Fani Willis proposes March trial for Trump on election interference charges

Former US President Donald Trump and Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. — AFP/File
Former US President Donald Trump and Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. — AFP/File
  • Trump’s trial to be held during 2024 US elections.
  • US elections most likely to win by Trump.
  • Trump’s legal team yet to suggest a trial date.

Fani Willis, the Fulton County district attorney, proposed  March 4, 2024, as a trial date for ex-US President Donald Trump on the charges of meddling with the elections and falsifying state business records.

The March 2024 trial will be held amidst the 2024 Republican presidential campaigns. Trump’s trial will be held a day before “Super Tuesday” when more than a dozen states’ representatives and voters from California and Texas to Massachusetts and Maine will decide on the next Republican nominee.

Trump is currently the frontrunner to win the Republican nomination and there have been no comments by Trump’s lawyers on the trial date.

A grand jury in Fulton County on Tuesday accused Trump and 18 other people, of attempting to avenge his defeat to President Joe Biden in the state of Georgia in the 2020 presidential election. 

The charge was the second this month to accuse Trump of attempting to tamper with the results of the 2020 presidential election, making it the fourth criminal case against him.

Willis said in her filing that she selected the dates “in light of defendant Donald Trump’s other criminal and civil matters pending in the courts of our sister sovereigns.”

She said the timetable she has proposed would not conflict with those other courts’ already scheduled hearings and trial dates.

All of the accused have already been given until noon on August 25 to present themselves at the Fulton County Jail, according to Willis. She also requested on Wednesday that the defendants’ arraignment, or initial procedural hearing, take place the week of September 5.

In each of the four pending criminal charges against him, Trump has asserted his innocence.

His counsel has requested that any trial should be set for after the November 2024 presidential election.

The former president is due to go on trial in New York in March on numerous counts of falsifying company records in connection with an alleged hush money payment to an adult. The former president has a busy judicial schedule.

The federal case in which he is accused of illegally hoarding secret materials at his Mar-a-Lago residence and obstructing government efforts to restore them is also set for trial in May. It was brought by special counsel Jack Smith.

In the federal lawsuit involving Trump’s attempts to rig the election, Smith’s team is likewise pushing for a January 2 trial date.

The deadline for Trump’s legal team to suggest their own trial date in that matter is this Thursday.

Public polls indicate that opinions on Trump and the criminal charges brought against him are polarised along partisan lines among the majority of Americans. 

Before the Georgia charges were brought, an Associated Press-NORC Centre for Public Affairs Research poll found that 53% of Americans approved of the federal indictment against Trump for his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.


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