Former President Donald Trump’s trial for criminal election interference has been scheduled for March 4, 2024, by federal judge Tanya Chutkan. This timing places the prominent Republican presidential candidate on trial in Washington, D.C., just seven months ahead of the 2024 general election.
Judge Chutkan’s decision came after dismissing trial date proposals from both Trump’s legal team and special counsel Jack Smith. The Department of Justice’s suggestion of a January 2 trial start was considered insufficient for Trump’s preparation. Conversely, Trump’s proposal of an April 2026 trial was seen as excessive.
The trial’s jury selection process is slated to coincide with Super Tuesday, a pivotal day in the presidential primary cycle. Notably, Trump’s presence wasn’t required at this hearing, which also addressed the handling of classified information tied to the case.
Former President Trump had recently pleaded not guilty to a four-count indictment, alleging he conspired to overturn his 2020 election loss to President Joe Biden.
While Trump seeks to delay trials past the 2024 election, trial dates have already been established in two of his cases. Coordination between jurisdictions is evident, as Judge Chutkan communicated with a New York judge overseeing a related case.
Atlanta prosecutor Fani Willis aimed to align Trump’s Georgia trial with the March 4 date. Special counsel Smith pushed for a January 2 trial, citing public interest, while Trump’s legal team argued for additional time to review extensive evidence.
Trump objected to the trial’s pace, calling it unjust. Judge Chutkan intervened to manage the tension, emphasizing that much of the evidence was duplicative and that Trump’s team had prior knowledge of the indictment.
Despite Trump’s claims of victimhood due to “election interference,” charges he faces in D.C. and Georgia echo his allegations. Trump’s legal battles extend to federal charges in Florida, scheduled for trial in May, where he faces 40 felony counts for handling classified records post-presidency.