Do Donald Trump’s trial troubles spell doom for his campaign? – While former president Donald Trump is enjoying a very, very comfortable lead against his opponents for the Republican presidential nomination – the most recent polling data shows a 49.2% support from GOP voters, compared to 14.9% and 10.1% support, respectively, for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy – the former commander-in-chief has to contend with a new (but expected) threat to his campaign to re-enter the White House: The trial dates for his indictments.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, the federal judge presiding over the federal case against Trump regarding his alleged attempt to tamper with the results of the 2020 presidential elections, set the beginning of the trial for the latter’s third indictment to March 4, 2024, which happens to be right smack in the middle of the Republican national primaries.
Super Tuesday, when primaries are going to be held across several states, is on March 5.
The decision is a seeming compromise given that Special Counsel Jack Smith was pushing for a January 2024 trial date, while lawyers for the former president wanted the trial to be held in April 2026. Judge Chutkan saw the requests as “obviously very far apart,” and decided that “neither of them is acceptable.” The judge also reasoned that the court is not obligated to change its schedule based on the professional obligations of the defendant.
John Lauro, one of Donald Trump’s lawyers, had his objection to the trial date put on record, saying that they would not be able to mount a proper defense of their client given the timeframe provided by the court.
Trump also has to contend with several other trial dates set next year.
Federal Judge Aileen Cannon, who is presiding over the case related to Trump’s classified documents case, set the trial for the matter for May 20 of next year, while the former chief executive’s New York trial related to his hush money payments case will be held on March 25, 2024.
Donald Trump In Legal Jeopardy
Trump was apoplectic at the news, expressing his indignation on Truth Social.
He posted, “Deranged Jack Smith & his team of Thugs, who were caught going to the White House just prior to Indicting the 45th President of the United States (an absolute No No!), have been working on this Witch Hunt for almost 3 years, but decided to bring it smack in the middle of Crooked Joe Biden’s Political Opponent’s campaign against him.”
He accused the Biden administration of “election interference” based on the scheduling of his trials. “Today a biased, Trump Hating Judge gave me only a two month extension, just what our corrupt government wanted, SUPER TUESDAY.”
“I will APPEAL!” Trump promised his 6.4 million followers on the platform.
Trump’s lawyers echoed the sentiments of their client. Speaking to Fox News, Attorney Alina Habba, Trump’s legal spokesperson, said that the scheduling was an intentional and political move designed to throw a wrench into her client’s election plans.
“So, we know this is intentional… But I can tell you that it’s to tie him up, it’s definitely political,” she said, adding, “That is exactly what they wanted to do. There’s very much a coordinated effort,” implying that District Attorney Fani Willis, who is heading the prosecution of Trump’s state-based election tampering case in Georgia and Special Counsel Jack Smith were somehow working together to the detriment of Trump.
Habba also said she believed that the trial dates would change eventually. “These trial dates also are going to move. It’s unrealistic. It’s theatrics,” she said.
Tim Ramos has written for various publications, corporations, and organizations – covering everything from finance, politics, travel, entertainment, and sports – in Asia and the U.S. for more than 10 years.
From the Vault