Trump, campaign lash out at trial date in Jan. 6 federal case

Former President Trump and his campaign Monday lashed out at the federal judge overseeing his trial in Washington, D.C., over his efforts to subvert the 2020 election shortly after she scheduled his trial to begin for March.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan set Trump’s D.C. trial for March 4 after special counsel Jack Smith’s team asked for a Jan. 2 trial date. Trump’s team suggested a trial date in April 2026, well beyond the presidential election. 

The March date falls one day before Super Tuesday, when more than a dozen states will hold their primaries in the Republican presidential nominating contest, where Trump is the front-runner.

“Today a biased, Trump Hating Judge gave me only a two month extension, just what our corrupt government wanted, SUPER TUESDAY. I will APPEAL!” Trump wrote on Truth Social, repeating his claim that his numerous legal problems amount to “election interference” as he runs for a second White House term.

Trump’s team is likely to file motions and attempt to delay the trial, though the date itself cannot directly be appealed.

In addition to attacking Chutkan, Trump called Smith “deranged” and referred to his team of prosecutors as a “team of Thugs.”

A Trump spokesperson in a separate statement argued that the March 2024 court date would unfairly harm the former president’s campaign efforts.

“The date set today deprives President Trump of his Constitutional right to a fair trial, a seminal bedrock of America, and continues to expose the corruption of the witch hunts being thrown against President Trump,” the spokesperson said in a statement issued by the Trump campaign via email but not attributed to a specific individual.

“From setting a trial date for the day before ‘Super Tuesday’ to sending a fundraising email the moment of President Trump’s processing in Fulton County, the Biden regime is no longer hiding its nakedly political motivations,” the statement said. “President Trump will not be deterred, he will fight these hoaxes at every turn, and will win for the American people.”

In setting the date, Chutkan noted Trump would face trial more than three years from the day a mob of his supporters ransacked the Capitol after attending his rally.

Chutkan at turns criticized both prosecutors and Trump’s legal team for proposing a trial date either too soon or too distant, risking either failing to give a defendant time to prepare or having witnesses’ memories fade.

Chutkan also noted that a trial date “cannot and should not” depend on a defendant’s professional obligations, seemingly nodding to Trump’s third bid to capture the presidency, noting that if a professional athlete were on trial “it would be inappropriate to set a trial date to accommodate her schedule.”

In addition to the D.C. trial, Trump is set to go on trial later next March in New York City over an alleged hush money scheme during the 2016 campaign to keep quiet an affair, which he has denied, and he will go on trial next May on federal charges over his retention of classified materials after leaving office.

Trump was charged in Georgia over his efforts to overturn the state’s election results in 2020, but no trial date has been set yet in that case. An arraignment in Georgia is scheduled for Sept. 6.

The former president has repeatedly attacked the judges and prosecutors involved in each of those cases, and he has in some cases targeted individuals on social media who could be called as witnesses despite judges facing threats and requesting that Trump not attempt to influence or intimidate witnesses.

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