Trump’s Legal Team Pushes for 2026 Trial Date on Election Charges

Former President Donald Trump is making efforts to delay the commencement of his federal trial in Washington, D.C., which pertains to allegations of him trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. The trial is currently set to begin in January 2024, as proposed by Special Counsel Jack Smith’s team. However, Trump’s legal representatives are pushing for a postponement until April 2026.

Smith’s team had initially requested U.S. District Judge Tonya Chutkan to allow jury selection to start in December of this year. Senior assistant special counsel Molly Gaston, in her court filing, emphasized the public’s constitutional right to a swift trial. She highlighted the gravity of the charges against Trump, a former president, which include accusations of conspiring to overturn the legitimate 2020 election results and undermining citizens’ valid votes.

In contrast, Trump’s defense team, in their recent filing, argued for the trial to be rescheduled to the April 2026 calendar. They also estimated that presenting Trump’s defense would take between 4 to 6 weeks, aligning with the prosecution’s timeline, suggesting a potential 14-week trial duration, inclusive of jury selection.

The charges against Trump, filed earlier this month, include Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, Conspiracy to Obstruct an Official Proceeding, Obstruction of and Attempt to Obstruct an Official Proceeding, and Conspiracy Against Rights. The indictment underscores Trump’s repeated false claims post the November 3, 2020, election, which he knew were baseless. These allegations were propagated to create distrust and resentment nationally and to erode public confidence in the election’s administration.

Judge Chutkan has been clear about her stance, asserting that Trump will be treated like any other defendant and will not receive any special privileges. She also emphasized her intention to keep politics out of the case and views Trump’s presidential campaign as just another job.