Former President Donald Trump and his 18 co-defendants charged in an alleged scheme to steal the 2020 election in Georgia should stand trial starting March 4, the office of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis told a judge.
(Bloomberg) — Former President Donald Trump and his 18 co-defendants charged in an alleged scheme to steal the 2020 election in Georgia should stand trial starting March 4, the office of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis told a judge.
The proposal filed Wednesday would mean starting the trial one day before Super Tuesday, a pivotal primary date on the Republican nomination calendar when the most delegates will likely be up for grabs. The trial would also likely overlap with Georgia’s primary, scheduled for March 12.
The trial would determine the fate of Trump and others who were charged in a 41-count indictment on Monday for allegedly conspiring to overturn the election results. Trump, now facing his fourth set of criminal charges, will need to juggle a busy trial schedule as he ramps up his latest presidential bid in 2024.
The district attorney’s office also proposed having arraignments take place the week of Sept. 5 in Atlanta. Willis has given Trump and the other defendants until Aug. 25 to voluntarily surrender, and said she would try all the defendants in the same trial. No dates have been set by the judge.
Trump’s lawyer, Kurt Hilbert, didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment on the proposed trial date.
Willis used Georgia’s racketeering statute to accuse Trump of running a criminal enterprise with the goal of keeping him in office after he lost the election. The alleged scheme involved giving false testimony to Georgia lawmakers, empaneling a phony slate of electors for Trump and intimidating poll workers. He and a number of his co-defendants have denied wrongdoing ahead of being formally arraigned and denounced the prosecution as a politically motivated attack.
Read More: Georgia Grand Jury Returns Indictments Amid Trump Probe
On Tuesday, the Fulton County sheriff’s office issued a media advisory saying that all 19 defendants in the case are expected to be booked at a jail facility about five miles from the courthouse in downtown Atlanta, based on “guidance received from the district attorney’s office and presiding judge.” The statement also said that the defendants could come in at any time before the Aug. 25 deadline, and that the jail was open 24 hours a day.
Trump’s busy litigation calendar next year is already jamming up his 2024 campaign schedule. A March 4 trial would kick off just a few weeks before Trump is set to stand trial in New York on March 25 on state charges that he falsified business records in connection with hush money payments to a porn film star before the 2016 election.
Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade wrote in the latest court filing that they didn’t believe the schedule they were proposing would conflict with Trump’s other pending criminal and civil trials scheduled for next year in New York, Florida and Washington.
“The proposed dates are requested so as to allow the defendants’ needs to review discovery and prepare for trial but also to protect the state of Georgia’s and the public’s interest in a prompt resolution of the charges for which the defendants have been indicted,” Wade wrote.
US Justice Department Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office wants a Jan. 2 jury trial for Trump on federal charges he criminally conspired to obstruct the 2020 election.
And on May 20, he is to face federal charges in Florida that he mishandled state secrets after he left the White House and tried to obstruct government efforts to retrieve classified material.
A trial is scheduled for January in New York in writer E. Jean Carroll’s civil defamation case against him.
–With assistance from Gregory Korte.
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