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Former President Donald Trump Gets Bad News

Former President Donald Trump is scheduled to go on trial in Washington D.C. starting on March 4, 2024. The trial stems from charges related to his alleged interference in the 2020 presidential election and his role in the events surrounding the January 6 Capitol riots.

Special Counsel Jack Smith is responsible for bringing this trial to court. Notably, this trial is unprecedented, as Trump is the first former U.S. president to face criminal charges in the country’s history.

The trial’s start date holds significance as it begins just one day before Super Tuesday, during which Republican voters in 14 states will express their preferences for the next GOP presidential nominee.

U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia, Tanya Chutkan, confirmed the commencement date after hearing arguments from federal prosecutors and Trump’s legal team. The trial marks the first of four indictments Trump is set to face.

He has entered a not-guilty plea for all four charges: conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of an attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights.

Trump’s defense, led by attorney John Lauro, advocated for an April 2026 start date, almost a year and a half after the upcoming presidential election.

Lauro expressed concerns that the accelerated timeline would hinder their ability to provide effective representation. While Judge Chutkan acknowledged Lauro’s concerns, she indicated that a pre-trial schedule would be issued.

In contrast, Smith’s prosecution team requested a January 2 start date, suggesting that the trial would conclude within 4-6 weeks. However, this timeline would have coincided with the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primaries.

During the court proceedings, the potential of polling citizens of the District of Columbia to assess the need for a venue change was discussed.

Trump’s legal team had previously explored relocating the trial to West Virginia, a more Republican-friendly state than the Democratic stronghold of D.C. Judge Chutkan emphasized her vigilance in safeguarding the jury pool from potential bias.

Trump has consistently characterized the charges against him as part of a politically motivated “witch hunt.” Over the following months, he will also face trials related to alleged hush money payments to adult entertainer Stormy Daniels and his handling of classified documents after leaving office.

With these legal commitments, Trump’s ability to campaign for a potential second term in office in the months leading up to the November 5 election is likely to be constrained.

Shay Bottomley, a British journalist based in Canada, contributed to this report, drawing on his experience reporting for several publications, including the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live, and Southend Echo.

Jake Massey
Jake Massey
Journalist at the Medialinker Group
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