Former President Donald Trump has denounced U.S. prosecutors after they proposed Jan. 2, 2024, as the start date for his trial on charges related to his efforts to dispute the results of the 2020 election.
The proposed trial date is just two weeks before voters would first cast their ballots in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, where President Trump is the frontrunner.
"Deranged Jack Smith has just asked for a trial on the Biden Indictment to take place on January 2nd., just ahead of the important Iowa Caucuses,” he wrote on his social media platform, Truth Social, late Thursday.
"Only an out of touch lunatic would ask for such a date, ONE DAY into the New Year, and maximum Election Interference with IOWA!" the former president continued. "Such a trial, which should never take place due to my First Amendment Rights, and massive BIDEN CORRUPTION, should only happen, if at all, AFTER THE ELECTION. The same with other Fake Biden Indictments. ELECTION INTERFERENCE!"
The Iowa Republican caucuses are scheduled for Jan. 15 and have traditionally served as a gauge for the potential success of presidential contenders.
Prosecutors from U.S. Special Counsel Jack Smith's office, in a court filing on Thursday, argued for a swift trial in the high-profile case, citing the "public’s strong interest in a speedy trial" in asking the judge to set the start of the trial for Jan. 2, 2024.
"This trial date, and the proposed schedule outlined below, would give the defendant time to review the discovery in this case and prepare a defense, and would allow the Court and parties to fully litigate any pre-trial legal issues,” prosecutors wrote in court filings on Thursday.
“Most importantly, a January 2 trial date would vindicate the public’s strong interest in a speedy trial—an interest guaranteed by the Constitution and federal law in all cases, but of particular significance here, where the defendant, a former president, is charged with conspiring to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election, obstruct the certification of the election results, and discount citizens’ legitimate votes," they added.
The prosecutors said they plan to provide President Trump's legal team with most of the evidence they intend to present at trial as part of the discovery process by the end of August.
They expect to take no longer than four to six weeks to present the evidence in the trial.
The U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is overseeing the federal 2020 election trial, has set a hearing on a proposed protective order in the case, for the morning of Aug. 11. The hearing concerns how the evidence will be managed by President Trump and his legal team.
President Trump is the first former president to face criminal charges, and in total, he faces 78 different charges in three criminal cases brought against him this year.
He has proclaimed his innocence in all the cases and has accused President Joe Biden, a Democrat, and his administration of targeting him for political reasons, in part due to his leading position in the 2024 presidential race.
The case at hand is related to the second and latest federal indictment from Mr. Smith's office, to which President Trump pleaded not guilty on Aug. 3. The indictment charges President Trump with four criminal counts related to alleged election conspiracy regarding his efforts to dispute the results of the 2020 election.
The first federal indictment from Mr. Smith's investigations had dealt President Trump a total of 40 counts relating to the alleged retention of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago home. A trial in May 2024 has been scheduled for the case.
Besides the two federal indictments, President Trump was charged in April with state felonies accusing him of falsifying business records in New York, for which he will face a trial in March 2024.
President Trump believes any trial should be postponed until after the 2024 elections.