Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has asked the court to set an Aug. 5, 2024, trial date in former President Donald Trump's election interference case in Georgia, just months ahead of the November presidential election.
If that date is accepted by Judge Scott McAfee, President Trump could potentially be mired in trial proceedings as Americans head to the polls in November to pick the next U.S. president.
While President Trump's lawyers opposed the date, Ms. Willis said in a Nov. 17 court filing that the Aug. 5, 2024, trial date balances the constitutional right of a speedy trial and potential delays from the former president's other trials.
President Trump is set for trial in Washington on March 4, 2024, and in Florida on May 20, 2024.
Lawyers for President Trump said in a court filing in response to Ms. Willis' request that the former president opposes that date.
They have repeatedly asked for trial dates for all four criminal cases against him to take place after the November election.
"Fani Willis has again proven that her case is purely political, designed to interfere with President Trump's re-election by demanding a trial date in the most vital time in President Trump's winning campaign," Trump presidential campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement.
Ms. Willis said earlier this week that the campaign schedule would not be a factor in her handling of the case.
Georgia CasePresident Trump and 18 co-defendants have been charged with racketeering and other charges for allegedly working to overturn his narrow defeat in Georgia in the wake of the 2020 election.
The former president has pleaded not guilty and has called the case an attempt by his political rivals to interfere in next year's presidential election.
Four of President Trump's co-defendants in the case have accepted plea deals in the case.
Ms. Willis has charged each defendant under Georgia's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, a law drafted to fight the mafia, with the indictment alleging that President Trump and his co-conspirators did "constitute a criminal organization."
President Trump himself has been charged with 13 counts, including solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer, conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree, and conspiracy to commit filing of false documents.
President Trump's campaign has alleged that the charges are a politically motivated attack by Ms. Willis.
The former president has said that the case is "all about election interference."
The Georgia trial will have to compete with three other criminal cases against President Trump, which are all scheduled to go to trial next year.
President Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges and accused prosecutors of trying to interfere with his campaign.
Ms. Willis said she believes the Georgia case will extend into 2025.
“I think the case will be on appeals for years ... I believe in that case there will be a trial. I believe the trial will take many months. And I don't expect that we will conclude until the winter or the very early part of 2025,” Ms. Willis said in a Nov. 14 interview with The Washington Post.
When asked about whether this would mean that the defendants in the case, including President Trump, would be on trial during the election season, Election Day, and even the inauguration day of the new president, Ms. Willis said that's not a consideration for her.
Trump Leads in GeorgiaPresident Trump is the frontrunner for the Republican 2024 presidential nomination.
Multiple polls show that he has a lead over his Democrat rival, President Joe Biden, among voters in Georgia.
Only 30 percent of Georgia independents backed President Biden, per the AJC poll.
In 2020, independent voters were a key factor in President Biden’s win in the state.