Former President Donald Trump wasted no time Thursday responding to special counsel Jack Smith’s proposal for him to stand trial on Jan. 2, 2024, on charges related to the January 6 riot in Washington, DC.
Smith proposed in a court filing earlier in the day Trump’s trial should begin during the first week of the New Year —making it the first in a string of felony trials next year against the former president, as Breitbart News reported.
If the date is granted it will fall right before the Iowa caucuses that launch the Republican presidential primary.
Harvard Law School professor Jack Goldsmith, a noted critic of former President Donald Trump, published a “guest essay” in the New York Times on Tuesday warning of “terrible consequences” for the country in the ongoing prosecutions of Trump. https://t.co/jywpwARUZL
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) August 10, 2023
Trump, who has pleaded not guilty to all charges and claims to be the “persecuted” victim of a “witch hunt,” called Smith a “lunatic” while lashing out in a Truth Social post.
He took to social media shortly after the request was made, noting the criminal proceedings would interfere with his campaign for president, saying:
“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,” Trump wrote. “Only an out of touch lunatic would ask for such a date, ONE DAY into the New Year, and maximum Election Interference with IOWA!”
“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,” he added. “The same with other Fake Biden Indictments. ELECTION INTERFERENCE!”
As Breitbart News has noted, Trump faces four charges related to his challenges to the 2020 election result, and the resulting riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. One of the four charges carries a potential death penalty if Trump were to be convicted.
Smith faces accusations from critics he is shaping his prosecution to interfere with the 2024 election. The judge in the “documents” case in federal court in Miami set that trial date in May 2024 — after most of the GOP primaries will have been held.
Smith estimates Trump’s trial will take “no longer” than four to six weeks to complete, while arguing that the proposed start date provides plenty of time for Trump’s team to “to review the discovery in this case and prepare a defense,” Newsweek reports.
Trump’s lawyers have yet to submit a counterproposal but are likely to seek a delay to the start of the trial. U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan is expected to set the trial date in a court hearing on August 28.