Special counsel Jack Smith seeks Jan. 2 start date for Trump election trial

Special counsel Jack Smith seeks Jan. 2 start date for Trump election trial

Court filing estimates it will take no longer than 4 - 6 weeks to present case to jury in Washington, D.C

By Iclal Turan

WASHINGTON (AA) - Special counsel Jack Smith proposed Thursday to take former President Donald Trump to trial by Jan. 2 on alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election, according to a court filing.

The filing estimates it will take no longer than four to six weeks to present the case to a jury in Washington, D.C.

It said Smith expects to have “substantially completed” the production of evidence to be turned over to Trump by a Aug. 28 court hearing.

"This trial date ... would give the defendant time to review the discovery in this case and prepare a defense, and would allow the Court and parties to fully litigate any pre-trial legal issues," Smith's office wrote in the filing. "Most importantly, a January 2 trial date would vindicate the public's strong interest in a speedy trial -- an interest guaranteed by the Constitution and federal law in all cases, but of particular significance here, where the defendant, a former president, is charged with conspiring to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election, obstruct the certification of the election results, and discount citizens' legitimate votes.”

Smith had been leading a longstanding investigation into Trump and his political allies and efforts to prevent President Joe Biden from assuming power after he won the November 2020 polls by 7 million votes.

The former president was indicted last week by a federal grand jury in the Justice Department's probe.

Trump pleaded not guilty Thursday, and his lawyers are expected to argue that his comments were protected speech under the First Amendment to the Constitution and he legitimately believed his claims of election fraud.

The latest indictment marks the third criminal case against Trump since he left office following another federal case in the state of Florida related to his alleged unlawful retention of classified government documents and efforts to stymy investigators and a case in New York related to hush money payments to an adult film star.

But the latest indictment marks the most significant case against the ex-president to date.

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