(The Hill) — Special counsel Jack Smith’s office has proposed a January trial date for former President Donald Trump’s criminal case stemming from his efforts to remain in power after the 2020 election.
Prosecutors on Thursday proposed a Jan. 2, 2024, trial start and indicated they expect it will take no longer than four to six weeks to present their evidence.
“This trial date, and the proposed schedule outlined below, would give the defendant time to review the discovery in this case and prepare a defense, and would allow the Court and parties to fully litigate any pre-trial legal issues,” Molly Gaston and Thomas Windom, two lead prosecutors in the case, wrote in court filings.
“Most importantly, a January 2 trial date would vindicate the public’s strong interest in a speedy trial—an interest guaranteed by the Constitution and federal law in all cases, but of particular significance here, where the defendant, a former president, is charged with conspiring to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election, obstruct the certification of the election results, and discount citizens’ legitimate votes,” they continued.
The proposal would also schedule jury selection for Dec. 11.
Trump’s legal team is due to respond by next Thursday. U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, an Obama appointee who is slated to oversee the case, has indicated she will make a decision on the trial date at an Aug. 28 hearing.
But prosecutors and Trump’s lawyers have already begun battling over the timeline.
Smith’s office has stressed a desire for a speedy trial. At Trump’s arraignment, his attorney, John Lauro, said they couldn’t suggest a trial date until they see the scope of prosecutors’ evidence, but Lauro has expressed early concerns the timeline was moving too quickly.
Before Trump’s lawyers see the evidence, however, prosecutors are seeking a protective order that would place rules on how they can use the materials. A hearing is scheduled for Friday on prosecutors’ motion.
“Assuming that a protective order is entered, the Government expects to have substantially completed discovery in this case by the next hearing on August 28, 2023,” prosecutors wrote. “This Court—like federal courts throughout the nation—can and will ensure that the defendant receives both a fair and speedy trial.”
A Jan. 2 trial date would come just ahead of the first primary contests in the 2024 presidential race. Trump is also slated to go on civil trial in a defamation suit brought by writer E. Jean Carroll beginning Jan. 15, and he faces another civil trial beginning on Jan. 29 in a case related to his business dealings.
Trump’s other two criminal trials are currently scheduled for later in the campaign season. A trial in New York state court in connection with a hush money payment is scheduled for March 25, and the classified documents case in federal court is scheduled to go to trial on May 20.