Judge sets March 4, 2024 as Trump trial date in election interference case

The federal judge overseeing the criminal case against former President Donald Trump for interference with the 2020 presidential election has scheduled the trial for March 4, 2024.

Driving the news: This decision comes despite Trump’s arguments for a delay of two years.
* The trial, which will be held at a courthouse close to the U.S. Capitol, falls deep into the 2024 election season and just before Super Tuesday.
* In addition to this trial, Trump also faces charges in New York, Florida, and Fulton County, Georgia.

The charges: The former president has pleaded not guilty to several charges including conspiracy to defraud the U.S., conspiracy to obstruct Congress, and conspiracy against rights for allegedly trying to disenfranchise American voters by attempting to overturn the 2020 election and disrupt the peaceful transfer of power.
* The Trump legal team argued the trial date is inconsistent with Trump’s right to due process, a point the judge said she would note for the record.

Discovery completion: As part of the prosecution process, Special counsel prosecutor Molly Gaston says they have turned over 12.8 million pages of discovery to Trump’s defense team.
* Gaston mentioned that much of this material includes duplicate papers from Trump’s political action committee, the National Archives, the Secret Service, and the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot.
* Many potential witnesses are individuals who worked closely with Trump.

Trump’s defense: Trump’s lawyer, John Lauro, cautioned that the case would be complex and indicated they will file several motions in the coming weeks, including an argument that the prosecution is taking advantage of the situation against Trump, who is campaigning for the presidency again.
* According to Lauro, another imminent motion will argue that the former president was only exercising his First Amendment rights and not violating any federal conspiracy laws.

Who said what: Trump, who criticized the special counsel, the prosecutors, the judge, and residents of Washington, D.C., labeled special counsel Jack Smith as “deranged” and accused Biden White House officials of being “fascist thugs.”

View original article on NPR

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