Trump rejects set date for trial on Capitol assault; his defense claims he's being deprived of a fair process


On Monday, the legal team of former U.S. President Donald Trump stated that the date chosen by the judge to begin the trial against him for attempting to overturn the 2020 elections deprives him of the right to a fair trial.

"The date set today deprives President Trump of his constitutional right to a fair trial, a fundamental principle of the United States, and continues to expose the corruption and witch hunt that is underway," said a spokesperson for the former president in a statement.

U.S. Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, who will preside over the case stemming from the Capitol assault on January 6, 2021, announced on Monday that the selected trial date is March 4th, a day before Super Tuesday.

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This date closely resembles a national primary in the United States, as more than a dozen states, both Republican and Democrat, will simultaneously hold internal processes to select their candidates.

Through his Truth Social social media platform, Trump stated that he will appeal the judge's decision and reiterated that the Joe Biden administration is conducting a "witch hunt" against him.

With her decision, Chutkan dismissed the special prosecutor's desire, Jack Smith, for the trial to begin in January 2024, close to the anniversary of the Capitol assault.

The defense's interest in postponing the process until after the upcoming presidential elections in November 2024, where Trump is still the favored Republican candidate, was also rejected. They had requested the trial to begin in April 2026.

In her remarks on Monday, the judge stated that she wouldn't allow Trump's political agenda, given that he faces four ongoing criminal cases, to dictate the trial schedule.

"If this case involved a professional athlete, for example, it would be inappropriate to set the trial date based on their game schedule," Chutkan stated, adding that Trump's proposed schedule went far beyond what was necessary to prepare the case.

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The former president is facing four charges in Washington, D.C.: conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction and attempted obstruction of an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights.

For the first charge, he could face a maximum sentence of five years in prison, while the second and third charges carry a maximum of twenty years each. The fourth charge carries a potential ten-year sentence.

The announcement on Monday came shortly after news broke that the reading of charges against the former president and 18 others in Georgia, for their attempt to overturn the 2020 election results in that state, will take place on September 6th.

Trump has pleaded not guilty in the other three criminal cases in which he's also charged: irregular payments to the adult film actress Stormy Daniels to silence their past relationship during the 2016 campaign, illegally taking classified documents from the White House upon leaving office, and the Capitol assault.

Last Thursday, the former president visited Georgia to be booked and photographed by the police. He spent just 20 minutes at Fulton County Jail and was released on a $200,000 bond.

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The lead prosecutor in the case, Democrat Fani Willis, proposed to the court on the same day that the trial begin on October 23rd, rather than March 4th of the following year, as initially proposed.

The trial for Trump's irregular payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels is set to begin on March 25th, 2024, in New York.

Meanwhile, the trial in Florida for the classified documents is scheduled for May 20th, 2024, just over six months before the presidential elections.