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Tipsheet

DOJ Isn't Buying Trump's Request for April 2026 Trial Date in January 6 Case

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

There's been plenty of Monday news on the various indictments against former and potentially future President Donald Trump. When it comes to the third indictment, brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith over Trump's part in the events on and leading up to January 6, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is pushing back against a proposed trial date of April 2026 from Trump. As NBC News reported, citing a court filing from Monday, prosecutors point to the rights of the public for "a speedy trial."

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"In service of a proposed trial date in 2026 that would deny the public its right to a speedy trial, the defendant cites inapposite statistics and cases, overstates the amount of new and non-duplicative discovery, and exaggerates the challenge of reviewing it effectively," prosecutors wrote as part of their response to a proposal from Trump's legal team. 

If we're talking about the "right" of the public here, perhaps it's worth pointing out that the DOJ has been weaponized and politicized to go after President Joe Biden's most likely rival for the 2024 election.

NBC News barely mentions the timeline that prosectors want to go with. "The special counsel's office has proposed starting jury selection in the federal election interference case in December and beginning the trial in January," is what the brief report has to say about the matter. 

There's more to that proposed trial date "in January" than what the report is telling readers. Given that the actual date proposed is January 2, 2024, it's a particularly glaring oversight on NBC News' part to fail to acknowledge that Trump's trial could bring him through the January 15 Iowa Caucus.

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Reporting from the AP mentions that January 2 date, but it still doesn't mention the significance of the Iowa Caucus.

Judge Tanya Chutkan, known for her overly harsh sentencing of January 6 defendants,  as well as ties to Democratic causes, including the Black Lives Matter movement, is expected to set a trial date in a hearing set for next Monday. 

That's not the only indictment where the trial date appears suspicious, though, as John covered last Friday. Under the proposed timelines, the D.C. trial will be the first. The second trial, to do with the fourth indictment brought by Fulton County DA Fani Willis with regards the 2020 election results, could take place on May 4. That's just one day before the Super Tuesday primaries, when 14 states will hold their Republican primaries. With regards to the first indictment, brought by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg over hush money payments, the proposed trial is March 25, just after six states have their Republican primaries. The fourth trial in Florida, to do with the second indictment, also brought by Smith, has to do with Trump's handling of classified documents. The proposed date is May 20, in between two Republican primary states.

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"This would guarantee that Trump’s legal challenges play a role in the primaries from start to finish," John aptly noted.

There's also been news to do with that fourth indictment. A bond order, signed by Willis, sets Trump's total bond for $200,000, but it also requires to be a little more careful on social media than many think he is capable of. Hours later, Trump also announced on TruthSocial that he will turn himself in on Thursday, ahead of the deadline of Friday at noon.


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