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If you’re a Republican running for president, you definitely want to be on the campaign trail in March. That’s when the primary contests that will decide the GOP’s nominee really get going. Nearly 30 states and territories hold votes that month.
But for most of March, Donald Trump might be in court. He could have two trials, defending himself from business fraud allegations and charges related to efforts to overturn his election loss:
On Monday, a judge announced his trial on federal charges related to efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election will start March 4. That is one day before Super Tuesday, when 15 states will hold their primaries or caucuses.
2. The New York trial on hush money payments
On March 25, he’s scheduled to be on trial in New York on allegations he falsified business records to cover up payments to an adult-film star during the 2016 campaign. (This was his first indictment.)
3. The Georgia election trial
Prosecutors in the Georgia case related to efforts to overturn election results in that state want a date of March 4, but legal experts I talk to say that’s not likely. This case could take months if not years to go to trial.
Oh, he also faces trials in January and May (for a civil defamation lawsuit, though he doesn’t have to attend in person, and in the classified-documents criminal case). Those also fall within the presidential campaign season.
Here’s what all that looks like for Trump. Whether this is good or bad for him politically is anyone’s guess, but it seems Trump has no choice but to make his legal troubles a central component of his campaign. He won’t have much time to campaign in the traditional sense.
Who is Mark Meadows, and why are his legal battles worth watching?
Who he is: Mark Meadows was the White House chief of staff when Trump was trying to overturn his election loss. By all accounts, Meadows was by Trump’s side helping him out. He often put people who had plans to overturn the election results in front of the president. And he was on the call with Georgia’s secretary of state in which Trump pressured officials to change the results.
His legal battles, real quick: He’s not charged in the federal Jan. 6 indictment, which is solely focused on Trump. But he is charged in the Georgia case, with felony counts that carry prison time if he’s convicted.
Today, he was in court in Georgia asking to get the case moved to federal court.
Why his legal battles are worth watching: If Meadows can get his case moved to federal court, then potentially so can Trump. A federal trial would still take place in Georgia but would have a larger jury pool that could be friendlier to Meadows, notes The Washington Post’s Holly Bailey. It could include people in rural northern Georgia rather than just the Atlanta area.
All it takes is one juror, because a jury needs to be unanimous to convict someone.