Court dates and primaries: Trump faces competing calendars in 2024
Former President Trump holds a commanding lead over the Republican presidential primary field, but as he criss-crosses the nation campaigning in an effort to turn that lead into a secured 2024 GOP nomination, he will also be expected to sit in courtrooms in multiple jurisdictions in defense of his innocence.
Trump, who is the current Republican frontrunner and would even beat President Biden in a head-to-head match-up if the general election were held today according to the latest Fox News Poll, was indicted four times in 2023.
Additionally, the former president is forced to now tackle competing calendars, with critical early state primary election days and trial dates.
Former President Trump waves to the crowd on the field during halftime in the Palmetto Bowl between Clemson and South Carolina at Williams Brice Stadium on Nov. 25, 2023 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
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The first trial on the 2024 calendar was supposed to be in Washington, D.C., on March 4, 2024, after Special Counsel Jack Smith charged the former president with conspiracy to defraud the United States; conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding; obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding; and conspiracy against rights. Those charges stemmed from Smith’s investigation into whether Trump was involved in the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021, and any alleged interference in the 2020 election result.
Trump pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The trial was set for March 4 – the day before the March 5 Super Tuesday primary contests, when Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Vermont vote to select a GOP nominee.
However, Smith, earlier this month, asked the Supreme Court to rule on whether Trump can be prosecuted on charges relating to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.
Additionally, lawyers for Trump filed a motion urging Judge Tanya Chutkan to pause proceedings against Trump in the Jan. 6 case while his appeal is pending.
Former President Trump speaks during a rally, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023, in Dubuque, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Chutkan said earlier this month that she does not have jurisdiction over the matter while it is pending before the Supreme Court, and she put a pause on the case against the Republican 2024 front-runner until the high court determines its involvement.
It is now unclear when that trial could begin.
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Next on the calendar was the trial stemming from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s yearslong investigation related to hush-money payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Bragg alleged that Trump “repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal criminal conduct that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election.”
Former President Trump, left, and Special Counsel Jack Smith. (Getty Images)
Trump pleaded not guilty to all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first degree in New York.
That trial is set to begin in New York City on March 25, 2024. However, Bragg said he would be flexible on that date, pending the decision on trial timing in Smith’s Jan. 6 case.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. (Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
If it does begin on March 25, court proceedings will take place just after the Louisiana primary and ahead of April 2 – when Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Rhode Island and Wisconsin voters hit the polls to select a GOP nominee.
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Meanwhile, Smith also charged Trump out of his investigation into the former president’s alleged improper retention of classified records from his presidency at his Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida.
Trump pleaded not guilty to all 37 felony charges out of that probe. The charges include willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice and false statements.
A view of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, in Palm Beach, Florida, on March 31, 2023. (REUTERS/Ricardo Arduengo)
Trump was then charged with an additional three counts as part of a superseding indictment out of Smith’s investigation – an additional count of willful retention of national defense information and two additional obstruction counts. Trump pleaded not guilty.
That trial is set to begin on May 20, 2024, ahead of the Kentucky primary on May 21, the Oregon primary on May 25 and New Jersey’s primary on June 4.
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Should Trump solidify his lead in the GOP nomination, he would spend July 15-18 at the Republican Convention in Milwaukee.
Fani Willis and former President Trump. (Getty Images)
However, just weeks later, Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis has proposed her trial begin.
Willis charged Trump out of her investigation into his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in the state. Trump was charged with one count of violation of the Georgia RICO Act, three counts of criminal solicitation, six counts of criminal conspiracy, one count of filing false documents and two counts of making false statements.
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He pleaded not guilty to all counts.
Fulton County prosecutors have proposed that trial begin on Aug. 5, 2024.
Brooke Singman is a political correspondent and reporter for Fox News Digital, Fox News Channel and FOX Business.