Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis speaks to the media after a Grand Jury brought back indictments against former president Donald Trump and 18 of his allies in their attempt to overturn the state’s 2020 election results, in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. August 14, 2023.
Elijah Nouvelage | Reuters
A prosecutor asked a judge to Friday to schedule the Georgia election interference criminal trial of former President Donald Trump and his co-defendants to begin on Aug. 5 — exactly three months before the 2024 presidential Election Day.
That proposed trial schedule would take into account potential delays in Trump’s other expected criminal trials next year, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said in a new court filing.
Trump’s defense lawyer Steven Sadow later Friday filed a response saying Trump opposes the proposed trial date, and asked Judge Scott McAfee to schedule oral arguments on the dispute in Fulton County Superior Court.
Trump, who is the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, is charged with the other defendants with racketeering and other crimes related to their attempt to reverse his loss in Georgia’s 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden.
Wills in her filing Friday asked Judge Scott McAfee to scheduled a final plea hearing date on June 21 to accept negotiated guilty pleas.
“After the Final Please Date, the Defendants will only have the option of non-negotiated pleas, and the State intend to recommend maximum sentences at any remaining sentencing hearings,” Willis said in her motion.
The DA also asked the judge not to consider any requests by Trump or other defendants to sever their trials from one another until after the final plea date.
“The State clearly retains the logistical and prosecutorial capabilities to try all of the remaining Defendants together,” Willis said in her motion.
Trump’s campaign spokesman said, “Radical Democrat 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.”
“Crooked Joe Biden knows he can’t beat President Trump and this corrupt step by Fani Willis is just further proof of that fact,” the spokesman said.
Trump and his 18 co-defendants were indicted in August by a grand jury in Atlanta.
Since then, four defendants have pleaded guilty in deals negotiated with Willis’ office: the lawyers Kenneth Cheesbro, Jenna Ellis and Sidney Powell, and bail bondsman Scott Hall.
Trump is scheduled to go on trial on March 4 in federal court in Washington, D.C., on charges related to his efforts to undo his loss to Biden in the national election in 2020.
He is then scheduled to go on trial on March 25 in New York state court, where he is charged ith falsifying business records related to a hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels. The Manhattan Supreme Court judge in that case has said he will willing to re-schedule it to avoid a conflict with Trump’s trial earlier that same month in Washington.
Trump has another trial scheduled to start on May 20 in Florida federal court on charges related to his retention of classified government documents after he left the White House in January 2021, and his efforts to hide those records from government officials seeking their return.
He has pleaded not guilty in all cases.