Dates to Watch

Donald Trump’s legal obligations are mounting just as the race for the 2024 presidential election heats up.

(Bloomberg) — Donald Trump’s legal obligations are mounting just as the race for the 2024 presidential election heats up. 

The former president, who’s campaigning for another term in the White House, potentially faces as many as six criminal and civil cases in the next year against him, his family and his companies. The trials, some of which are expected to last for weeks, overlap with key primary election dates, raising questions about the obstacles and consequences Trump will have to face as he ramps up his 2024 campaign. 

Three Trump cases have firm trial dates set for October, January and March, including New York’s fraud suit against the Trump Organization, the ex-president’s second showdown with author E. Jean Carroll stemming from her claims that he sexually assaulted her in 1996, and his prosecution in Manhattan over hush-money payments to a porn star ahead of the 2016 election.

Another three possible trials involving Trump are still up in the air. He was charged by the Department of Justice in June with mishandling classified materials at his Mar-a-Lago compound. The judge overseeing the case had tentatively scheduled a trial in August, but has yet to rule on dueling proposals from prosecutors to reset it for December and from Trump to postpone putting any date on the calendar. 

Meanwhile, Special Counsel Jack Smith sent a letter to Trump notifying him that he is a target of a Washington grand jury investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, including the insurrection at the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. No charges have been announced, but the letter signals that another federal indictment of Trump may be on the way.

Finally, the former president could soon be indicted by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in Atlanta, who has spent months investigating his alleged election interference in Georgia in the wake of his 2020 defeat.


Oct. 2, 2023: NY Attorney General’s fraud suit

Trump is set to face off with New York state’s top prosecutor in a trial in Manhattan state court starting Oct. 2 over her $250 million fraud case against the former president, his company and two of his sons.

The suit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James in September 2022 alleges that Trump, his sons and their family business overvalued his assets by billions of dollars. 

New York State Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, who has rejected Trump’s bid to throw out the case, said after his lawyer tried to extend some deadlines that the trial would start in October “come hell or high water.” Engoron has estimated the trial could last as long as two months. 

James alleges that Trump and his sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, lied to lenders and insurers about the value of the former president’s assets in order to get favorable loan terms and lower insurance premiums. A New York appeals court dismissed claims against Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, because they were too old. 

Trump’s lawyers have argued that the former president was being singled out and subjected to “selective treatment” by James, a Democrat, and alleged that she was motivated by personal and political animus.

Jan. 15, 2024: E. Jean Carroll’s defamation suit

Trump faces a second trial over allegations brought by columnist E. Jean Carroll, starting Jan. 15 in Manhattan federal court.

In May, Carroll won a landmark verdict against Trump when a jury found him liable for sexually abusing her during an alleged attack in a dressing room in 1996 and awarded her $5 million in damages.

In the 2019 suit set to go to trial in January, Carroll claims Trump defamed her by accusing her of fabricating the attack in order to gain attention and sell a book. Carroll is seeking at least $10 million in damages.

The former president filed a counterclaim accusing Carroll of trashing his reputation by publicly accusing him of rape during an appearance on CNN the day after jurors found him not liable for rape.

March 25: Manhattan criminal case over hush payments

Trump faces a March 25 trial in Manhattan state court in the first criminal indictment of a former or current US president. 

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg alleges that during the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump directed his then-lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen to pay adult film actor Stormy Daniels to bury damaging allegations of an extramarital sexual encounter. In a 34-count indictment filed in March, Trump is charged with falsifying business records to conceal the true nature of the payments.

New York State Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan ordered Trump to be present in court for his April 4 arraignment where he pleaded not guilty and at a second hearing in May — but excused the former president from at least one court proceeding while he was campaigning. 

Trump’s next scheduled court appearance is Jan. 4. Trump has tried, so far without success, to get Merchan removed from the case and have it transferred to federal court. Merchan hasn’t said how long the trial will take.

Daniel Richman, a former federal prosecutor who’s now a professor at Columbia Law School, says that under US rules Trump has to be present at his trial, like all criminal defendants.

“The rule still requires his appearance, at least unless a judge finds there to be special circumstances, and its exceptions are more about ensuring that a trial can proceed than giving a defendant options,” Richman said.

–With assistance from Zoe Tillman and Erik Larson.

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