Trump Jan 6 trial to begin March 4, amid GOP primaries

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The federal judge presiding over Special Counsel Jack Smith’s case against former President Trump, which alleges interference in the 2020 presidential election, set the trial date for March 4, 2024 – right in the middle of the GOP presidential primary calendar.

U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia Tanya Chutkan rejected a proposal by Trump’s defense team that the trial begin in April 2026 – long after the results of the 2024 presidential election.

Instead, she set the date far closer to one proposed by Smith and the government, who wanted the trial to begin on Jan. 2, 2024. They suggested it would last approximately four to six weeks. That date would have fallen just weeks before the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary.

Trump is the first former president in United States history to face criminal charges.

But a criminal trial against a former president, who is also a candidate with a commanding lead over the GOP presidential field, being set in the middle of the primary cycle is likely to cause a political firestorm.

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