The prosecutors overseeing the indictment of former President Donald J. Trump on charges of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election asked a judge on Thursday to set a trial date in the case for early January, laying out an aggressive schedule for the proceeding.
In a motion filed to Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, who is presiding over the case in Federal District Court in Washington, the prosecutors laid out an ambitious timetable, saying they were ready not only to go to trial on Jan. 2, 2024, but were also poised to give Mr. Trump’s lawyers the bulk of their discovery evidence in the next two weeks or so. The prosecutors further proposed that Mr. Trump’s lawyers submit their first pretrial motions in not much more than a month.
Mr. Trump’s legal team will get to suggest its own timetable for the case next week and will surely object to the government’s proposal. If accepted, the accelerated schedule would make the election interference case the first of the three criminal cases that Mr. Trump now faces to be put in front of a jury.
In their filing to Judge Chutkan, the prosecutors working for the special counsel, Jack Smith, said the rapid pace they suggested was needed given the gravity and historic nature of the charges.
“It is difficult to imagine a public interest stronger than the one in this case, in which the defendant — the former president of the United States — is charged with three criminal conspiracies intended to undermine the federal government, obstruct the certification of the 2020 presidential election and disenfranchise voters,” Molly Gaston, one of the prosecutors, wrote. “Trial in this case is clearly a matter of public importance, which merits in favor of a prompt resolution.”
In most criminal matters, determining the timetable for bringing a case to trial is an important but mundane process that revolves around questions including the complexity of the evidence, the number of defendants and the schedules of the judge, prosecutors and defense lawyers.
But the United States v. Donald J. Trump is not most criminal matters. In fact, it is not even the only criminal matter bearing that name.
Mr. Trump has now been charged in Washington in the federal election interference case; in Florida in another federal case accusing of him of illegally holding on to classified materials after he left office; and in New York, where he has been charged with 34 felonies related to a hush money payment to a porn star.
Next week, he could face indictment in a fourth case in Fulton County, Georgia, in connection with his efforts to tamper with the election results there, too.