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US: Prosecutors seek March trial in Trump racketeering case

THE Prosecutors asked a judge Wednesday to set a trial date of March 4 next year for the election racketeering and conspiracy case against former president Donald Trump in the US state of Georgia.

The defence is likely to push for a later start, with the 77-year-old Republican billionaire facing four criminal trials as he bids for a return to the White House.

But the proposal would place the opening just one day before “Super Tuesday,” when more than a dozen states vote in the Republican primary contest that determines who will be the party’s flag bearer in the 2024 election.

It would also come just eight days before Georgia’s vote.

Trump was indicted Monday on charges of racketeering and a string of election crimes after a sprawling, two-year probe into his efforts to overturn his 2020 defeat to Joe Biden in the Peach State.

Prosecutors in Atlanta charged 18 co-defendants with multiple offences linked to the alleged conspiracy, including Trump’s former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and his White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows.

“In light of defendant Donald John Trump’s other criminal and civil matters pending in the courts of our sister sovereigns, the state of Georgia proposes certain deadlines that do not conflict with these other courts’ already-scheduled hearings and trial dates,” District Attorney Fani Willis wrote in a court filing.

She asked for a first, procedural hearing for the defendants — known as the arraignment — for the week of September 5.

Trump did not have any immediate reaction to the filing but amplified posts on his social media platform Truth Social making the innocuous claim that Willis, an elected Democrat, has donated money to Democratic causes.

Trump already has a packed courtroom calendar, featuring a civil fraud suit against his business in October and two further civil trials in January — one starting on January 15, the day of Iowa’s first-in-the-nation nomination vote.

While he would almost certainly not be required to appear in the civil cases, federal prosecutors have requested that Trump’s criminal trial for allegedly conspiring to overturn the 2020 US election begin on January 2.

He has a state-level criminal trial scheduled for March 25 in Manhattan over hush money payments to a porn star that he is said to have fraudulently misrepresented as legal expenses in business filings.

He is due to go before a jury in Florida in May accused of multiple Espionage Act violations.
Trump’s attorneys have previously argued that he should not be put on trial until after the presidential election.

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