One of former president Donald Trump's many criminal trials is set to begin during the 2024 presidential election, just one day before one of the most consequential contests in the race.
Earlier today, U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan set a March 4, 2024 trial date for Trump's federal election interference case. The former president faces four charges, including conspiracy to defraud the country and conspiracy to obstruct Congress.
The trial is expected to last four to six weeks, and will begin one day before Super Tuesday — the day when most states hold their primary elections and caucuses. Nearly one-third of all delegates for the presidential nomination can be won on Super Tuesday, which is more than on any other date.
Trump's legal team had requested a trial date in April 2026, which Chutkan vehemently rejected. She told his lawyers Monday during the hearing: "You're not going to get two more years. This case is not going to trial in 2026."
Trump's team argued that the date did not give them ample time to prepare their defense. The former president's attorney, John Lauro, frequently raised his voice and became emotional, with Chutkan having to repeatedly tell him to “lower the temperature.”
To his arguments, Chutkan simply replied: “You’ve known this was coming, Mr. Trump’s counsel has known this was coming. This wasn’t, ‘Surprise! He’s been indicted.’"
Chutkan also said that she didn't take the 2024 GOP presidential into consideration when she made her decision, noting that “setting a trial date does not depend and should not depend on the defendant’s personal or professional obligations," such as in cases with professional athletes.
The trial date may even conflict with some of Trump's other cases, such as the March 25 trial in New York over payments made to an adult film star.
"Mr. Trump, like any defendant will have to make the trial date work, regardless of his schedule," Chutkan said.