During a Monday hearing in federal court that dealt with the criminal case from Special Counsel Jack Smith against former President Donald Trump on charges of having sought to effectively interfere with the 2020 election, Judge Tanya Chutkan dismantled claims from the former president’s team about precedents relevant to setting the trial date.
She eventually scheduled the trial for years sooner than what the Trump team sought, opting for March of next year rather than 2026 — five years past the events of January 6. Before reaching that conclusion, she also poked holes in the Trump team’s claims that precedents established in the handling of similar, past cases were in support of the extended wait they sought before trial. On a foundational level, a statistic they cited putting the ostensibly average process at nearly two and a half years in length misrepresented the record, reflecting not the time from charges to trial but the span from charges to sentencing, which can take place months after trial.
Chutkan also noted, as recapped by court reporter Brandi Buchman, that the other cases cited by the defense included much longer lists of defendants. Nobody is charged alongside Trump in the federal case that relates to his attempts to stay in power despite the widely accepted documentation of his election loss to Biden. “Chutkan also notes cases cited by defense all involved 6 and 17 co-defendants,” Buchman relayed online. “There are no co-defendants in this case, Chutkan says. Defense hasn’t ID’ed any case where defendant was given over 2 years between indictment and trial, she adds.”
The judge also noted the impacts on recent years’ court schedules from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Characteristically, Trump was antagonistically posting online this Monday, again tying the incumbent president directly to the indictments that he’s facing despite the lack of substantial evidence for Biden’s direct involvement.