Updated Apr 1, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Trump trials timeline: Jan. 6, Georgia and classified docs cases in limbo

Status of Trump's criminal cases
Table: Axios Visuals. Note: The Aug. 5 trial date in Georgia was proposed by the prosecution, while the Florida and New York dates were set by judges.

The timelines of three of the four criminal cases against former President Trump are now in limbo, casting doubt on the likelihood their trials will even begin before November.

Why it matters: Trump's legal team has employed delay tactics to push legal proceedings in four jurisdictions beyond the 2024 election. If he wins the presidency before standing trial, he could escape prosecution altogether.

  • The New York hush money criminal case, now scheduled to begin later this month after being delayed, is widely seen as the weakest of the four.
  • "If you were a betting man, the hush money [case] is the only one I would bet on" happening before the election, Joshua Naftalis, a former federal prosecutor in New York and now a partner at Pallas, previously told Axios.

Trump's classified documents case

Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee, indicated in a hearing last month in Florida that the classified documents trial won't begin in May as previously scheduled.

  • She has yet to set a new date. Special counsel Jack Smith's team proposed July 8.
  • Trump's legal team suggested it should start in November — after the election — because Trump would not have time to prepare his defense while also on trial in New York.

Context: The case concerns classified files Trump stored at his residences after leaving office.

  • At a separate hearing last month, Cannon dismissed one of Trump's motions to dismiss the charges in the case. She has yet to rule on the second motion his lawyers filed.

Trump's Georgia 2020 election interference case

In Georgia, Trump's lawyers engaged in a legal battle over whether District Attorney Fani Willis should be removed from the Georgia election interference case, arguing her romantic relationship with a prosecutor she hired in the case created a conflict of interest.

Between the lines: If Willis is removed, assembling a new prosecution would likely force the trial's start date past November. If the case is derailed altogether, it'd be a huge win for Trump.

  • The case is currently scheduled to go to trial on Aug. 5.

Context: Before his ruling on Willis, McAfee also dismissed six counts in the indictment, including three against Trump.

Trump's Jan. 6 election interference case

The Supreme Court agreed in late February to keep Trump's federal election interference trial frozen while it considers his claim to "total immunity" from prosecution.

  • The trial was originally set to begin March 4.
  • Last month, Trump asked the Supreme Court in a filing to grant him "absolute immunity" from charges that he plotted to overturn the 2020 election.
  • Oral arguments before the high court are due to begin April 25.
  • That timeline means a trial over Trump's involvement in Jan. 6 likely won't begin, much less end, before the election, Axios' Sam Baker reports.

Trump's New York hush money case

The hush money trial is now set to begin on April 15, after being delayed from its previous start date of March 25.

  • The case concerns a payment during Trump's 2016 presidential run to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, allegedly to hush up an affair.

Catch up quick: Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in February requested a gag order to bar Trump from making "inflammatory remarks" about the proceedings.

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