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On Monday, a federal judge set the start of former President Donald Trump‘s federal election interference trial in Washington, D.C., for March 4.
That’s one day before Super Tuesday, a significant date for Trump as he is seeking the 2024 Republican nomination to run for a second term in the White House. More than a dozen key states — including California, Maine, Texas, North Carolina, Utah, and Virginia — are expected to hold their nominating contests on March 5.
“Setting a trial date does not depend and should not depend on a defendant’s personal and professional obligations,” said presiding U.S. District Judge Tonya Chutkan, according to NBC News. “Mr. Trump, like any defendant, will have to make the trial date work, regardless of his schedule,” the judge added.
Indeed, over the next year, Trump’s campaign schedule is poised to become a balancing act while he contends with a bevy of trials — some of which, like with the federal case in D.C., line up with key election dates. The situation has given cause to Trump’s supporters to claim there is election interference at play.
Judge Chutkan looked at the calendar and just randomly picked March 4, 2024 as the trial date, the day before Super Tuesday.
What an absolute farce. pic.twitter.com/uWNVULVfWR
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) August 28, 2023
Kicking off a pair of civil matters heading to court, Trump faces a fraud suit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James that is set to go to trial on October 2.
Then a defamation lawsuit brought by writer E. Jean Carroll, who accuses the former president of raping her, is set to go to trial on January 15, 2024 — coinciding with the first-in-the-nation Iowa Republican presidential caucus.
A hush-money criminal case brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is scheduled to go to trial on March 25, a date that is right in the middle of a slate of key election contests. States poised to hold March 19 primaries include Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, and Ohio. Louisiana holds its primary on March 23, while Wisconsin has its primary set for April 2.
The trial in Smith’s documents case against Trump and two of his aides is set to begin on May 20 in Florida. A few states, including Maryland and West Virginia, are slated to hold their primaries on May 14. A few more — Idaho, Kentucky, and Oregon — have theirs scheduled for May 21.
One other criminal matter — this one in Georgia — remains unclear as of press time.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has proposed starting the trial in her 2020 election case against Trump and 18 of his allies on March 4, which is the same date now selected for the federal election case. It also happens to be one week before Georgia’s primary on March 12.
Across all the legal matters, Trump has broadly denied any wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty to charges in New York, D.C., and Florida. Trump and his co-defendants are set to be arraigned in Georgia on September 6.
When it comes to the four criminal cases, Trump has claimed politically motivated forces are targeting him in a “witch hunt” propagated by the Biden administration and Democrat prosecutors in New York and Georgia.
The Republican National Convention is scheduled to be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from July 15-18.