The decade's most triggering comedy
Former President Donald Trump is seeking to push the start date of his federal trial in Washington, D.C., over his alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election to April 2026.
Special Counsel Jack Smith’s team requested that U.S. District Judge Tonya Chutkan, who is overseeing the case, allow jury selection to begin in December of this year and that the trial start in January 2024.
Senior assistant special counsel Molly Gaston wrote in a filing to the court that the January start date “would vindicate the public’s strong interest in a speedy trial—an interest guaranteed by the Constitution and federal law in all cases, but of particular significance here, where the defendant, a former president, is charged with conspiring to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election, obstruct the certification of the election results, and discount citizens’ legitimate votes.”
Trump’s legal team countered in their filing on Thursday night by requesting that the case be pushed back until “the April 2026 trial calendar.”
Trump also guesstimates it will take him 4-6 weeks to present his defense, same estimate as prosecution, which means we're looking at a very roughly estimated 14-week trial, when you factor in jury selection. https://t.co/WLyWQsdQ1L pic.twitter.com/urHndTVAMR
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) August 17, 2023
Trump was indicted in the case at the start of the month on charges of Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, Conspiracy to Obstruct an Official Proceeding, Obstruction of and Attempt to Obstruct an Official Proceeding, and Conspiracy Against Rights.
“Despite having lost, the Defendant was determined to remain in power,” the indictment began. “So for more than two months following election day on November 3, 2020, the Defendant spread lies that there had been outcome-determinative fraud in the election and that he had actually won. These claims were false, and the Defendant knew that they were false. But the Defendant repeated and widely disseminated them anyway — to make his knowingly false claims appear legitimate, create an intense national atmosphere of mistrust and anger, and erode public faith in the administration of the election.”
The indictment says that Trump had every right to make false claims about the election and to challenge the results of the election. It says that the charges were related to specific actions that Trump took beyond making false claims and challenging the results in court.
Chutkan has made clear that she will not give Trump any kind of special treatment and that he will be expected to behave like any other criminal defendant. She has also stated that she will not let politics interfere in the case and she considers his presidential campaign as “a day job,” no different than any other defendant.