On March 4, 2024—the day before Super Tuesday—U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan made a trial date for former U.S. President Trump’s federal lawsuit, in which it is alleged that he sought to alter the results of the 2020 election.
Chutkan rejected the proposal for a date in the spring of 2026, according to a report from the Associated Press published this week in Washington, DC.
The date of March 4 falls a day before over a dozen states conduct their causes or primaries, making it one of the most important days during the presidential primary season.
According to the AP, Chutkan stated this week that “the public has a right to a quick and effective answer to this problem.”
The court further stated that “setting a trial date doesn’t depend and shouldn’t depend upon the defendant’s professional or personal obligations,” according to Politico’s Kyle Cheney. “Trump must make the trial date work in spite of his schedule, just like any other defendant.”
A trial date in January, many weeks before the Iowa Caucuses, had been sought by the prosecution team led by Special Counsel Jack Smith.
Senator J.D. Vance (R-OH), who has backed Trump for the nomination of the Republican Party for president, spoke out quickly, calling the move “being straight-up election interference.”
Trump is charged with four offenses in the case: “Conspiracy to Defraud the U.S.,” “Conspiracy to hinder an Official Proceeding,” “Obstruction of and Attempting to hinder an Official Proceeding,” as well as “Conspiracy Over Rights.”
If he is found guilty on all counts, he could get up to 55 years in prison. The charge is only one of four criminal prosecutions that President Trump has been the target of in the last five months, according to the leftist DA’s in the states of New York and Georgia in addition to the Justice Department.
Notably, Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s lawsuit against Trump, in which he is accused of 34 counts of forging business records, is also set to start in the spring on March 25. Smith’s other case, which is about secret papers that Trump is said to have taken when he left office, will start on May 20.