DC federal Judge Tanya Chutkan dropped a subtle clue Monday that former President Donald Trump’s soon-to-be-rescheduled trial in the 2020 election subversion case could take place after he becomes the Republican Party’s 2024 nominee.
During a conference in a separate case, Chutkan revealed that she intended to be out of the country later this year — before suggesting that Trump’s trial could thwart those plans.
“I hope not to be in the country on August 5,” Politico reported that Chutkan said, before adding that would change if “I’m in trial in another matter that has not yet returned to my calendar.”
Last week, Chutkan formally ditched the March 4 trial start date that had initially been set for Trump’s 2020 election case.
The Republican National Convention, which would officially crown Trump the party nominee should he win the primary, is scheduled to take place July 15—18 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Separately, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has been pursuing an Aug. 5 start date for the trial of Trump and 14 others accused of unlawfully trying to change the 2020 election results in Georgia.
The federal case against Trump has been put on pause while the DC appeals court considers an argument from the 77-year-old’s attorneys that he is immune from charges because they concern official actions he took while president.
Even if the DC court rules against Trump, he is likely to appeal the case to the Supreme Court, further delaying the case.
Trump’s legal team is also arguing that Trump’s impeachment by the House of Representatives in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, riot means that special counsel Jack Smith’s prosecution amounts to double jeopardy.
Last month, Trump’s team unsuccessfully tried to get Smith’s team held in contempt by Chutkan for making court filings despite a stay the judge put in place while the immunity argument played out..
Chutkan, an Obama-appointed judge, has said she will set a new trial start date “if and when” the immunity question is decided by the higher courts.
Trump is facing a total of 91 criminal counts against him spanning four separate indictments.
The 45th president has vigorously denied wrongdoing in all of them and pleaded not guilty.