Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Trump Could Face an Extraordinary Trial Schedule Next Year

The unprecedented — a former U.S. president indicted, and while running for the office again — has now happened four times. Next up will be a presidential candidate going on trial. Possibly four times.

We don’t yet know the timelines for all the trials, and the preliminary dates we have for some of them may still change. But it is already clear that across the board, prosecutors are seeking to move quickly.

Extraordinary though the prospect is, it is entirely within the realm of possibility that Donald J. Trump could stand trial four times before the presidential election on Nov. 5, 2024 — and have to leave the campaign trail each time.

Justice Juan M. Merchan, who is presiding over the state case in New York concerning hush-money payments to a pornography actress, has scheduled a trial to begin March 25, 2024. If that date holds, it would be just under a year after the indictment in that case.

Judge Aileen M. Cannon, who is presiding over the federal case concerning Mr. Trump’s retention of classified documents, has scheduled a trial to begin May 20, 2024 — again, just under a year after indictment. Judge Cannon rejected the government’s request to hold the trial sooner, in December, but also rejected the Trump team’s push to delay the proceedings until after the 2024 election.

The dates for the other two trials — in the federal case concerning Mr. Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, for which he was indicted on Aug. 1, and now in the Georgia case — are still to be determined.

Jack Smith, the special counsel overseeing that federal case, has proposed Jan. 2, 2024, for the opening of the trial. That would be just two weeks before the Iowa presidential caucuses.

Fani T. Willis, the prosecutor in the Georgia case, indicated on Monday that she would seek a trial within six months of the indictment, which would mean no later than mid-February 2024 — smack in the middle of the early primaries.

There’s no guarantee that the judges in those cases will agree to those requests.

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