The case is set to begin on March 4th, 2024, shutting down bids from both sides to speed the trial up and to delay the trial for years.
Judge Tanya Chutkan delivered that ruling after rejecting two wildly different trial schedules proposed by Trump’s attorneys and special counsel Jack Smith’s federal prosecutors.
Trump was not required to appear at the hearing, which also addressed the federal procedures for handling the “small amount of classified information” that the government said it has identified in the case.
The former president earlier this month pleaded not guilty to the four-count indictment charging him with illegally conspiring to overturn his loss to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election.
Trump, a top Republican presidential candidate who is facing four separate criminal cases, has sought to move his trials past the November 2024 election. But judges in two of his cases have already set trial dates starting in 2024.
Special counsel Jack Smith, who is leading Trump’s prosecution in his two federal cases, proposed that the case in D.C. federal court should head to trial on Jan. 2. Trump’s attorneys responded that the trial should start in April 2026, claiming that they need a significant amount of time to sift through the millions of pages of potential evidence.
Judge Chutkan noted, “This case isn’t going to trial in 2026 and I want to know despite the rhetoric in your response to the government’s trial date, realistically why you think you need this time,”… “a significant amount of this discovery is duplicative,” adding that Trump’s attorneys have known the indictment was coming “for quite some time.”