Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has asked Judge Scott McAfee to set an Aug. 5, 2024 trial date for Donald Trump’s racketeering and election interference case—just three months before the 2024 presidential election.
“This proposed trial date balances potential delays from Defendant Trump’s other criminal trials in sister sovereigns and the other Defendants’ constitutional speedy trial rights,” Willis wrote in a Friday court filing.
Trump’s attorneys immediately balked at the proposed date, which is sure to clash with the most critical weeks of his re-election campaign. Trump attorney Steven Sadow told the court the ex-president opposed Willis’ proposed trial date, and requested an “opportunity to present oral argument in opposition to the motion.”
If Willis gets her way, Trump and co-defendants will only have until June 21, 2024, to negotiate a plea agreement with the state, after which defendants would only have the option to accept non-negotiated pleas or head to trial.
Willis signaled earlier this week that, if the case goes to trial, it will likely stretch on well past the 2024 election and even into the spring of 2025. That timeline threatens to cause tumult, as it would potentially force Trump into a criminal courtroom during the actual election in November 2024.
Several of Trump’s co-defendants, including Sidney Powell and Jenna Ellis, have taken plea agreements that allowed them to avoid prison. In exchange, they have agreed to cooperate with prosecutors as they prepare their case against Trump. Videos of Powell’s and Ellis’ extensive cooperation sessions with prosecutors were recently leaked by a lawyer for another co-defendant.