Accessibility links

Breaking News

Judge Sets March 4 Trial Date in Trump Election Interference Case

Election 2024 AP Poll Biden Trump
Election 2024 AP Poll Biden Trump

The trial of former U.S. President Donald Trump on charges of plotting to overturn the 2020 presidential election will be held next March, a federal judge ruled Monday.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan set the high-profile trial for March 4, rejecting dates proposed by prosecutors and defense lawyers.

The prosecution wanted the proceeding to start January 2, with jury selection in December, while the Trump defense team sought to put it off until April 2026.

The ruling by Chutkan, delivered during a hearing Monday, puts the trial right in the middle of the 2024 U.S. presidential campaign in which Trump is the leading Republican candidate. It will commence on the eve of Super Tuesday, when voters in more than a dozen states go to the polls to choose their parties' presidential nominees.

Trump is charged with four felony counts in the case including conspiracy to defraud the United States and conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Trump’s lawyers sought to delay the trial citing the millions of pages of documents they must review and a conflict with other pending criminal cases.

Trump attorney John Lauro called the government’s proposed trial date “an outrage to justice,” saying never in history has a “case of this magnitude” gone to trial in four months.

But Chutkan, noting that the case featured one defendant and four counts, said the defense didn’t need two years to “investigate” the case and prepare for trial.

The former president faces three other criminal cases, two of which have been set for trial next year.

On March 25, he’ll go on trial in New York on charges stemming from a hush money payment to an adult movie star ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

On May 20, he’ll face a jury in Florida where he’s charged with illegally retaining classified documents after he left office and hid them from investigators.

The most recent criminal case against Trump — an indictment issued August 15 over his efforts to overturn the election results in the southern U.S. state of Georgia — has not been set for trial yet. His arraignment in that case has been set for September 6. Prosecutors are seeking a March trial date.

Trump is the first former American president to face criminal charges. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Until his most recent criminal indictment, Trump had dodged the ordeal of having to pose for a mugshot. But last week he was made to face the camera when he was booked into an Atlanta jail. He became the first former American president to have his mugshot taken and plastered all over the media.

Meanwhile, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows took the stand in federal court in Atlanta to argue that his case should be moved from state court to federal court.

Meadows is one of 18 Trump associates indicted alongside the former president in connection with the effort to overturn the election results in the state.