Updated Aug 10, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Special counsel seeks Jan. 2 start for Trump election fraud trial

Special Counsel Jack Smith delivers remarks on a recently unsealed indictment including four felony counts against former U.S. President Donald Trump on August 1, 2023 in Washington, DC.

Special Counsel Jack Smith delivers remarks on August 1 in Washington, DC. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Special counsel Jack Smith on Thursday proposed a start date of Jan. 2, 2024 for the trial on former President Trump's alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election, according to a court filing.

Driving the news: Smith's case would take no longer than four to six weeks to lay out, and the Jan. 2 date "would vindicate the public's strong interest in a speedy trial," the special counsel's office wrote in the filing.

  • "A January 2, 2024, trial date represents an appropriately speedy trial in the public interest and in the interests of justice, while affording the defendant time to prepare his defense and raise pre-trial legal issues with the Court," the special counsel's office stated.

The big picture: Trump, the frontrunner in the 2024 Republican primary, was indicted in July on four criminal counts for his alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

  • Trump was charged with conspiracy to defraud the U.S., conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding and conspiracy against rights.
  • The former president is now facing the prospect of three civil and three criminal trials before Election Day 2024.
  • Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis also appears to be nearing a decision on whether to bring charges in the investigation into Trump's efforts to interfere in Georgia's election.

What they're saying: A spokesperson for Trump's campaign slammed the proposed trial start date, writing in a statement that "deranged Jack Smith and the Biden Department of Justice are blatantly playing political games."

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Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from a Trump campaign spokesperson.

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