Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ office has requested that the judge overseeing Donald Trump’s 2020 election fraud case in Georgia set the start of the trial for March 4, 2024—the day before Super Tuesday, according to court filings.
If granted by the judge, Trump is looking at a jam-packed court schedule as he heads into the primaries, with four criminal trials possibly slated within the span of five months.
But Ty Cobb, a former Trump White House lawyer, poured cold water on the prospects of a March trial. With 19 defendants and a slew of different charges, he said there’s “no chance” Willis will be able to begin within two years.
“Everybody will have motions galore,” Cobb told CNN this week. “This case will take a long time for people to prepare. There will be motions for severance, motions to dismiss, and if it takes her two years, I mean heaven forbid that Trump wins the presidency, then there will be a fight to the Supreme Court over whether she can proceed against the sitting president during his term.”
“That’s an issue that’s never been resolved,” he added.
In Trump’s 2020 election meddling case in D.C. federal court, Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office is aiming for a trial date of Jan. 2, 2024 with a duration of “no longer than four to six weeks”—which, if Trump is found guilty, could see the former president convicted before the major GOP presidential primaries. Trump didn’t take the news of Smith’s suggestion lightly, however, raging on Truth Social last week that the trial “should only happen, if at all, AFTER THE ELECTION.”
“Only an out of touch lunatic would ask for such a date, ONE DAY into the New Year, and maximum Election Interference with IOWA!” he wrote.
The back-to-back (and even potentially overlapping) trials could pose a real juggling act for Trump as he attempts to maintain his frontrunner status in the GOP presidential stakes. However, Trump’s legal team has repeatedly sought delays, scoring his biggest win with Trump-appointed Judge Aileen Cannon, who pushed his Mar-a-Lago trial date to after most critical primaries.
Trump and his legal team are still likely to raise an issue with the tight March scheduling for his New York and Georgia trials, Reuters reported. Willis’ filing said she selected the dates “in light of Defendant Donald Trump’s other criminal and civil matters pending in the courts of our sister sovereigns,” promising little conflict.
Following in the footsteps of Mark Meadows, Trump is likely to try to move his Georgia case to federal court, where he could buy more time, get a more favorable jury pool, and even land a judge whom he appointed. Federal convictions can also be pardoned by U.S. presidents.