Former President Trump lashed out on Thursday in response to special counsel Jack Smith’s proposal for him to stand trial on Jan. 2, 2024, on charges related to his efforts to cling to power after losing the 2020 election.
In a post on Truth Social, Trump took issue with the proximity of the proposed trial date to the Jan. 15 Iowa Republican caucuses, saying “only a lunatic” would propose to hold the trial on Jan. 2.
Trump also said the trial should only take place after the 2024 election – “if at all” – and repeated claims that the charges he faces represent election interference.
“Deranged Jack Smith has just asked for a trial on the Biden Indictment to take place on January 2nd., just ahead of the important Iowa Caucuses,” Trump wrote. “Only an out of touch lunatic would ask for such a date, ONE DAY into the New Year, and maximum Election Interference with IOWA!”
“Such a trial, which should never take place due to my First Amendment Rights, and massive BIDEN CORRUPTION, should only happen, if at all, AFTER THE ELECTION. The same with other Fake Biden Indictments. ELECTION INTERFERENCE!” Trump continued.
Earlier Thursday, prosecutors from Smith’s office proposed the Jan. 2 date and said they expect to take no longer than four to six weeks to present their evidence.
Trump pleaded not guilty to four criminal charges related to his efforts to cling to power after losing the election, including charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and a conspiracy against civil rights.
“This trial date, and the proposed schedule outlined below, would give the defendant time to review the discovery in this case and prepare a defense, and would allow the Court and parties to fully litigate any pre-trial legal issues,” prosecutors Molly Gaston and Thomas Windom wrote in court filings on Thursday.
“Most importantly, a January 2 trial date would vindicate the public’s strong interest in a speedy trial—an interest guaranteed by the Constitution and federal law in all cases, but of particular significance here, where the defendant, a former president, is charged with conspiring to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election, obstruct the certification of the election results, and discount citizens’ legitimate votes,” they added.
Trump’s team must respond to the proposal by next Thursday, and U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan has indicated she plans on setting the trial date at a hearing on Aug. 28.
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