US judge says Trump will have to juggle trials, re-election bid


By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON, Aug 28 (Reuters) - A federal judge in Washington on Monday said former President Donald Trump will have to juggle a pending criminal trial with his 2020 re-election campaign as she weighed when the trial should start.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan is expected to set a trial date for the case charging Trump with trying to overturn his 2020 election defeat, one of four criminal prosecutions the former president faces.

Chutkan said neither of those dates was acceptable.

“Mr. Trump will have to make the trial date work, regardless of his schedule," she says, adding that a defendant's professional schedule should not have a bearing on when a trial is set.

Trump did not attend Monday's hearing.

Trump has portrayed all four criminal prosecutions as politically motivated attempts to stop him from returning to power.

He has pleaded not guilty in three of those cases, and is due in a Georgia court on Sept. 6 to enter a plea in the fourth case, according to a court filing issued on Monday.

Trump has previously lashed out at Chutkan, saying, without evidence, that she is biased against him.

Trump's attorneys say they need time to sort through the government's evidence, but prosecutors say much of that consists of public materials, such as Trump's statements and congressional records.

The four upcoming criminal trials pose major logistical challenges for Trump as he campaigns for a return to the White House.

In Georgia, where Trump faces racketeering and other state charges related to his alleged efforts to overturn his 2020 defeat, District Attorney Fani Willis has asked the court to set a March 4, 2024 date.

Trump is already set to be on trial in New York on March 25, 2024, on separate state charges of concealing a hush money payment to a porn star.

Trump is also due to go to trial in Florida on May 20, 2024 on federal charges also brought by Smith alleging he illegally retained classified records after leaving the White House and tried to obstruct justice.

Monday will mark the second time that Trump's lawyers will appear before Chutkan to discuss pre-trial logistics.

At the last hearing, Chutkan warned that Trump should stop posting inflammatory statements online about witnesses or others involved in the case.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; writing by Andy Sullivan; Editing by Scott Malone and Alistair Bell)

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