Georgia prosecutors propose starting Trump’s criminal trial in August 2024

Fulton County prosecutors asked a Georgia judge to set former President Trump’s criminal trial to begin Aug. 5, 2024, a timeline that could put Trump on trial through Election Day.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) had previously proposed a March trial start, but her new request acknowledges Trump’s other trials that are already scheduled to take place throughout the spring.

Willis in the new filing also reiterated her desire to try Trump alongside his more than dozen co-defendants.

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“This proposed trial date balances potential delays from Defendant Trump’s other criminal trials in sister sovereigns and the other Defendants’ constitutional speedy trial rights,” prosecutors wrote.

If accepted by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, Willis’s proposal would have Trump’s trial begin weeks after the Republican National Convention and raise the possibility it would extend through Election Day.

Earlier this week, Willis said that Trump’s trial would take “many months” and could extend into early 2025.

Trump is already scheduled to spend much of the first half of next year in various trials.

After two civil trials scheduled for January, the former president’s first criminal trial is slated for March 5. In that case, Trump is charged with four federal felonies over his attempts to overturn the 2020 election.

Weeks later, his New York hush money trial is scheduled to start March 25. On May 20, Trump is set to go on trial over his handling of classified documents in federal court in Florida.

Willis’s office on Friday also requested the judge set a final plea hearing date of June 5, which would be the deadline for defendants to avoid trial by instead striking a plea agreement with prosecutors.

Prosecutors noted that four defendants — ex-Trump lawyers Sidney Powell, Kenneth Chesebro and Jenna Ellis as well as bail bondsman Scott Hall — have already reached deals and that more still could.

“The State will entertain negotiated guilty plea deals up until the Final Plea date,” prosecutors wrote. “After the Final Plea Date, the Defendants will only have the option of non-negotiated pleas, and the State intends to recommend maximum sentences at any remaining sentencing hearings.”

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