Special Counsel Jack Smith calls for Trump’s 2020 election trial to start January 2 – and suggests it could take SIX WEEKS
- The trial would take place in the Iowa caucuses scheduled for January 15
- Smith calls for a ‘sufficiently expeditious trial’
- Trump’s lawyers asked for time to review the trove of evidence
Special Counsel Jack Smith has proposed a ‘speedy trial’ for Donald Trump – a trial that would begin early in the new year and likely take place in the Iowa caucuses.
Timing is everything in the rapidly filling court calendar as courts juggle a myriad of charges against the former president in various jurisdictions.
On federal charges related to Trump’s efforts to nullify the 2020 election, Smith drafted a compact indictment for speed – and is now telling a federal judge that prosecutors could turn over evidence within days and begin selecting a jury before Christmas.
Special Counsel Jack Smith is calling for Trump’s trial on January 6. Related charges begin Jan. 2, with filing indicating trial could take six weeks
“The January 2, 2024 trial date represents a sufficiently expeditious trial in the public interest and in the interests of justice, while allowing the accused time to prepare his defense and raise legal issues prior to the trial. trial with the Court,” he wrote in a Thursday filing with U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan.
The proposed timeline would give Trump’s defense attorneys two months after the indictment to file motions and five months to review discovery documents that prosecutors are obligated to share, Smith wrote.
In a footnote, he referenced Trump lawyer John Lauro’s media tour, saying it showed he was already ready for a fast pace.
“It appears defense counsel is already planning what motions the defendant will file,” he wrote, citing Lauro’s appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
Trump’s team at his initial impeachment last week was already characterizing the massive amount of evidence and seeking a slower timeline.
The two sides are squabbling over the “Speedy Trial Act,” which sets the clock for when a trial should begin, usually 70 days after an indictment is unsealed.
Trump’s lawyers are due in DC court on Friday
Smith’s filing came as Republican presidential candidates including North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum showed up at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. Trump (seen on a poster) is expected to visit
This comes against the backdrop of the 2024 presidential election, where the first GOP debate is just two weeks away, and the Iowa caucuses are scheduled for Jan. 15.
Smith says the trial itself is expected to take about four to six weeks, which would have a verdict before Super Tuesday in March.
U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan could speed up the case, even though a Trump-appointed judge has the power to set the timeline in the complex classified documents case
Smith argues that the Speedy Trial Act is not only intended to protect the rights of the accused, but that “the right to a timely trial belongs to the public, not just to the accused.”
He says this reduces “the opportunity for defendants to commit crimes while on bail and prevents an extended delay before trial from undermining the deterrent effect of sentencing.”
A US investigative judge released Trump on bail following his arraignment.
Judge Chutkan has the ability to keep the Trump case from January 6, where he is charged with obstruction of due process, conspiracy to obstruct the electoral count, conspiracy to defraud the government and conspiracy to violate civil rights related to the ballot.
In Florida, meanwhile, where a lawyer for Trump entered another not-guilty plea on his behalf on Thursday, Trump-appointed judge Aileen Cannon has the power to set a more deliberate timeline in the complex US case. classified documents.