In 2024, former U.S. President Donald Trump could be spending more days in courtrooms instead of flying across the country campaigning for president.
With the fourth criminal indictment in four months filed against him in the southern state of Georgia on Monday, Trump, 77, could be facing weekslong trials in the first half of the year.
He has boasted, perhaps jesting, that with four indictments, he is assured of capturing the White House again. His Republican political support, according to national polling, has held steady. But he has complained bitterly that the charges against him are designed to undermine his campaign.
In all, he is facing 91 charges, all of them felonies, across the four cases.
He would be required to sit through days of testimony accusing him of wrongdoing that could, if he is convicted, imprison him for years. Trump has denied wrongdoing in all the cases.
The first months of 2024 are also the same time frame when Republican voters will be heading to the polls to pick their nominee for the November election, where Trump could again face Democratic President Joe Biden in a rematch of their 2020 contest. National polls of Republican voters show Trump with a commanding lead over an array of other Republican presidential aspirants.
The first Republican political contest, party caucuses in the Midwestern state of Iowa, is set for January 15, with numerous state party primary elections scheduled for late winter and into the spring months.
The party voting culminates with the Republican National Convention in July in the Midwestern city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where the party’s presidential nominee will be formally picked.
Two of Trump’s trials have already been scheduled for 2024.
In late March, a New York prosecutor is trying Trump on charges that he falsified business records at his Trump Organization real estate conglomerate to hide a $130,000 hush money payment to a porn film star ahead of his successful 2016 presidential campaign to keep her from talking about a one-night tryst she claims to have had with him a decade earlier. Trump has denied the affair occurred.
In late May, Trump is scheduled to stand trial in Florida against a 40-count indictment brought by Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith, which accuses Trump of hoarding highly sensitive national security documents at his oceanside Mar-a-Lago estate after he left the White House in January 2021.
Trump is also accused of conspiring with his personal valet and the property manager at Mar-a-Lago to keep from turning over the classified materials to federal investigators.
Smith also accused Trump in Washington in a four-count indictment of illegally trying to overturn his election loss. He has asked for the trial to start Jan. 2, 2024. Government prosecutors say it might take four to six weeks to present their case against the former president.
Trump’s lawyers are expected to ask for a trial date well past January, and have until Thursday to specify their desired date.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan said she will set a date for the trial at an August 28 hearing.
Meanwhile in the Georgia case, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said she thinks Trump’s trial there ought to start within six months. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee was assigned to oversee the case and will set the trial date.