Judge Considers Trial Date: Trump Lawyers Return to D.C. Court

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A federal judge in Washington, D.C. is considering setting a trial date for former President Donald Trump’s 2020 election-related case brought by special counsel Jack Smith. Prosecutors and Trump’s lawyers have proposed different trial dates, with Smith’s team suggesting January 2024, while Trump proposed April 2026. The judge, Tanya Chutkan, rejected both proposed dates and has previously issued a protective order in the case, limiting the use and disclosure of sensitive discovery material.

A federal judge in D.C. is weighing on when Donald Trump will face trial in the 2020 election-related case led by special counsel Jack Smith. This ruling will significantly impact the timeline of Trump’s four pending criminal cases.

Both prosecution and Trump’s lawyers have proposed trial dates that differ significantly, highlighting the discrepancy in their estimated pretrial timelines.

Smith’s team has urged Judge Tanya Chutkan to initiate proceedings in January 2024— five months after Trump faced indictment on four federal counts— while Trump proposed an April 2026 trial date.

Trump, who pleaded not guilty, believes Smith’s prosecution attempts are designed to sabotage his campaign. However, Chutkan has termed both proposed trial dates as unacceptable.

Trump’s absence in the proceeding marks the second time Trump’s attorneys and special counsel have appeared before Chutkan. Earlier this month, she issued a protective order in the case that limited the use and disclosure of sensitive discovery material. She also reiterated Trump’s right to free speech is not absolute and warned against potential witness intimidation.

Trump’s social media comments led to a Texas woman leaving a threatening voicemail for Chutkan. The woman was arrested and charged after issuing a racially charged threat to kill the judge.

Trump is the sole defendant in Smith’s federal election-related probe. His legal team plans to attempt to move the federal case out of Washington, D.C. The special counsel’s classified documents case against Trump in Florida is set for trial in May.

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