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Tipsheet

BREAKING: Trump's J6 Trial Date Announced

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

A federal judge rejected proposed start dates for former President Donald Trump's trial — for his alleged misdeeds leading up to and on January 6, 2021 — in Washington, D.C., on Monday, but also rejected the start date proposed by Jack Smith, the special counsel handling the case.

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In a hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan rejected the timeline proposed by DOJ prosecutors that would have seen the trial get underway in January 2024 as well as the request from Trump's legal team to have the trial pushed off until April 2026. "Neither of them is acceptable," she said.

"Setting a trial date does not depend and should not depend on the defendant’s personal and professional obligations," Judge Chutkan said in the hearing. "Mr. Trump, like any defendant, will have to make the trial date work regardless of his schedule," she declared. "You're not going to get two more years. This case is not going to trial in 2026."

Instead of the proposed dates, Judge Chutkan ordered the trial to begin on March 4, 2024, just a few months past the date requested by prosecutors and years before Trump had requested. 

That puts the trial just one day before Super Tuesday when primaries are held in Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia on March 5. 

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According to NBC News' dispatch on the breaking news, Trump lawyer John Lauro objected to the ordered start date saying the trial date was inconsistent with President Trump's right to due process. Lauro stated Trump's legal team "will not be able to provide adequate representation" based on the timeframe set on Monday.

Judge Chutkan responded that the Trump legal team's "objection is noted for the record" but did not reconsider the schedule she set.

The new schedule means Trump's already busy spring of primary campaigning will now be filling up with legal obligations related to the trial, and could sideline him from some planned rallies or other campaign events as the 2024 primary season heats up.

As was noted by some, the start date ordered for the January 6 case is the same as the date Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis proposed for the state case against Trump and his allies in Georgia. Willis' idea was shot down by Peach State Governor Brian Kemp (R), but that's when the former president's federal trial will now begin in Washington. 

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Trump will also have to deal with scheduling conflicts arising from his trial in Manhattan, also set to begin in March 2024, and his other federal trial set to get underway in Florida in May 2024. An official start date for the former president to stand trial in Georgia has yet to be ordered. 

This is a developing story and may be updated. 

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