A federal judge has set a date of March the fourth next year for the start of former US president Donald Trump’s trial. It is in relation to efforts to overturn the 2020 election results and to stop their certification by the US Congress.
Prosecutors have sought a trial date in January next year while defence lawyers have argued for a date in April 2026, but federal judge Tanya Chutkan picked March 2024 instead, which is in the middle of the Republican primary campaign to select the party’s nominee for President in the general election scheduled for November 2024.
Trump remains the outright favourite to clinch the nomination, his mounting legal woes boosting his popularity on the right but the political nature of the moment of little consequence to the facts that will play themselves out in Judge Chutkan’s courtroom.
She ruled that the January date proposed by prosecutors would not afford Trump’s team enough time to prepare while she referred to the defence’s April 2026 proposal as far beyond what was necessary.
In this case, led by Special Counsel Jack Smith, Trump is indicted on four federal counts amounting to an alleged scheme to stay in power despite losing the 2020 election to Joe Biden.
VIDEO: Earlier this month, Trump pleaded not guilty to charges he plotted to overturn 2020 Presidential election results: