Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has requested a trial start date in October for the election subversion case she brought against former President Donald Trump and 18 co-defendants in Georgia, court records show.
In her request to the court Thursday, Willis noted that Trump lawyer Kenneth Chesebro, one of the defendants charged with attempting to overturn the state’s 2020 election results, submitted a “demand for speedy trial” under a Georgia statute Wednesday.
Willis had previously proposed that the trial start on March 4 — the same week that voters in 16 states go to the polls in the presidential primaries. Legal experts told multiplemedia outlets that even this timeline would be infeasible.
Scheduling the trial six months out is “overly optimistic; very, very ambitious; and not really realistic,” Kay Levine, a law professor at Atlanta’s Emory University, told The Hill last week.
Trump, who has a history of trying to force delays with complicated pretrial litigation, responded to the court shortly afterward, saying he’s opposed to Willis’ proposed trial schedule. He also said he’ll be filing a motion to separate his case from that of Chesebro due to his speedy trial request.
It’s also expected that Trump will follow in the footsteps of three of his co-defendants and seek to have the trial moved to federal court, where the jury pool is likely to be less left-leaning and there is a possibility that a federal judge he appointed could oversee the proceedings.
Trials in two other indictments brought against Trump are scheduled to start next year — the hush money payments case in March, and the classified documents case in May. A trial date has not yet been scheduled for federal charges he’s facing regarding attempts to overturn the 2020 election results.
Willis’ request comes the same day that Trump, the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, is set to surrender at the Fulton County Jail. Several of his co-defendants, including Rudy Giuliani, turned themselves in Wednesday.