Mr. Trump has now been indicted four times in four places — Washington, New York, Atlanta and Fort Pierce, Fla. — and prosecutors from across the country have been jockeying for position. All of them are trying to find time for their trials not only in relation to one another, but also against the backdrop of Mr. Trump’s crowded calendar as the candidate leading the field for the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential nomination.
Mr. Trump has made no secret in conversations with his aides that he would like to solve his uniquely complicated legal woes by winning the election. If either of his two federal trials is delayed until after the race and Mr. Trump prevails, he could seek to pardon himself after taking office or have his attorney general dismiss the matters altogether.
In remarks from the bench, Judge Chutkan, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, played down arguments made by Mr. Trump’s lawyers that they needed until April 2026 to prepare for the trial given the voluminous amount of discovery they will have to sort through.
The judge also noted that while she understood that Mr. Trump had both other trial dates scheduled next year and, at the same time, was running for the country’s highest office, she was not going to let the intersection of his legal troubles and his political campaign get in the way of setting a date.
“Mr. Trump, like any defendant, will have to make the trial date work regardless of his schedule,” Judge Chutkan said, adding that “there is a societal interest to a speedy trial.”