Joyce White Vance

A Trial Date

A Trial Date

AUG 29, 2023

Trump has a trial date in the federal election interference prosecution, arguably the most serious charges he faces. And it’s not his pie in the sky dream of April 2026.

March 4, 2024. It’s so close you might skip past it if you’re scrolling through the calendar on your phone.

Judge Tanya Chutkan wasn’t having any of Trump’s histrionics about the trial date. And, she took his lawyer to task for inaccuracies in the arguments that were made in the pleadings. Trump’s team tried used a mathematical false equivalency to justify their 2026 trial date. Instead of using data showing the median time it takes a case to go to trial in the District of Columbia in order arrive at a reasonable trial date, they used data that included the additional time, often many months, that it takes for a defendant to be sentenced in their calculations. Judge Chutkan was not misled, one of the many virtues of putting experienced lawyers on the bench. She was also sliced through flawed statistics that leaned on pandemic-caused delays in the courts. Trump’s lawyers had the misfortune of trying to pull the wool over her eyes with one of her own cases.


The Judge noted that unnecessary delays can lead to witnesses becoming unavailable, or memories fading. Those problems underline the government’s right to a speedy trial (as well as the defendant’s, except that the defendant here doesn’t want one).

Nor was Judge Chutkan impressed by the theatrics from Trump’s lawyer.


She repeatedly told him to take the temperature down. Then she set a schedule that requires the lawyers to file pretrial motions by October 9, and prosecutors to give the defense notice about evidence and expert witnesses it intends to use in December. It’s going to be a busy season for the lawyers, and for the judge who will have to promptly rule on motions, before jury selection beings on March 4.

But here it is, official on the court’s trial docket. Donald Trump, who seemed to endlessly escape responsibility and accountability for even the worst misconduct while in office will face a jury of his peers on charges that he tried to steal the 2020 election. It’s fitting justice, even though it has taken a long time to get here.


We all know there’s a complicated road ahead. Trump will continue to try and delay matters. Perhaps he’ll file a petition for mandamus to ask the Court of Appeals to override Judge Chutkan’s trial setting. But if he does, he’ll lose. And with each transparent effort to prevent justice from coming for him, the courts seem to be growing less willing to let Trump abuse the system for his own purposes.

Tuesday, Mark Meadows, a surprise witness at his own removal hearing in Georgia will continue to make his case for a trial in federal court instead of state court. Next week, Trump and his co-defendants in the Fulton County case will be arraigned. We are living in the moment where the courts—and prosecutors—are relentlessly pursuing their cases. The rule of law, which Trump tried so badly to break, is still working.

We’re in this together,


Published by rperez

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